A mouse and his boss pose as dogcatchers and grab a schoolhouse full of dogs; they use several other ruses to round up dogs for, as we discover, a sausage factory. Alice and Julius are on ... See full summary »

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Margie Gay ...
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A mouse and his boss pose as dogcatchers and grab a schoolhouse full of dogs; they use several other ruses to round up dogs for, as we discover, a sausage factory. Alice and Julius are on the trail soon after the first caper, but it takes them a while to catch up with the bad guys. They do, and Julius tricks the big boss into getting clobbered by the sausage guy, then turns the dogs loose on him. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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15 February 1926 (USA)  »

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Very Twisted
10 September 2006 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

Contrary to popular belief Walt Disney's first sustained character was neither Oswald the Rabbit nor Mickey Mouse. It was a six-year old real life girl named Alice. While working for an advertising agency in Kansas City Walt experimented with stop-action animation in his spare time. Borrowing an idea from Max and Dave Fleischer's "Out of the Inkwell" series; which superimposed animated figures on real film backgrounds. Disney reversed this and superimposed a young actress (originally Virginia Davis) on an animated background. Eventually there would be 56 Alice cartoons.

By the time of "Alice's Mysterious Mystery", Margie Gay had replaced Virginia over a pay dispute. To disguise this change, Disney eliminated tight shots of the live character and went entirely with wide shots. The economics of the animation business had begun to dictate quality and quantity; meaning the stories were cut to one reel (six minutes) and the animation far less elaborate. In spite of this the characters in "Alice's Mysterious Mystery" still convey some personality and you realize that little has really improved in cartoons since the silent days.

"Alice's Mysterious Mystery" is about as bizarre a story as you are likely to find. A mouse (not Mickey) and a bear supply a sausage factory with dog meat; first they pose as dogcatchers and capture a schoolhouse of puppies, then an attractive female dog lures male dogs to the factory window where the cat and bear open a trapdoor which whisks them into the basement. A helper down there hits them with a mallet and deposits them in cells. Then he takes them into a killing room and presumably stuffs them into sausage skins (I'm not joking-this really happens).

Adding to the surreal quality of the thing are the Ku Klux Klan hoods and robes worn by the bear, mouse, and the basement henchman. Alice and Julius the Cat eventually save the day but not for those who have already been made into sausage.

This one will leave you amazed about what mainstream theater patrons in mid-twenties found entertaining.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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