- “D'oh! Stupid, worthless creatures! I am sick and tired of making minuscule profits.”
- ―Mrs. Tweedy
Mrs. Tweedy is an extremely greedy, selfish, hot-tempered, intimidating, ruthless, raging, devious, manipulative, abusive and cold-hearted woman who only uses chickens to get money, which she and her husband are very low on. She is also highly ambitious, with lofty aspirations of increasing her own wealth, and possesses a notable sardonic wit. She is always looking for a chance to bully Mr. Tweedy and the chickens, and despite her nastiness, she does show cleverness at times — she is the one who comes up with the idea of buying a pie machine to use to make more profit from the chickens. She also shows impatience with her husband, shown when she is contemplating buying the Pie Machine, and when the Pie Machine is broken. It is also demonstrated that she and her husband disagree on many things—when Mr. Tweedy is attacked by the chickens he calls to her, "The chickens are revolting!" and she, doing other things at the time, says to herself, "Finally, something we agree on." However, she didn't know he didn't mean revolt in the context she was thinking of. She is also shown to be an extremely sadistic woman who has shown to take great pleasure with the idea of murdering the chickens, displayed with the evil smile she gave to the chickens she selected for slaughter during Roll Call right before they were killed. She's physically and verbally abusive toward her husband, hitting him with clipboards, throwing a hot pie into his face, and literally kicking his butt when he didn't repair the pie machine properly, and her abuse possibly extends towards her dogs, as they are shown to be afraid of her. She also has a curious habit of never calling her husband by his first name, Willard, though this was not uncommon in rural Yorkshire at the time. The only clear reasons she has to marry Mr. Tweedy is his farm, though she did also pinch his butt, suggesting she at least is attracted to him, physically. Her Achilles' Heel was her inflexibility, her sometimes rash decision-making, and narrow-mindedness, as her coldly logical mindset meant she overlooked the chicken's ingenuity, and when she attacked the aircraft, it'd crash and take her down with it, had she successfully killed all the chickens and rats onboard. As with most psychopaths, she excelled at putting on facades, and manipulating others, as she retained a cordial veneer, as a sweet farmer's wife, when she talked to Rocky's owner, and the public image she created was a rosy-cheeked, sweet woman.
Role in the film
Circa. 1959, Ginger the chicken attempts to escape from the Tweedy's farm in Yorkshire, England. However, she is caught by Mr. Tweedy and is put in a coal bin after Mrs. Tweedy tells her husband to take care of Ginger. Mrs. Tweedy discovers with great frustration that profits are constantly going down due to the small amount of eggs they have, presumably due to the chickens' multiple attempts to escape. Her husband Mr. Tweedy correctly suspects the chickens are "up to something" due to their attempts to escape, but Mrs. Tweedy brushes this off, believing that they (apart from Mr. Tweedy) are the most stupid creatures on the planet. She orders a chicken pie making machine after seeing an ad for the machine, believing it would increase her profit tenfold.
After setting up the machine, Mrs. Tweedy and her husband attempt to kill Ginger in their machine in order to test it, but are thwarted when a visiting American rooster named Rocky rescues her and clogs the gravy sprayer, almost destroying the machine. The chickens begin to prepare their ultimate escape plan: creating an aeroplane out of their sheds to fly off the farm. In the meantime, Mrs. Tweedy forces Mr. Tweedy to fix the machine. After the repairs are done, Mrs. Tweedy tells Mr. Tweedy to fetch all the chickens. However, Mr. Tweedy finds out that most of his tools were stolen for the chickens' plan, but he is attacked by the chickens and tied up. He attempts to warn Mrs. Tweedy about this, but she ignores him, unaware of what's going on. Just as Ginger is about to set up the ramp to help the aeroplane fly off, Mrs. Tweedy tries to stop her with her axe, finally seeing what's really going on. Fortunately, Rocky (who left until he saw an advertisement for Mrs. Tweedy's Chicken Pies) returns and uses his bike to knock Mrs. Tweedy unconscious, accidentally throwing the axe in the air. Mrs. Tweedy comes to and sees the axe falling towards her and land right next to her neck, making her pass out again from relief. With Mrs. Tweedy knocked out, Rocky and Ginger set the ramp before escaping with the other chickens in their plane.
