Friday, July 22, 2011

Forgotten Photo Friday,Will the real Woody Woodpecker, please stand up?

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Last Friday’s Forgotten Photos featured an Acorn Woodpecker that I found on Catalina Island in California. Karen from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and author of Down in the Hollow left a comment that jiggled a datum that was sitting in the back of my mind for a long time. When I first saw an Acorn Woodpecker in the late ‘80s, I got the impression that Walter Lantz must have used the Acorn Woodpecker as a model for Woody Woodpecker.Walter_Lantz_1990_photo_D_Ramey_Logan[1]

Looking at the character and the Acorn Woodpecker, one can’t really see the resemblance, but the Pileated just does not have the same personality. I found a couple of credible references, but none that really caught my attention like this audio clip from NPR.


To the right is a picture of a Pileated Woodpecker. I can see the why many would imagine the Pileated as being Woody’s woodpecker. I grew up with these birds in Vermont and never once thought of Woody being a descendent of a Pileated Woodpecker. But first time I saw an Acorn I immediately knew that this was the woodpecker that inspired Walt Lantz. Why? Not so much the looks but the personality and the laugh.


Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I just always thought Woody was a red headed woodpecker.

John said...

Hi Steve,
Lovely photo`s and a lovely blog!
I always just thought that Woody was made up! An invention of an over active mind, as it were!

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

I also thought Woody was a red-headed, but who really knows? I LOVE Woody Woodpecker!

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