Kiddin’ the Kitten

“Here comes trouble for Dodsworth.”

Directed by Robert McKimson. Released in 1952

This short begins with a lady freaking out over some mice. (Come on, really? I still refuse that any woman in the history of ever, has freaked out like this over a mouse) The mice mock her, and rightfully so. If she’s going to act like this, she deserves to be ridiculed. Of course, maybe if her cat actually caught mice, she might be a little more sane. The cat, (Dodsworth. Interesting name) would rather just lie about eating sardines. The mice don’t fear him in the slightest and take one of his snacks for their own. The woman tells the cat to cat-ch them, (heh-heh) or he’s out. Work is not something he’s too keen on. Apparently no one in his family had to stoop to such lows. He just needs someone to do it for him. With that idea in mind, he puts a sign outside claiming it’s a school of mousing. (M.U. we’ll call it) Almost right away, he’s got someone interested. A little kitten that actually is pretty cute. (Maybe in part, because I think it looks more like a dog than anything.) Despite the bow, Dodsworth refers to it as a male, so I guess I have no choice. (But I’m still going to give it the genderly ambiguous name of Riley.) His teaching method is that experience is all you need. He hooks Riley to a fishing hook and tells him to tug when he’s caught one. The kitten is cast into the kitchen. The mice are not scared. (Why should they be? In a house where potential dangers either laze about or act hysterical…) but Riley gives chase regardless, cornering one into a hole. He puts some cheese on his middle finger and the now dazed mouse takes it. Riley then flicks his finger, (or toe I suppose) on to the mouse’s head knocking him out. Now back with the teacher, he learns that getting one mouse at a time is not good enough, and he’s cast out again. So he gets a big wheel of cheese and fills it with ball bearings. (Why were they in the fridge?) The mice either don’t chew their food, or they just possess the strongest teeth of all rodents and gobble it down. Riley tugs back on the line and when he’s pulled back, uses a magnet to attract them all to him. Hearing his lady approaching, Dodsworth quickly gives him a diploma and shoos him out. Walking to the cage of mice, he takes credit for the work. I guess Riley figured it was weird to be rushed out so fast, as he came back to witness the whole thing. In retalliation, he lets all the mice go. The woman acts pathetic again, and Dodsworth is bound and gagged. Riley then chases them all out saving the day. Later, Dodsworth has apparently been kicked out, as Riley now occupys his bed and his name has been crossed out. But I think he should have kept the name. It suits him now that he has adopted Dodsworth’s habits. Seeing this, the mice come back and pick up where they left off. Riley-sworth quotes the original, “One of these day’s I’m going to have to buy myself a mousetrap.”

Personal Rating: 3

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