Tuesday, January 12, 2010

005 The Owl and the Pussycat

Title: The Owl and the Pussycat
Studio: Terry
Date: 1/13/39
Credits: (none listed on print)
Series: (none listed on print)
Running time (of viewed version): 5:29

Synopsis: Cat named George, tries to marry his ex-girlfriend, an owl, out from under the beak of the milquetoast owl who's trying to get her. He rows away with her to, uh, marriage island, where he totally gets tricked into chasing a mouse so the owls can get married.

Comments: I don't think that title imagery could have existed in 1939... obviously that is from a later time. Second color cartoon of the year; I wouldn't have guessed Terry would have had that honor. Second cat chases a mouse to move the plot along cartoon in a row too. 3 for 5 with cats so far. George sure sounds like Jimmy Durante and shares other traits with Sourpuss. And there's a tiny goose in the inexplicable angry mob who looks a bit like Gandy. At least some sources count this as the first Gandy and Sourpuss cartoon. The BCDB entry for this cartoon claims Farmer Alfalfa is involved; either my copy is deeply clipped or BCDB got it wrong. It is pretty short, but BCDB says the cat should be female... The owls don't seem to be able to fly; a worthwhile tradeoff for sentience. I'm wondering tho if George is uncontrollably attracted to a mouse why the owls wouldn't be too. The cartoon is ugly and muddled looking, but it's pretty well structured. I like George's design, but every other major character looks insufferably intentionally cute. The female is kind of a slut, and she's willing to marry anyone at the drop of a hat apparently (George for his musicianship, the owl for being in the room, apparently). I can't decide if the cartoon has a strong anti-miscegenation message or not. See the screencaps for the Gandy looking goose grabbing what appears to be feces for throwing at George...


  1. Great blog so far. I didn't realize there was a "TV title" print of this cartoon - when Channel 11 in New York ran this cartoon, they had a version with original titles. IMDb lists two directors but I believe Eddie Donnelly was the sole credited director. John Foster was credited with story, as he was with all Terry cartoons through about 1950.

  2. Hi there,
    When I was a kid I had a VHS with this cartoon on it. I think it also had The Three Bears, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Two-Headed Giant, Lion and the Mouse and another one about a boy who goes to the circus.
    Do you have any idea what I may be talking about?
    Tonight I have spent the better part of my evening sourcing these cartoons out - I have only been successful with a couple of them.
    You seem to be an expert - Please help me if you can!!! :)

    1. This is a result of my expert Googling skills, and it seems pretty close; volume 3 had the Two Headed Giant (check the link), but the Amazon links below are closer to your description:

      "Here are the contents of the Terrytoons collections of "Fairy Tale Classics" from Children's Video Library (note the suggested retail price of $29.99 - $39.99 each!)

      VOLUME 2:
      The Owl and the Pussycat
      The Three Bears
      Aesop's Fable of the Tiger King
      Beanstalk Jack
      Foiling the Fox
      The Lion and the Mouse"

      Also note the two separate entries on Amazon list v1 as having the mix you talk about: