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Woody Woodpecker

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History of Woody Woodpecker
Quick Facts
Supporting Cast
Voice Cast

History of Woody WoodpeckerFew cartoon characters go through as many changes as Woody Woodpecker.  He morphed from an extremely goofy, ugly bird in his early cartoons to cute and clever.  Another change is that in his earlier cartoons, Woody was the antagonist.  When he was made cuter, Woody was the nice guy and his rivals were the troublemakers.  But no matter what, Woody Woodpecker cartoons were great from the beginning, and they just got better as time went on until they stopped production in 1972.

Quick Facts:

Supporting Cast:

Buzz Buzzard- Always a goon or delinquent of some sort, and ALWAYS the troublemaker.

Gabby Gator- This character has one simple motivation:  to catch Woody for supper through trickery.

Mrs. Meany- We all know women like this.  Her function is always to be as unpleasant as possible to Woody.

Splinter & Knothead- Splinter is the woodpecker niece; Knothead is the nephew.  They're always up to mischief.

Wally Walrus- There's just something about a fat Swedish walrus that I find very, very funny.

Voice Cast:

Woody Woodpecker #1- Mel Blanc (1940-1941)...

    Mel Blanc was the first to do Woody's voice.  When he was given an exclusive contract by Warner Bros., he quit Woody.  I love Mel Blanc's work and all his wonderful voices, but as Woody he really didn't offer much.  The voice is goofy, but bland.  It just didn't make Woody interesting.  Blanc was much better as Bugs Bunny, Speedy Gonzalez, and countless other Looney Tunes characters.

    He voiced Woody in these cartoons:  Knock, Knock (1940), Woody Woodpecker (1941), The Screwdriver (1941), and Pantry Panic (1941).

Woody Woodpecker #2- Ben Hardaway (1942-1949)...

    An amusing voice, but not always very coherent.  Many times it's hard to understand what Woody's saying.  But when you can understand him, he IS very funny.  The greatest aspect about Hardaway's Woody voice is that it was lightning-paced and so "in your face".  But the funny sounds that his Woody makes is what's really hilarious.

    Ben voiced Woody from 1942 (The Hollywood Matador) to 1949 (Drooler's Delight).

Woody Woodpecker #3- Grace Stafford (Grace Lantz) (1950-1972) THE BEST WOODY!...

    THE voice of Woody Woodpecker, in my opinion.  It's clearly the cutest of the Woody voices and the easiest to understand.  Grace's Woody is a lot more articulate, not to mention that the character was given more intelligence by this time.  It just works.

    Grace voiced Woody from 1951 (Puny Express) until the very end in 1972 (Bye, Bye Blackboard).  Puny Express was the first regular Woody Woodpecker cartoon for which Grace Stafford worked, but before that, in 1950, she voiced Woody Woodpecker in the obscure science-fiction movie called "Destination Moon".  It is also worth mentioning that Grace Stafford was the wife of Walter Lantz, creator of the famous woodpecker.

Woody Woodpecker #4- Cherry Davis in film, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988)

Woody Woodpecker #5- Billy West (1999-2003)

Wally Walrus #1- Hans Conreid (1944-1948) THE BEST WALLY!
Wally Walrus #2- William Demarest
Wally Walrus #3- Dal McKennon (1953)
Wally Walrus #4- Paul Frees
Wally Walrus #5- Daws Butler in cartoon TV special, "Spook-A-Nanny"
Wally Walrus #6- Billy West (1999-2003)

Buzz Buzzard #1- Lionel Stander
Buzz Buzzard #2- Dal McKennon
Buzz Buzzard #3- Daws Butler in cartoon TV special, "Spook-A-Nanny"
Buzz Buzzard #4- Mark Hamill (1999-2003)