Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Mystery Mouse

A mysterious little girl mouse flashes on the screen for one frame in Robinson Crusoe Jr., a less-than-inspiring effort by director Norm McCabe.

Who is it? We soon see. It’s “Snooks.” Writer Mel Millar tosses in a bunch of gratuitous network radio references.

This scene has Daddy (Mel Blanc) telling “Snooks” (Sara Berner) they must get off the ship. “Why, daddy?” asks Snooks, exactly in the manner of Baby Snooks on Fanny Brice’s popular NBC show. The answer is a parody of a line from the movie You Can’t Take It With You : “Well, confidentially, it sinks.”

The radio references aren’t over. When the ship shoves off, Porky emulates Kate Smith by waving “So long, everybody.” Friday has Rochester’s voice, while a parrot is waiting for the $64 question like the contestants on Take It Or Leave It. Incidentally, if you want to learn more about old radio references, E.O. Costello’s “Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion” is still on line. It’s been around since the days of Lynx and other DOS-based web browsers. Confidentially, it doesn’t...well, you know.

Vive Risto is credited on screen with animation; John Carey and Izzy Ellis are here, too. The backgrounds are by Dick Thomas; they have the same scratchy grass that he painted at Hanna-Barbera years later.


  1. Mel accompanying Mel while dueting with Mel on "Java Jive" (as Porky, the turtle and Rochester/Friday) is pretty much the highlight of McCabe's first solo effort. I was surprised the number wasn't picked up for one of the CD compilations of Warners cartoon music, since the music from "Clean Pastures" and "Isle of Pingo-Pongo" ended up on those CDs.

  2. Many thanks for the plug. I'd have done things quite differently had I had access to Wikipedia-like tools. There's also a raft of information that's come out in recent years that I wish had been around in my days. It makes me feel like an old-timer. Or The Old-Timer. "T'aint the way I heerd it, Johnny!"