Cool Cat

Cool Cat

Cool Cat was a fictional cartoon character created by director Alex Lovy for Warner Bros. Cartoons in the 1960s. His first appearance was in the self-titled short Cool Cat in 1967. He was voiced by Larry Storch. Robert McKimson took over as director for the last two cartoons in this series.

Cool Cat was a Tiger (whose design was very similar to that of The Pink Panther, who first appeared on screen four years earlier) who wore a stylish green beret and scarf. Unlike most other Looney Tunes characters, Cool Cat was unapologetically a product of his time. He spoke in 1960s-style beatnik slang and acted much like a stereotypical laid-back 1960s teenager — he was often seen strumming a guitar or travelling cross-country in his dune buggy. One cartoon — McKimson's Bugged By A Bee — depicted him as an alumnus of "Disco Tech" playing varsity football against the long-haired team from "Hippie University".

However, most of Cool Cat's cartoons dealt with his encounters with Colonel Rimfire (also voiced by Storch), a fussy, British-accented big-game hunter armed with a blunderbuss. Rimfire essentially acted as the Elmer Fudd to Cool Cat's Bugs Bunny, but was used only by Lovy. Later, Rimfire tried to capture Bugs. Cool Cat bears the distinction of starring in the very last cartoon produced at the classic Warner Bros. Cartoons studio: Injun Trouble in 1969. Shortly after this cartoon was produced, the venerable animation studio shut down for good.

His cartoons can easily be distinguished from most of the other Looney Tunes cartoons, for they feature an updated Looney Tunes logo with stylized animation and a remix of "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" and featuring the then-current Warner Bros.-Seven Arts logo (a combination of a simple W and 7 inside a stylized shield outline).

Cool Cat made later appearances in the television series The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, including the direct-to-video movie Tweety's High-Flying Adventure. He made brief cameos in most, if not all of the episodes, appearing on posters in the background, walking by in street scenes, etc. His appearances aren't entirely overlooked by the cast, for Tweety has once responded to Cool Cat's appearance with "We had to get him in this cartoon somewhere." He was voiced by Joe Alaskey and Jim Cummings in these later appearances.

One of the possible reasons why Cool Cat is not remembered as clearly and as fondly as his fellow Looney Tunes is because, unlike the others, he was designed to be contemporary. This meant that it didn't take long for his slang, mannerisms and overall design to become severely dated. Although characters like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck also use antiquated expressions, even to this day, their personalities are much broader, allowing them to remain entertaining decades later. However, some animation fans insist that Cool Cat's obsolete speech and dress actually make him funnier today than he was in his heyday; this, ultimately, is a matter of personal taste.

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