NAME: Pepe Le Pew
BIRTHDATE: January 6, 1945
Mission: To win ze love of ze female "skunk"
CREATOR: originally it was Michael Maltese, then Charles (Chuck) Jones
FIRST APPEARED: 1945's Odor-Able Kitty
Pepe is a suave French Skunk, oozes amour and is ready to run after every female of his kind that crosses his path. In the tradition of a great French lover, he believes that he is totally irresistible. But there are occasional setbacks, which will never daunt him; the problem is only the timidity of his overwhelmed partner. But little does he know that his scent is so offensive that his presence evacuates buildings, much less that he uniformly traumatizes those he would woo. Love may be blind, but there are other senses to consider. Yet, Pepe Le Pew, holds a special charm for his director, Chuck Jones. After Pepe had originally been conceived by Michael Maltese. his essence would take years before he would be fined tuned. A close forerunner of the character had its debut in Jones' 1945 "Odor-able Kitty." In "Odor-able Kitty" a orange tomcat who grows tired of the world's abuses (from boots and bulldogs and the like) decides to disguise himself as a skunk to achieve some solitude; with the help of some white paint, black paint, Limburger, onions, and garlic. But soon enough a real Pepe catches his scent and leaps upon him and pants with, French coos, and caresses, showing him that there are worse alternatives than the life he had known. But at the end of the cartoon, Pepe turns out to have kids and a wife (a wife with a rolling pin). Two years would pass before Chuck Jones worked with the character again. Pepe's name was derived from that of Pepe Le Moko, a character played by Charles Boyer in the gurgly love-classic Algiers. But the skunk's unctuous accent, was patterned not only on Boyer, but on all the French actors. " In particular, Jones had the sound of Maurice Chevalier in his ear when he worked with Mel Blanc on developing Pepe fetid Franglias. Another ingredient in the Le Pew series is the structure of the love-struck chase; the panicky cat who frantically scrambles away as a smiling Pepe hops along with leisurely aplomb, and for Jones, the Pepe series would have another distinguishing feature. While the history of animation is indeed clogged with chase cartoons - cat and mouse, cat and canary, Road Runner and Coyote - they usually had one thing in common. "It was a matter of eating somebody, but for Pepe he was unique in that he was after that cat, well, for love"
Scent-imental Over You
WRITTEN: May 8 1947 BY LT Chuck Jones
MAIN STARS: Pepe Le Pew
All the fancy dogs except a little female Mexican hairless are sporting new coats. After trying on the furs on her owner, she finally glues on one that fits - a skunk fur. She tries to join the other dogs, but they all run from her. Crying, she attracts the attention of Pepe Le Pew, who chases her all over the city. Eventually, she tires of the chase, and Pepe brings her to his tree home (mailbox reads "Stinky"). She reveals that she is just a little dog. Pepe is delighted, "I too am zee canine!" As they embrace, Pepe reveals to us that he's really a skunk after all.
Odor of the Day
WRITTEN: October 2 1948 BY LT Arthur Davis
MAIN STARS: Pepe
It's snowing and a homeless dog is looking for a place to sleep. He takes shelter in a doghouse, eagle's nest and a turtle's shell, which he gets thrown out of them. Finally the dog finds a house with a real bed. Pepe Le Pew walks in and climbs under the covers to sleep. The dog smells something, sees the skunk, holds his nose, and throws the stinker out. When he returns to bed, Pepe is there again. The dog puts a clothespin on his nose and attacks the skunk, fighting with him under the bed. They chase each other outside. The dogs falls into frozen water, Pepe chops him out of the ice, and snow the dog has a cold and can't smell. He locks Pepe out and returns to his sleep. Pepe throws a brick through the window with a note. "Colds can be fatal, get help now!" The dog calls for a doctor, and Pepe arrives in disguise. He puts the pooch in a washing machine, and hangs him out to dry. It actually cures the cold! Smelling the skunk, the dog runs from the house, lands in the lake, and catches cold again. The dog sprays Pepe with perfume, causing Pepe to run from the house. He falls in the lake, catches a cold as well. Unable to smell each other, they give up and sleep together. There is no dialogue in this film, except for a mutual "Gesundtheit" at the end.
For Scent-imental Reasons
WRITTEN: November 12 1949 BY LT Chuck Jones
MAIN STARS: Pepe
Pepe Le Pew is in a perfume shop sniffing the various scents. The shopkeeper runs in horror and recruits a female cat to lure the skunk out of the shop. She tosses the cat inside, and a bottle of dye falls over, painting a white stripe down the cat's back. Pepe pursues the cat, intent on making love. The frightened cat hides in a glass case. Pepe pretends to shoot himself. The cat runs out, concerned. Pepe peers over the transom, boasting, "I am zee locksmith of love!" and chases the cat out the window. She falls into a water bucket, and he plops into a can of blue paint. The paint blocks his smell, and, thinking Pepe is a fellow feline, the cat falls in love with Pepe and chases the skunk. Running in horror, Pepe declares, "You know, it is possible to be too attractive!"