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

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(as I. Freleng)

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(story)
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Cast

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

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Release Date:

2 October 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Logik for mus  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

My Country 'tis of Thee
(uncredited)
aka "America"
Music from "God Save the King" by Henry Carey
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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


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