The Country Mouse

“It looks bad for the challenger!”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Don Williams and Jack Carr; Musical Score by Bernard Brown. A Merrie Melody released on July 13, 1935.

Somewhere in the country, is a mouse named Elmer. He’s the local hero amongst his circle of friends, including Beans and Mickey Pig. He may be a mouse, but he’s quite muscular. (And his muzzle sometimes changes from beige to brown.) And he’s got a goal of someday going to the city and becoming a very successful fighter. But right now, his grandma has other plans: chores.

Muscular is probably the mice’s actual last name. Elmer doesn’t chop down trees, he uproots them. Then he slices them into boards as easily as a razor blade through crisco. Granny is not impressed. She’s the type of hard-working, hard-smoking, hard-chewing grandmother, and she doesn’t uproot trees, she punches them down. And when she hears what her grandson is planning to do with this life, she drags him home by the ear. If he can’t stand up against his kin, what chance would he have in the city?

But his mind is made up, and he leaves in the dead of night. He must have pretty good connections, because it looks like he’s been booked into the ring the very next day. (I suppose time could have passed, but I figure Grandma would have tracked him down by then.) This is a pretty important fight too. It’s the “championship of the world!”. And the announcer is a… desman, I think? (Look them up. You might agree with me.) Elmer is going by “The Hickville Threat.” (Which is either the wimpiest name I’ve ever heard, or just the worst.) His opponent is a bulldog that is known as “The Run-some Bulldog.”

The fight begins and Elmer isn’t as outclassed as some other guys I’ve seen. He manages to get in a few good punches. But you can’t beat the champ, because he’s the champ, and Elmer gets himself a good beating. Back at home, Granny worriedly listens to his exploits on the radio. Deciding that she can’t stands no more, she makes like a biker mouse from Mars and bikes all the way to the city.

The crowd is loving the violence. (It’s the spastic monkey in the back and the drunk bonobo in the front that make it for me.) Just as it looks like Elmer has lost, Granny enters the ring. She takes the champ out with one punch, and is declared the winner. Nice crown. Elmer got something out of it too: a couple of black eyes. And I don’t mean what you’re thinking, his sclera is ebony! For running away from home, Granny punishes him in the most humiliating way she can: a spanking in front of a crowd of thousands. At least he’ll be famous now.

Favorite Part: Elmer is recovering in his corner, aided by a pig trying to bring him to. It works, but the pig wasn’t done playing the hero, and punches him back out.

Personal  Rating: 3

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