The Sad Little Guinea Pigs (1938)
Article 6057 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Manny Gould and Ben Harrison
No voice actors
What it is: More than a little unsettling
A mad scientist tries out his new tonics on three terrified guinea pigs.
Heaven knows what this nightmarish cartoon’s reputation would be if it were better known and not a forgotten Columbia cartoon. Certainly, animal activists would be appalled, though it would certainly be useful to them from a propagandistic standpoint. It’s basically a mad scientist subjecting his guinea pigs to his various sick-looking tonics (each of which seem to contain a mutant creature) and watching their bodies mutate and contort. No, it’s not whimsically amusing; it’s sheer nightmare, and the fact that the scientist gets a comeuppance at the end doesn’t quite make up for the nastiness. And, lest we forget, this is a children’s cartoon, and no doubt someone somewhere considered it a funny idea. Perhaps obscurity is the best place for this one.