Saturday, March 13, 2010

034 Little Tough Mice

Title: Little Tough Mice (The Little Tough Mice on the reissue titles; Willie Mouse Baby Face Battler on Castle FIlms version)
Studio: Lantz
Date: 3/13/39
Alex Lovy
Story ... Vic McLeod
Music ... Frank Marsales
Dick Marion ... Ralph Somerville
Running time (of viewed version): 6:52

Synopsis: Three tough mice fake befriending Babyface Mouse to get his groceries, but popcorn ends up bringing their criminal operation down.

Comments: The popcorn isn't the only movie theater reference; there's also a bit where Babyface throws some limburger cheese, and it goes into the theater watching the movie, where a man complains about it. And then there's a mention of a dead end street, almost certainly a reference to the Dead End kids, who were a couple of years into a decades long run of movie making (an altered version of the group would end up as the later Bowery Boys), including several of them showing up in Angels With Dirty Faces. The lack of background gags is surprising; there are many opportunities for joke placements in backgrounds, but they are roundly untaken here. The film peters out visually in the last third. There's tremendous reuse of backgrounds (facilitated by Babyface walking to the store and back again).

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