Hubie and Bertie
|Hubie and Bertie|
|Looney Tunes character|
Bertie & Hubie in Mouse Wreckers.
|First appearance||The Aristo-Cat (1943)|
|Created by||Chuck Jones|
Tedd Pierce (Hubie, 1943)|
Michael Maltese (Bertie, 1943)
Mel Blanc (Hubie, 1946-1951)
Stan Freberg (Bertie, 1946-1951)
Jim Cummings (Hubie, 1995-2000)
Jeff Bennett (Bertie, 1995-2000)
Bob Bergen (1996)
Joe Alaskey (2003-2005)
Hubie and Bertie are animated cartoon mouse characters in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. Hubie and Bertie represent some of animator Chuck Jones' earliest work that was intended to be funny rather than cute.
All of their cartoons were given Blue Ribbon reissues.
Jones introduced Hubie and Bertie in the short The Aristo-Cat, first released on June 19, 1943. The plot of the cartoon would serve as the template for most future Hubie/Bertie outings: a character with some mental illness or degree of naïveté (here, a cat who doesn't know what a mouse looks like) is psychologically tormented by the pair. They tell the hungry cat that he is a lion and a bulldog his prey, leading to several painful encounters for the cat.
Hubie and Bertie as designed by Jones are nearly identical mice with long snouts, large ears, and big, black noses. The two are anthropomorphic, walking on their stubby hind legs and using their forelimbs as arms. They are primarily distinguished by their color: one is brown with a lighter-colored belly and face, while the other is gray. (Which mouse is which color changes from film to film.) Hubie has a Brooklyn accent. Bertie has large buck teeth, and a habit of responding to Hubie with "Yeah-yeah, sure-sure!" or snickering "Riot!" if Hubie has just proposed some scheme with comic potential.
Bertie made a cameo in Odor-able Kitty.
Trap Happy Porky (February 24, 1945) was their second appearance. Nameless, indistinguishable except for color, they appear only in the first act, stealing food from a Porky in nightshirt & cap. They are silent except for a single "I'm only three and a half years old", and retreat when a cat shows up.
Jones would repeat the theme of mind-games several more times in his Hubie and Bertie shorts, as in their third cartoon, Roughly Squeaking on November 23, 1946. This time, Jones has the mice exploit a cat's stupidity by convincing him he's a lion and a dog is a moose he wants to eat. By the short's end, the cat thinks he's a lion, the dog believes he's a pelican, and a bystanding bird (driven mad from watching the two) has pulled his feathers out and imagines himself a Thanksgiving turkey. The mice are here voiced by Mel Blanc (Hubie) and Stan Freberg (Bertie).
In the next cartoon, Mouse Wreckers, and for the remainder of the series, Blanc and Freberg would handle the voices of Hubie and Bertie, respectively.
Cat and mouse
Jones introduced a permanent "antagonist" of sorts for the mice in Mouse Wreckers. The short was released in 1949 and was the first in which they are officially called "Hubie" and "Bertie". In the cartoon, the duo moves into a new home, only to discover that it is protected by champion mouser Claude Cat (the character's debut), voiced by Mel Blanc. The mice torment the cat both physically and mentally. The short was nominated for an Academy Award.
The mice would antagonize Claude in two more films: The Hypo-Chondri-Cat, released in 1950, featured Hubie and Bertie making Claude think he's sick with various ailments and, ultimately, that he has died. In 1951's Cheese Chasers, Hubie and Bertie inadvertently torment Claude when, after going overboard on a cheese raid and getting sick of their favorite food, they decide to commit suicide by trying to get Claude to eat them.
After these seven cartoons, Jones retired Hubie and Bertie but continued to use the characters (or mice resembling them) in cameo roles in other shorts whenever he needed a generic mouse for a gag, such as the unnamed mouse in Chow Hound, who resembles Bertie, or the "killer" mice in Scaredy Cat.
Hubie and Bertie have made several cameos in Warner Bros. productions. They play the public address announcers in the 1996 movie Space Jam. They have also appeared in Tiny Toon Adventures, The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, Tweety's High-Flying Adventure (2000) and Duck Dodgers. Hubie and Bertie briefly appear in The Looney Tunes Show opening.
- The Aristo-Cat (1943)
- Trap Happy Porky (1945)
- Roughly Squeaking (1946)
- House Hunting Mice (1947)
- Mouse Wreckers (1949)
- The Hypo-Chondri-Cat (1950)
- Cheese Chasers (1951)
- Hubie and Bertie at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on February 5, 2016.
- "The Top 5 Chuck Jones Mouse Cartoons". CraveOnline. August 21, 2012. Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
- Mouse Wreckers at The Big Cartoon DataBase Retrieved on May 9, 2011.