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Speedy Gonzales

Speedy Gonzales Eyes: Black
Hair: Black; brown fur
Race: Mouse

Marital Status: Single
Known relatives: Slow-Poke Rodriguez (cousin)

Story: Speedy Gonzales is the fastest mouse in Mexico. Usually he hangs out with his cousin Slow-Poke Rodriguez or dates the pretty girls in the village.

Continuity: Looney Tunes
Publisher(s): Warner Bros.
Looney Toones
Dell Comics
DC Comics
First app.: Cartoons: Cat-Tails for Two (1953)
Comics: Bugs Bunny's Christmas Funnies #7 (1956), earliest appearance found so far
Games: Speedy Gonzales (1993)
Creator(s): Robert McKimson
Country of origin: USA USA

Background notes: Speedy Gonzales is one of the characters who must be said to be the victim of misplaced concern about racism. For a long time (the eighties and nineties from the looks of it) the Speedy Gonzales cartoons were not shown in the daytime, and only occasionally in the late shows. The cartoon networks feared they were offending the Hispanic community, while the Hispanic community apparently saw Speedy as a positive role model. This resulted in the bizarre situation that the cartoons was shown on Mexican TV-channels but not on US TV-channels for fear of being offensive to the Mexicans. It wasn't until 2001 that the mouse started occurring in the morning cartoons again in USA and it was 2002 before he was allowed back in regular circulation.

Speedy Gonzales started out as a scrawny buck-toothed mouse in Cat-Tails for Two from 1953, and got his current looks in the following cartoon Speedy Gonzales from 1955. With his sombrero, white clothes, accent and Andale, Andale, Ariba,Ariba, eh-hah! he was the perfect parody on the Mexican stereotype.

His second cartoon was also his first encounter with his best antagonist Sylvester Pussicat, a combination that earned the cartoon an Oscar and an Oscar nomination for The Pied Piper of Guadalupe (1961). Speedy Gonzales had two additional Oscar nominations: Tabasco Road (1957) and Mexicali Shmoes (1959).

In 1965 Speedy met his other great adversary, Daffy Duck in It's Nice to Have a Mouse Around the House when Granny hired Daffy to exterminate Speedy for giving Sylvester a nervous breakdown. Speedy and Daffy continued as a team until the last cartoon for both of them See Ya Later Gladiator came in 1968. Apart from the reruns in anthology series like The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show and Merry Melodies the team did not resurface until The Chokolate Chase in 1980. Since then they have occurred in Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island (1983), Space Jam (1995) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action from 2003.

In the cartoons the voice of Speedy Gonzales was done by Mel Blanc. In Space Jam Speedy had no lines and in Looney Tunes: Back in Action his voice was done by Eric Goldberg.

Speedy has not been very successful in crossing over to comics. He made a few appearances in series like Bugs Bunny's Christmas Funnies, Daffy Duck, and Four Color Comics from Dell in the 1950s and 60s, and did not reappear until 1994 in DC Comic's Looney Tunes series. Mostly his appearances in the series have been as a part of the background (posters, coffee mugs etc.) or cameos, but he has appeared as a main character in the stories (Looney Tunes #9 seems to be the first).

In computer games he fared a little better. In 1993 Speedy Gonzales was released for Nintendo GameBoy and in 1994 Sunsoft released Speedy Gonzales: Los Gatos Bandidos for Super Nintendo. So far games have only been available for Nintendo platforms.

Like Wile E. Coyote, Speedy Gonzales made the strange transition into a drink. The recipe is as follows:

1 oz Amaretto Almond Liqueur
1 oz Bailey's Irish Cream

Pour Bailey's and Amaretto into a shot glass, swish, and throw it back.

In merchandizing, Speedy has occurred on a wide range of items like PVC figurines, cookie jars, PEZ-dispensers, promo glasses etc. Most of the things are from before he was banned from daytime TV, but merchandize with Speedy Gonzales was also produced in the eighties and nineties.

Related links/characters:
- Looney Tunes Characters
- Daffy Duck
- Granny
- Sylvester Pussycat