HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
   
 
Newest Articles
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
   
 
  Mouse and his Child, The What It Feels Like For A ToyBuy this film here.
Year: 1977
Director: Charles Swenson, Fred Wolf
Stars: Peter Ustinov, Cloris Leachman, Sally Kellerman, Andy Devine, Alan Barzman, Marcy Swenson, Neville Brand, Regis Cordic, Joan Gerber, Bob Holt, Mel Leven, Maitzi Morgan, John Carradine
Genre: Animated, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: A toyshop in winter, and the clockwork figures of a Mouse (Alan Barzman) and his Child (Marcy Swenson) are sitting in the window where a tramp (John Carradine) and his pet dog wander past, briefly entranced by the sight of them spinning in circles. But as the lights go out and the owner shuts up shop, the toys spring to life when the clock strikes midnight, dancing and singing. The Mouse and his Child are worried about this, being new here, but the Child likes the look of the Seal (Sally Kellerman) and the Elephant (Joan Gerber) and is willing to stay with them until - oh dear - they fall off their ledge to the floor below...

Russell Hoban's novel that this was drawn from is considered a minor classic of children's literature, so it's natural that someone would want to turn it into a film: a cartoon, at that. However, when directors Charles Swenson and Fred Wolf, working from a script by Carol Monpere, presented their film to the world, the response was, as is is so often with such things, "It's not the same as the book" and the overall feeling was that the philosophising of the original had been toned down to a more contrived "happy ever after" style of fairy tale.

But try telling that to the kids of the day who say this, probably on television, whom this film deeply impressed. Either because they were enchanted, or because they were disturbed by it: there's plenty of violence on display and not in a Tom and Jerry manner. Once the Mouse and his Child, who seem forever joined together at the paws, were thrown away into the garbage, they ended up at the dump and encountered that tramp once more, but only fleetingly as they are soon whisked away by Manny the Rat (volubly performed by Peter Ustinov).

Manny is the villain of the piece and sets toys to work in his rat empire, collecting food for him and his underlings and the Mouse and his Child are soon put to work. However, these two will soon prove to be Manny's undoing as their need to get to a safe place, and just as importantly not be reliant on others to wind them up so they can move about, outweighs any slavery they might find themselves under. They escape and seek out the Muskrat, (Bob Holt), a mechanical genius who can make them self-winding as he did previous toys who came to him.

The philosophy is there, but it's muted by what appear to be more conventional cartoon baddies versus goodies clich├ęs, with the look after your friends, follow your dreams, kind of thing mixed in. Every so often something verging on the cosmic will intrude, such as when the Child contemplates the infinite via a picture on a can of dog food, but this merely serves to confuse matters. Then there's the brutality, which even has our heroes smashed to bits by the vengeful Manny - they are repaired, but it's a scene to make you ponder. Nostalgia is a powerful force, and there are many with fond memories of this film, but it's a curious mishmash overall, well animated yet not entirely satisfying, whether you have read the book or not. The sense that there's a lot going on underneath the surface lingers, however, a need to find meaning in it all. Music by Roger Kellaway.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3438 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (3)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: