When not dodging Sylvester, a visiting German mouse learns about capitalism from his American friends.

Director:

(as I. Freleng)

Writer:

(story)
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A man futilely struggles to make his fortune with a frog that sings and dances, but only when it is alone with the owner.

Director: Chuck Jones
Stars: Bill Roberts
The Hole Idea (1955)
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A scientist invents the portable hole, only to have a thief steal his samples to go on a crime spree.

Director: Robert McKimson
Stars: Mel Blanc, Bea Benaderet, Robert C. Bruce
Family | Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Moe Hican, an Indian, has struck it rich. Oil has been found on his property, and he now owns an estate with oil rigs everywhere. Even the fountain spouts oil! His mansion is as uppercrust ... See full summary »

Director: Robert McKimson
Stars: Mel Blanc
Animation | Family | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Forest-dwelling possums, Ma and Pa O'Possum, are frustrated with their son, Junior, who is hanging from a tree by his tail, sleeping, instead of doing his chores. Pa dresses like a dog to ... See full summary »

Director: Robert McKimson
Stars: Mel Blanc
Wild Wife (1954)
Animation | Family | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A harried housewife is criticized by her male-chauvinist husband, who remarks that she doesn't make effective use of her time during the day and insinuates that she doesn't finish her ... See full summary »

Director: Robert McKimson
Stars: Mel Blanc, Bea Benaderet
Family | Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A cat chases a hummingbird and repeatedly stumbles onto the property of a sleepy bulldog, who punishes the cat for each interruption of his slumber.

Director: Robert McKimson
Stars: Mel Blanc
Family | Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A squirrel in a downtown park lugs a giant coconut back home, but nothing he does can seem to crack it open.

Director: Chuck Jones
Family | Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An inebriated stork must deliver a baby to a giant at the top of a beanstalk, but doesn't feel like flying that high and instead delivers the baby to a normal-sized couple, who try to raise... See full summary »

Director: Friz Freleng
Stars: Mel Blanc, Bea Benaderet, Norman Nesbitt
Family | Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In his master's eyes, "good old Shep" is the perfect dog, but the cat knows he's really a two-faced mutt who can be bought off with a bone by a burglar, and then take credit for it when the... See full summary »

Director: Chuck Jones
Stars: Mel Blanc, Frank Graham
Family | Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A group of celebrity dogs, led by an 'Edward G. Robinson' look-alike and including 'Jimmy Durante', decide that celebrity dogs need a nightclub of their own. What follows is very similar to ... See full summary »

Director: Robert McKimson
Stars: Bea Benaderet, Sara Berner, Richard Bickenbach
Animation | Family | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The King of the Elves comes to help a failing shoemaker industrialize through the doctrine of industrial capitalism.

Director: Friz Freleng
Stars: Mel Blanc, Arthur Q. Bryan, Daws Butler
Punch Trunk (1953)
Animation | Family | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A tiny elephant arrives in the city and spooks various inhabitants.

Director: Chuck Jones
Stars: Mel Blanc, Bea Benaderet, Robert C. Bruce
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Sylvester / Hans / Uncle / Aunt / Elevator Operator / Mice Children (voice)
Edit

Storyline

Hans, a German mouse, arrives in America to visit his cousin, Willie. Hans wants to know all about the free market capitalist system. So, Willie takes Hans to see a lecturer in a university, another mouse, who talks at length about the capitalist system while Sylvester Cat chases all three rodents around the lecture halls. Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 October 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Logik for mus  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first of three cartoons on economic subjects underwritten by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. It was followed by Heir-Conditioned (1955) and Yankee Dood It (1956). See more »

Connections

Followed by Heir-Conditioned (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Capitalism from the perspective of rodents
1 August 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The first of three mid-fifties 'propaganda' cartoons from Fritz Freleng, By Word of Mouse manages to be entertaining and informative with a good balance between the two. It is never going to be a personal favourite and Freleng is not at his best here or in the succeeding two 'propaganda' cartoons, but it is better than the mediocre rating suggests.

By Word of Mouse doesn't have an awful lot wrong with it actually. It won't be for all tastes (as is the case with a lot of 'propaganda' cartoons), it's not laugh-a-minute, it's not as fast and furious in the pacing as most Looney Tunes cartoons- though it does pick up when Sylvester arrives- and people will (and have done in fact) understandably criticise it for glorifying the wonders of capitalism.

It is, however, very well animated and designed. While not one of Freleng's very best-looking cartoons, with some occasional rough drawing, it's very bright and colourful, the backgrounds are simple but not at all sparse in detail and quite elegant and it's mostly well and smoothly drawn. Not gorgeous animation, but good and attractive all the same. Milt Franklyn's music score fits wonderfully and does add a lot to the action, it's rousing in energy, orchestration is rich and beautiful and rhythmically it's very lively yet dynamic. It is cleverly and intelligently written (even if adults are more likely to understand the meaning and significance of capitalism, mass production and mass consumption, although it does make a real effort writing and delivering it in a way that's understandable to youngsters too), with a priceless final joke, and while the story is pretty thin it still maintains interest thanks to By Word of Mouse's excellent ability to entertain and teach.

Especially from halfway through, By Word of Mouse is amusing, if not hilarious, and entertaining, courtesy of the antics of Sylvester, who is on typically cunning and zany form and takes the laughs and violence (which thankfully is never sadistic) to good effect. The cartoon also makes its point and delivers the information well enough without feeling too preachy, and the points it raises are still relevant now. Personally got a lot out of it, didn't feel talked down to and it was interesting to see what capitalism, mass production and mass consumption was like back then. The mice bring a really cute energy to the cartoon, while not being too sugary sweet or sugar coating what By Word of Mouse is trying to deliver. The voice acting, primarily from Mel Blanc, is very good.

Overall, a good cartoon that entertains and informs. 8/10 Bethany Cox


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss By Word of Mouse (1954) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?