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Cartoon Hell #8 – “Spinning Mice”

January 2, 2009

Cartoon Hell is TheKarpuk’s attempt to review every single installment in an awful $5 collection called “150 Classic Cartoons” purchased at his local Wal-Mart. Your prayers are welcome.

As Mice Are Known to Do

As Mice Are Known to Do

This week’s cartoon, “Spinning Mice”, is presented by Walter O. Gutlohn. The name Gutlohn is oddly upsetting, like an unusual disorder where the bowels get twisted up and herniated. I suspect we’ll see more of Mr. Gutlohn and the Gutlohn Consortium, as I have a sneaking suspicion he played a hand in the terrible cartoon “Along Came A Duck”, which I reviewed in a previous entry.

I imagine a nefarious individual like Gutlohn switched ownership and titles to dodge the law many times in order to make as many bad cartoons as possible. My first clue that the two cartoons are connected comes in the form of the live action segment featuring a kid who looks strangely familiar.

Strut You Creepy Weirdo, STRUT!

Strut You Creepy Weirdo, STRUT!

I’ll be damned if that isn’t the kid who yells at the frog at the beginning of “Along Came a Duck”, he even has the same inability to say anything that makes a damn bit of sense. The boy appears like a perverted specter of darkness through blood red curtains wielding a terrifying box of mystery and a lecherous grin no boy should have. The over-ripe technicolor effect lends everything an overly-bright, circus quality.

Now the Hell Will Start

Now the Hell Will Start

I know I sound presumptuous, but when he dumps mice into her doll house a moment later all my assumptions are proven valid. My comment when I witnessed him purge the mice into the toy house sounded something like, “That’s… that’s sick. You sick little shit!” It fired me up more than I expected. That’s an anecdote you normally find in a serial killer’s biography. He’s deliberately infesting a doll house with vermin, and by extension the rest of their home.

Yes, Giggle At The Horror

Yes, Giggle At The Horror

The girl responds positively to the brain-damaged mice spinning in circles through her doll house. Dear actress, your motivation is not delight over your brother filling your home with diseased rodents, it should probably involve screaming.

Through some strange process, the doll house turns regular old mice into wacky, spinning, animated mice. The girl singles out a mouse and accuses it of being funny. The mouse stands up, gets indignant, and gives a rambling explanation I couldn’t understand because of the wretched audio track. I assuming he actually said, “I am the king of cartoons, and here’s a short, miserably boring cartoon I brought just for you!” All said in a dopey baritone, because as we all know, like the holy spirit, the King Of Cartoons can emanate through anybody at anytime.

Our Flavor Wizards Are Working Overtime!

Our Flavor Wizards Are Working Overtime!

We cut to a wizard in his laboratory. Yeah, I thought it was a genius transition too. The wizard sings about nature making mistakes. Cartoon characters can only go so many minutes without breaking into song, otherwise they come down with a disease similar to dysentery. The rest song comes out completely garbled like all the other speech, but I assume he went on to extol the virtues of forced eugenics and labor camps for dissidents. Wizards is not good people.

The product of his next experiment is delicious, bright red Kool Aid.

At this point my brain diverges into a flight of fancy. Since this cartoon reached an audience during the Great Depression, the Kool-Aid Man hadn’t gained his currently bulbous girth. He kicks open the door, since he lacks the strength to burst through a wall.  His liquid lukewarm and only half-full, he yells, “AHOY HOY” in a raspy smoker voice before putting down his bindle and asking the wizard if he has any work.

Back in the real world, something much less interesting transpires. He turns lizards into doves using the Kool-Aid… for some reason. Then a toad into a squirrel. Unless you’re Japanese, I question the usefulness of a potion designed to make animals cuter.

They're Sealed Like A Maker's Mark Bottle

They're Sealed Like A Maker's Mark Bottle

This guy has a whole section of his lab just full of angry animals. He selects a cage of mice and pours the red liquid on them. The mice transform into tiny devils capering around the cage looking for a way to escape. Eventually one bends the bars and the little creatures begin wreaking havoc on the lab.

Knowledge, the Devil's Fuel

Knowledge, the Devil's Fuel

The demons begin making their own formulas and testing them out on themselves. They then dip the wizard into the formula turning him into… a giant rabbit. I think they just made the same damn formula. Not the most sinister act I could imagine.

The Birds, They're Stealing the Shine!

The Birds, They're Stealing the Shine!

The doves created earlier fly down and flip through the same book, because as we all know, doves possess a scholar’s love of the written word. They discover that the cure to all problems resides in a jug of liquid on the top shelf. I think he should market it as “Dr. Stupid Wizard’s Cure-All Supplement”, heals Whistler’s Elbow, Phantom Dread, Midget’s Lament, and Syphilis.

Normally when I ask birds why they’re flying off with a jug of amber liquid, they just chuckle and say they’re going to go “party”. I never know what they mean exactly.

When the birds douse the wizard and the demons with the formula, the demons turn back into mice, but now they spin for some reason. I’m not sure why it matters if the wizard is a rabbit, I can’t imagine he has a lot of social functions where anyone would get all that upset, and everyone likes rabbits.

An End to Thinking

An End to Thinking

The wizard then burns the book like the fascist thug he is and declares his intention to leave well enough alone.

At no point does the cartoon ever come back to deal with the kids who now keep storytelling rodents in their doll house. I hate it when I can feel a more interesting story happening outside the one I’m watching.

UNPC Moment:

Book burning! Not cool man, not cool!

Rating: Humorously Bad

If the short had been longer than five minutes it could have become really painful, but it’s quick enough and weird enough to be merely hilariously stupid.

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3 comments

  1. With audible dialogue, this (still rather weak) cartoon makes sense. When the kids make fun of the mice for running in circles in the dollhouse, the mouse explains that mice naturally “spin” like that—and the kids wouldn’t like animals to do anything that didn’t come naturally, would they?
    This leads to the main story, where the wizard thought he could improve on nature, turning “all ugly things beautiful” and make animals look/act contrary to their nature, which backfired on him.


  2. I just came across your horrible website, mocking and pissing on a classic 30s cartoon. The kids are cute, and yes, the story is creepy, but it was aimed at kids then. Lighten up, idiot! I find these classic cartoons- kinda cute- and so are the kids. (wjo should have played a bigger role!)


    • If, as you point out, I’m mocking this cartoon, it doesn’t really suggest the need to lighten up. And getting enraged a review clearly written for humor sake doesn’t really suggest someone who should be throwing around the insult “idiot” with such reckless abandon.

      Also, you have terrible taste in cartoons. I hope you can learn to accept that.



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