Woody Woodpecker first appeared in an Andy Pada cartoon called Knock, Knock (released on November 25, 1940). He was created by Walter Lantz and his artists in an attempt to provide a foil for Andy. The woodpecker was garish in designa blue back, red front, yellow beak and feet, and purple/green eyes. He was hyperactive and sometimes violent. His popularity in the Andy Panda cartoon led to his own cartoons, the first being Woody Woodpecker (released on July 7, 1941).
Woody eventually evolved into a cute mischief-making character. As the character shifted to television, the quality of the art and the story lines diminished. Lantz released his last Woody cartoons in 1972.
The Woody Woodpecker Song, the theme for the cartoons, is the only song from an animated cartoon to be nominated for an Academy Award (It lost to Buttons and Bows, 1948).