HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Horror Crowd, The
Matthias & Maxime
Bullet for the President, A
Constant Husband, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
   
 
  Mouse and his Child, The What It Feels Like For A Toy
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, AdventureBuy from Amazon
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 4131 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: