Chilly Willy Shirts!
There's something about a cute little cartoon penguin-- whose main goal is to get warm--that is appealing to young and old alike. Perhaps that's why Chilly Willy is quite possibly the most famous penguin in cartoon history.
Willy was the creation of Walter Lantz, a well-known animator of the 1940's and 50's, and originator of the famous Woody Woodpecker cartoons. He first appeared in a self-titled cartoon in 1953, under the direction of Alex Lovy (who went on to work as a director for Hanna Barbera cartoons). While the cartoon s concept was good, and the potential was there, something just seemed to be missing. It was then that Tex Avery, creator of Droopy Dog and Daffy Duck, came to work with Lantz on the project.
With Avery's added touch, a second Chilly Willy cartoon, I m Cold, yielded a much better viewer response than the preceding. A while later, a third cartoon, The Legend of Rockabye Point was produced, and was even nominated for an Academy Award. Soon enough, Chilly Willy became quite well-known in the cartoon industry. Avery and Lantz parted ways not long after the release of The Legend of Rockabye Point, but that didn't stop the penguin from appearing in several more stories. Chilly Willy cartoons continued to be produced through 1972, and he even made a few comic book appearances.
These days, you can still find Chilly Willy on television once in a while, his most recent animated appearance being in 1999's Woody Woodpecker show. Even more recently, Chilly Willy can be found on various clothing items, including t-shirts and pajamas. This proves that the little arctic bird has definitely made his mark in cartoon history.