THE MOUSE-MERIZED CAT (1946)
Article 5340 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Robert McKimson
Featuring the voice of Mel Blanc
What it is: Warner Brothers cartoon
In order to get some food, Babbit hypnotizes Catstello into thinking he’s a dog.
Thinly-disguised Abbott and Costello knock-offs Babbit and Catstello first appeared in A TALE OF TWO KITTIES (the cartoon that first introduced Tweety to the world) as cats; here they are again, only they’ve been transmogrified into mice. The title is a bit deceptive; though the cat does eventually get hypnotized, by and large it is the mouse Catstello that suffers that indignity here. This one is pretty good for a Robert McKimson cartoon. Most of McKimson’s cartoons suffer in comparison the Jones and Freleng cartoons largely because his cartoons suffered a bit from being overly talky; here that problem is kept to a minimum. A few celebrity parodies appear as well; Catstello is hypnotized into doing imitations of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Durante; apparently, in the original cartoon he also did Rochester from “The Jack Benny Show”, but that’s missing from the print I saw, no doubt because of the racial stereotype. The best moment has Catstello under assault by the hypnotic powers of both Babbit and the cat. This would be the last appearance of this duo other than as cameos in much later projects.