Woody Woodpecker

By | Nov 25, 2012

The cartoon character Woody Woodpecker first appeared in the film Knock Knock on November 25, 1940. Although Woody was a minor character in the film he stole the show and would soon be the leading character.

This first feature was created by Walter Lantz’ animation studio and distributed by Universal Pictures. Walter Lantz and Ben Hardaway are created as his creators.

The first voice of Woody Woodpecker was Mel Blanc, and it is he who created the famous Woody Woodpecker laugh. A similar laugh was used by Blanc in a Happy Rabbit, Bugs Bunny predecessor, short Elmer’s Candid Camera. Ben Hardaway would take over the voice after 4 shorts when Blanc signed an exclusive contract with Warner Brothers.

Blanc’s Woody Woodpecker’s laugh however was continued to be used as a stock sound effect in the Woody Woodpecker shorts until the early 1950s.

In 1947 George Tibbles and Ramey Idriss wrote “The Woody Woodpecker Song”. Kay Keyer with vocalist Gloria Wood had a huge hit with the song in 1948. Many other artists have recorded the song including Mel Blanc and the Andrews Sisters.

“The Woody Woodpecker Song” was first used in the 1948 short Wet Blanket Policy. It was the first and only song from an animated short subject to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song losing to “Buttons and Bows” by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.


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