Ben and Me (1953)

Passed  |   |  Animation, Comedy, Family  |  10 November 1953 (USA)
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A mouse tells the story of how he guided Benjamin Franklin to success and prominence.



(original story), (story), 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast overview:
Amos Mouse (voice)
Tom Jefferson / Crook (voice)


Amos, a poor church mouse, sets out to find work, since his family of 26 is starving. He's rejected by several places and takes refuge in the run-down print shop of Ben Franklin. Quickly, he gives Ben the ideas for the Franklin stove, bifocal lenses, and the newspaper the Pennsylvania Gazette as Ben's creditors are threatening to shut him down in 24 hours. The paper is an instant hit and Ben prospers. With Amos hidden in his hat prompting him, Ben seems much brighter than he is. However, when Amos is attached to Ben's kite and gets hit by lighting, he leaves. Later, in the summer of 1776, Ben is desperate and begs Amos to return. He agrees but only if Ben will sign a contract. The next day, as they are beginning their talks, Thomas Jefferson drops by for help with the wording the opening of the Declaration of Independence, and as Ben reads the opening words of the contract, Jefferson says, "That's it!" Written by Jon Reeves <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 November 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ben i ja  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When originally released to theaters, this 21-minute cartoon short was double billed with the Walt Disney film The Living Desert (1953) as a 90-minute package deal. This and "The Living Desert" were the first to be released by Buena Vista. RKO continued to distribute Disney's cartoons until 1956. RKO shut down in 1957. See more »


While Amos is writing his contract for him and Ben to go over, he writes the word "binding" in a completely different text format. This is to emphasize the importance of this clause. See more »


Amos Mouse: [voiceover] It was the winter of 1745, and these were desperate times. Jobs were scarce, especially for a mouse, for we were a downtrodden race.
[Amos jumps into a snowdrift just in time to keep a man from stepping on him]
See more »


Featured in Disney Dimanche: Episode #1.1 (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

History With "Spoonful Of Sugar"
15 July 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

AMAZING ACCOMLIISHMENTS IN many fields are the legacy of our own "Renaissance Man" of the Colonial & Revolutionary Period, Mr. Benjamin Franklin. Some have said that he did enough in so many divergent fields in such excellence that he must have had help from others. This kids story adapted by Walt Disney & Co., suggests that he also had counsel of a rodentian nature. That would be one Amos Mouse (Sterling Holloway-voice).

AS WITH ALL and everything that is Disney, the best is expected and delivered. This includes the animation, character design, the music, the Technicolor and the cast of voice actors. He cast consisting of names like: Sterling Holloway (Mouse), Hans Conreid (Thomas Jefferson), Charlie Ruggles (Ben) and Bill Thompson (Governor).

AND WE WELL remember this two reel cartoon opening up with a modern day tour-guide lecturing a group of interested history Buffs before a statue of the Great Philadelphian, himself. While the guy continued spouting his well rehearsed spiel, the camera's eye panned up, bringing our view to the sculpture's three corner hat. There we're privy to a much smaller tour. Being conducted by a mouse tour guide for other interested mice, this scene mirrored the human's; but the emphasis was on the little one's accomplishments and how he was the power behind Ben's throne.

DONE MAINLY IN flashback, this story unfolds with the two meeting and befriending each other. One by one, each invention, discovery or accomplishment or idea is revealed as being largely the work of the mouse.

THAT WOULD INCLUDE inventing the potbelly stove, flying that kite in the lightning storm and the development of the bifocal lens. A particularly amusing gag unfolds in the scene where the now broken lenses are cut by Amos and joined together using his teeth.

THE MOUSE WOULD ride around town in Franklin's hat and remind him of the names of the fine ladies and gentlemen that he met; as poor been apparently had a poor memory.

WE DO SEEM to remember some reference to the Contoinental Congress and the Declaration of Independence, but all of that is very shady; this original screening having taken place nearly 60 years ago. This is a good reason for us to either buy a DVD or rent one (you know, for the grandkids)!

NOW THEN SCHULTZ, why don't you do the same!

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