Friday 15 August 2014

What Was That, Mighty Mouse?

How’s this for a “what the...” gag in a Terrytoon?

Mighty Mouse pulls two guns (isn’t that bizarre enough already?) on two cats. Suddenly, a compartment opens up in one gun and a jack-in-the-box head pops out.

Milton Knight, who knows about these sorts of things, points out this is a piece of Carlo Vinci work. The gag is actually pretty funny but director Eddie Donnelly mis-directs it. The drawing with the top of the gun opening is on two frames, the head is on one frame, and then Donnelly cuts to the close-up. It’s too fast to register; the close-up comes out of nowhere and looks like another cartoon has been spliced into the reel.

There’s some fine animation by Vinci earlier in the picture of a dancing seductress mouse that can stack up against anyone’s work. It’s beautifully timed.

Thanks to Milt Knight for posting the cartoon. Oh, if you’re wondering, Mighty Mouse beats up the cats.


  1. The "dancing mouse" was recycled (again) from "The Sultan's Birthday" (1944), one of Paul Terry's favorite animated sequences- also used in "The Trojan Horse" (1946).

  2. Hey, I pointed out this moment on FB as a dizzying childhood memory when I posted the video. As far as I'm concerned, it's perfect! Anyway, I oughta get some credit for pointing it out after 70 years.
    I don't hang on to many things I loved as a child, but this is forever. The virtues of Jim Tyer's shootout need not be stated, and I was especially wowed by the bizarre surprise in Carlo Vinci's "gun matching" scene.
    "As a kid, before home videos, I had to keep memories of this one in my head through the school day so I could attempt to reproduce the "feel" in still drawings at home. Animation like this is not just made up of "funny" and "cool" drawings; it has to be expertly timed to "read" at all. They all knew their stuff (not just the "stars" of the studio)."

  3. What's the title of the cartoon?

    1. Law & Order.