When Warner Bros. created the Merrie Melodies series, they needed a character to be the star.
It may appear that Foxy was a rip-off of Mickey Mouse, but that is not true. In 1925, Hugh Harman, who was working for Walt Disney at the time, along with Ising drew some mice. These mice were later used by Disney and Ub Iwerks to create Mickey Mouse. Harman figured that since he made the original drawings, it was perfectly acceptable for him and Ising to create a character based upon them. And so, Foxy was born.
Foxy debuted in 1931 in the short, Lady Play Your Mandolin. He would appear in two more shorts, Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! and One More Time, before being retired; in fact, he was killed off in his last short.
Foxy would be brought back to life in 1990s in the show Tiny Toons Adventures, where he and his previously unnamed girlfriend, who is now called Roxy, are, along with another largely forgotten early Warner Bros. cartoon character, Goopy Geer (whom I will talk about in a future post) live in the black-and-white part of Acme Acres. They have been long forgotten over many decades, and so, Babs Bunny and Buster Bunny decide to give them another taste of the spotlight.
Foxy has lived on in home media releases and even on television. In 2000, Cartoon Network aired a special hour-long episode of their documentary series ToonHeads called The Lost Cartoons, which featured pieces of Warner Bros. animation that either had been rarely seen, if at all, since their original releases, or had never been seen by the public at all. This special featured Lady, Play Your Mandolin! and it was later released on the first volume of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection.