A scene for MOUSE WRECKERS, directed by Chuck Jones for Warner Bros.

Mouse Wreckers (1948, Chuck Jones)

I have some not insignificant problems with Mouse Wreckers.

First, the cartoon is almost entirely beautiful. Great backgrounds, great talking mice, almost everything. Except the mice’s victim, a cat. The animation on the cat is fine, but the design of the cat itself is awful. It frequently disrupts otherwise fine shots.

Second, the cat’s innocent. The mice go after him because he’s got awards for mouse catching. The cartoon never shows it. In fact, the cartoon shows the cat to be stupid and lovable. He drinks too much catnip, who wouldn’t love a cat like him….

For the first half, the gags the mice pull to get the cat to leave the house are weak. Wreckers is more interesting, during those scenes, in terms of the great animation on the mouse’s pulley.

But the final gag is fantastic. It saves the cartoon, probably because it’s the longest gag as well.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Chuck Jones; written by Michael Maltese; animated by Ken Harris, Phil Monroe, Lloyd Vaughan and Ben Washam; edited by Treg Brown; music by Carl W. Stalling; produced by Edward Selzer; released by Warner Bros.

Starring Mel Blanc (Hubie / Claude) and Stan Freberg (Bertie).


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