The Night Watchman

“I guess you’ll have to watch the kitchen tonight, son.”

Directed by Charles Jones. (His first in fact) Released in 1938

In Chuck’s directorial debut, our story takes place in a house. There is a cat there, but he is sick tonight. Therefore, his “The Night Watchman” duties will have to be handled by his son. His son looks like some kind of a rodent to me, with his big buck teeth. And he’s kinda clumsy too. He smacks himself when trying to salute. He heads out to perform his job. Geez! He’s tiny! I know he’s a rodent, but he didn’t look much smaller than his father. Maybe the kitchen is giant? Either way, he’s immediately in the company of a mouse. The mouse does the ole “what’s that and flicks his nose” gag and steals one of his buttons. Learning that the regular watchman is sick, he calls his posse and they begin to feast. They eat their way through the food and make some humorous sight gags. Like, starting at one end of a pretzel and eating one’s self into a knot, and getting into a jar of olives and eating them all. (Thus creating your own prison with only an olive jar.) The kid tries to get them to stop, but he’s not very assertive and actually ends up helping prepare a steak for the leader. The mice perform a floor show and this forces the child to yell to get his “quiet” heard. The leader hits him and he walks off in tears. His conscience berates him to for letting his father down and he remembers he’s a cat. (Really? All this time I though he was a gopher. That still doesn’t explain why he’s so small) With newfound courage, he heads back into the fray and pounds every mouse that tries to stand in his way. Before he’s through with them, he is sure to steal a button from the leader. Turnabout is fair play.

Personal Rating: 3

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