When the Cat's Away (1929) Poster

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I wish the cat would come back
MissSimonetta12 March 2013
While the very sound alone would have entertained an audience back in 1929, "When the Cat's Away" proves to be a rather dull affair in this day and age. Not that it isn't cute or doesn't have good gags, but this is one of those cartoons without any story or real character to it, and the gags alone are not so hilarious as to keep it entirely afloat. It's a mild diversion while it lasts, but it certainly does not merit a repeat viewing.

(PS Am I the only one who finds it weird that only Mickey and Minnie wear clothes and not the other mice? I know it's a cartoon, but I just find that so odd!)
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Okay, but not one of my favorites
Coolguy-730 June 2000
This Mickey Mouse cartoon is quite different than the others. Instead of being more human-size, Mickey and Minnie are the size of regular mice. After Tom Cat left to go hunting, Mickey, Minnie, and their mice friends go inside and play music. One funny gag was where a mouse used another mouse as a record player while another put a funnel in his mouth and placed his tail on the record (ala a needle). Out came the tune "Kingdom Coming." This is a rarely seen cartoon and the version on the Disney Channel is censored (a scene of Tom Cat drinking at the beginning of the short). There really wasn't much action to it, but it was okay.
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The Cat and Story Are Away
Michael_Elliott21 July 2015
When the Cat's Away (1929)

** (out of 4)

Tom Cat goes away for a night of drinking, which means Mickey and his mouse friends can go into the house and play with a variety of musical instruments. WHEN THE CAT'S AWAY is hands down the least entertaining short in the Mickey Mouse series up to this point. While there are a few cute moments scattered around, the overall feel of the film just makes you think that Walt Disney was in a rush to get something into theaters so this was thrown together. I say that because there's really nothing too funny here as we see Mickey and his friends playing music and that's it. Heck, you'd think that for some adventure or fun that Tom Cat would come back and catch them but that never happens. The score is nice and the animation is good but there's just not too much here.
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A plot less wonder!
Robert Reynolds12 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This is an early Disney short featuring Mickey Mouse. there will be spoilers ahead:

Like a number of the other early Mickey Mouse shorts, story isn't terribly notable here. This one truly has no plot to speak of, to be frank. It has some nice animation and some really great visual gags, but it's basically music and gags strung together for a bit less than seven minutes. I suspect this short goes a long way towards explaining just why Ub Iwerks came a cropper when he separated from Disney to run his own studio. Plots weren't all that significant in his shorts.

The cat leaves to go hunting for the day, downing a jug of moonshine before he leaves. A shotgun and a drunken cat might have been interesting to watch in itself, but we get mice cavorting in the cat's home. Mice are utilized in a few innovative ways, as keys, phonographs and so on. Mickey and Minnie dance across piano keys as normal sized mice for a change.

One correction to an error in another comment here. Some of the other mice are, indeed, wearing clothes, shorts in most cases and all of them wear shoes.

This short is available on the Mickey Mouse In Black and White, Volume Two Disney Treasures DVD set and the set is worth tracking down.
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Not a whole lot to this one.
MartinHafer24 November 2013
Note: The title music to this short is missing and is so noted on the DVD from "Walt Disney Treasures - Mickey Mouse in Black and White, Volume Two".

There is very little in the way of plot to "When the Cat's Away" and the title pretty much is the film. The cat's gone and in his absence, the mice run amok in the home--dancing about and enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, there's nothing more to the plot and the wonderful, plucky Mickey Mouse you see in such wonderful shorts as "Steamboat Willie" is just another mouse running about and having fun. While this is not a terrible film, it's definitely among the worst of the early ones and is no better than films of the competition--and in some cases, a bit worse. Easy to skip unless you are a die-hard fan of Disney animation.
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Has some good moments, but nothing all that special at the end of the day
TheLittleSongbird28 July 2012
When the Cat's Away is not among Disney's worst cartoons but also not among their best either. Starting with what I didn't like so much, the story is practically non-existent, and seemed more an excuse to run interlude after interlude, that gets tiresome after a while. The animation is not bad actually, but nothing really stands out, other Mickey cartoons showed things like Mickey's frustration etched in his features that made you feel for him, but there isn't much of that here. There are also times where you felt the quality of the backgrounds could have been smoother. The cat is not really a compelling character either, the rats and Mickey and Minnie are far more likable and developed, for a title character the cat seemed just there, making his role pointless. It was almost as if the cartoon was meant to be another idea that was dropped. The music score is also not bad, it is energetic and characterful but it has been more subtly used before, here there are occasions where it is somewhat crude. On the other hand, Mickey and Minnie are both likable characters, and their friends are equally sweet. There are some good gags as well, the best three being the Kingdom Coming gag with the rats turning themselves into a record player, Mickey using one of the rats as a key to unlock the door and how his tail picks him up as he was about to fall into the mousetrap. Another nice touch is the rats marching in whistling the same melody that the cat did as he marches away. On the whole, a decent cartoon but a long way from great. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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