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Felineous Assault (1959)

KATnip the cat is trying to teach KITnip the kitten the facts of feline life, especially the art of catching mice. Kitnip's first encounter is with Herman the mouse, who saves his life and ... See full summary »

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Jack Mercer ...
Herman (voice) (uncredited)
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Kitnip (voice) (uncredited)
Sid Raymond ...
Katnip (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

KATnip the cat is trying to teach KITnip the kitten the facts of feline life, especially the art of catching mice. Kitnip's first encounter is with Herman the mouse, who saves his life and they become friends. Katnip is none too pleased about this and takes off after Herman, but Kitnip sabotages him all along the way. Katnip is finally tricked into promising he'll never chase mice again, a promise he soon regrets. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Genres:

Animation | Short

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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20 February 1959 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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(Technicolor)
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User Reviews

 
Saved by the music and Kitnip
20 July 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

While the Herman and Katnip cartoons are all watchable, regardless of how formulaic they are and how variable the humour is, Felineous Assault is one of the weaker. Not bad, but as an overall whole it's only average.

The two main good things are Winston Sharples' music score and the character of Kitnip. The music here as always with Sharples is outstanding and like the heart and soul of the cartoon. It is so beautifully and vibrantly orchestrated, rhythmically it is bursting with energy and character and not only does it match the visuals, action and mood perfectly but it also elevates them. Kitnip is an absolutely adorable character and almost saves the cartoon by himself as well as Herman, and instead of being annoying or cloying he actually has a personality, is the only one of the trio to shine properly in the comic timing and is surprisingly resourceful for one so small. Felineous Assault is not a very funny cartoon, but Kitnip has the material that comes off best.

Katnip is amusing and likeably dim-witted, the one that we feel sorry for when something goes wrong, which is nice considering he's basically the antagonist. The interplay between Katnip and Kitnip is quite enjoyable. Sid Raymond does a typically good job as Katnip's voice and Mae Questel avoids being too cutesy or shrill.

However, when it comes to the animation Felineous Assault, while an improvement on that of the previous cartoon Owly to Bed, is one of the cheaper-looking Herman and Katnip cartoons. The lower budgets were getting more obvious at this point and Felineous Assault is one of the more obvious cases. There is a tad more detail in the backgrounds than the ones in Owly to Bed, but they are still not very colourful or interesting here (somewhat basic rather) , the colours are noticeably flatter and not as vibrant as they often are and in particular both Herman and Katnip are drawn poorly, their designs are rougher than usual and their movements stiff.

Felineous Assault is one of the most predictable and least funny Herman and Katnip cartoons as well. The few best parts are only mildly amusing, and they are all with Kitnip, everything else is hurt by the timing, which is quite slow even for a later Herman and Katnip cartoon, and that a lot of the material is strongly reminiscent of the material in previous and much funnier Herman and Katnip cartoons. The story does not have an over-familiar beginning or Herman's nephews or cousins (which saves it from being too repetitive), but it is still very formulaic and tired, and of the character chemistry Katnip and Kitnip's is the only one that convinces, there is not enough of Herman and Kitnip together to believe in their friendship and the chemistry between Herman and Katnip is even blander than it was in Owly to Bed. The dialogue is not particularly memorable, and Jack Mercer, taking over from Arnold Stang, is completely wasted as Herman with a hysterical laugh literally being his only contribution.

Overall, watchable but average. One of the weaker later Herman and Katnip cartoons, and one of their weakest overall as well. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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