HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
   
 
Newest Articles
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy 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 4647 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: