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Woody Woodpecker is the main protagonist from the shorts of the same name.

Woody was created in 1940 by cartoonist Walter Lantz and storyboard artist Ben "Bugs" Hardaway, who had previously laid the groundwork for two other screwball characters, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, at the Warner Bros. cartoon studio in the late 1930s. Woody's character and design evolved over the years, from an insane bird with an unusually garish design to a more refined looking and acting character in the vein of the later Chuck Jones version of Bugs Bunny. Woody was originally voiced by prolific voice actor Mel Blanc, who was succeeded by Danny Webb, Kent Rogers, Ben Hardaway and finally Grace Stafford (wife of Walter Lantz).[4]

Lantz produced theatrical cartoons longer than most of his contemporaries, and Woody Woodpecker remained a staple of Universal's release schedule until 1972, when Lantz finally closed down his studio. The character has been revived since then for special productions and occasions as well as for The New Woody Woodpecker Show, a late 1990s/early 2000s Fox Network Saturday-morning cartoon television series that featured prolific voice actor Billy West as Woody.

Woody Woodpecker cartoons were first broadcast on television in 1957 under the title The Woody Woodpecker Show, which featured Lantz cartoons bookended by new footage of Woody and live-action footage of Lantz. Woody has a motion picture star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 7000 Hollywood Boulevard. He also made a cameo appearance alongside many other famous cartoon characters in the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Like Mickey Mouse of The Walt Disney Company and Bugs Bunny of WarnerMedia, Woody Woodpecker is the official mascot of Comcast-Universal. Woody and his friends are also icons at the Universal Studios Theme Parks worldwide, as well as the PortAventura Park in the PortAventura World, Salou, Spain (they were originally brought to the park by Universal Studios, and remain there today despite Universal no longer having a financial stake in the park).

Trivia

  • Woody Woodpecker looks like actress Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara from the movie Gone with the Wind (1939) Selznick International Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Warner Bros. (classic films of 1939)

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