Mrs. Tweedy then wakes up again and goes off in pursuit of the escaping chickens, now insanely mad, wielding the axe as the chickens are flying in their plane. Ginger tricks Mrs. Tweedy into cutting the rope with her axe, and she lands onto the top of the pie machine, making it explode. At that rate, Mr. Tweedy (who just untied himself) berates his wife for not coming to the fact that the chickens are organised in the first place. This only enrages Mrs. Tweedy who growls at him, but having enough, Mr. Tweedy pushes the doors down on her, finally one-upping his wife.
Mrs. Tweedy wears a burgundy dress with an upright collar, a black brooch at the throat, black muck boots (occasionally) red gloves that go up to her forearms, and sleeves rolled up to her elbows. She has long, dark brunette hair pulled back into a tight bun at the top of her head.
Being a farmswoman, she carries a hatchet that she uses to behead chickens. She manages to wield it surprisingly well in battle. Additionally, she excels as balancing the business, carefully overseeing the profits, and marketing her produce, being the brains behind the operations and leaving most of the physical labour to Mr. Tweedy, though she too, is a tough as nails, athletic, highly coordinated, strong woman, with amazing stamina.
- Mrs. and Mr. Tweedy's last names were presumed named after Tweety from the Looney Tunes. However, it is more likely that they are named after tweed, a material commonly associated with farmer's clothes in the United Kingdom, where the film is set.
- Mrs. Tweedy is similar to Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians: Both are animal haters who yell a lot. They both also have dim-witted henchmen who eventually redeem themselves by standing up to their respective leaders after spending enough time suffering miserably under their respective leaders' abuse, although Mr. Tweedy didn't say something to Mrs. Tweedy after he enraged her. She is also very similar to Hopper from A Bug's Life: Both are ruthless control freaks who take pleasure in torturing and bullying others, have relatives who frequently annoy them, and use fear and intimidation to get their way. They are both outsmarted by their enemies and defeated by another antagonist in the end as well.
- Mrs. Tweedy also resembles Gladys Sharp from Over the Hedge: Both are animal haters, both have one man working with them, and both get annoyed with their henchmen. Both are the main antagonists of their respective DreamWorks films and both want to exterminate the animals in the film to achieve bigger profits.
- Mrs. Tweedy is considered to be one of DreamWorks' most evil villains (along with General Mandible, Lord Shen, Gallaxhar, Dagur the Deranged and Drago Bludvist).
- Both Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy's management on their chicken farm, as well as the chicken farm itself is somewhat equivalent with typical prisons (or rather super-maximum security prisons) for humans in real life than normal real-life chicken farms for the following reasons: Fences around Tweedy's farm are covered with barbed wire in similar manner with real life prisons. It's said that all chickens must lay eggs properly and never attempt to escape or they were punished via either being locked within the coal bin or death penalty via butchering. This is somewhat similar with real-life prisons where all inmates must obey the rules within the prison or receiving severe punishment. Mr. Tweedy's job, along with his hounds in the movie are almost comparable with security guards in real-life prison, while Mrs. Tweedy herself on the other hand, is comparable with prison wardens.
- During the early development of the film, the filmmakers considered to have Mrs. Tweedy as the one who was tied and gagged by the Chickens at the film's climax, but the idea was scrapped and she was replaced by her husband Mr. Tweedy.
- Mrs. Melisha Tweedy is portrayed by Miranda Richardson, Who also portrayed Queen Elizabeth The First in Blackadder, Madame Giry in The Phantom Of The Opera, Rose Arbutnot in Enchanted April, Lady Van Tassel in The Sleepy Hollow and Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter.
- Mrs. Tweedy is the first DreamWorks Animation character to be a female antagonist, followed by Eris from Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.
- "It's a pie machine, you idiot. Chickens go in, pies come out."
- "Chicken pies, you great lummox! Imagine it! In less than a fortnight, every grocer's in the county will be stocked with box upon box of Mrs. Tweedy's Homemade Chicken Pies."
- "They don't plot, they don't scheme, and they are not organized!"
- "What did you do, ya great pudding?!"