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A Little Hero (1913)

Mabel has a canary bird, a tiny pet dog and a cat. She goes out, and the cat goes after the canary. Doggie hears the racket and takes in the situation. Knowing he is no match for Tabbie he ... See full summary »


Mack Sennett




Credited cast:
Mabel Normand
Teddy the Dog Teddy the Dog
Pepper the Cat Pepper the Cat
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harold Lloyd ... Extra (rumored)


Mabel has a canary bird, a tiny pet dog and a cat. She goes out, and the cat goes after the canary. Doggie hears the racket and takes in the situation. Knowing he is no match for Tabbie he runs as fast as his little legs will carry him to a kennel where he tells his troubles to three big collies, who run back with him. They secure entrance to the house through a basement window, and arrive in time to save the bird's life. Tabby runs away, and an exciting chase follows. When Mabel comes home and sees the overturned bird cage and the canary's tall feathers palled out she thinks her little doggie has chased the cat away, and hugs her hero. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy







Release Date:

8 May 1913 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Keystone Film Company See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Released as a split reel along with the comedy The Darktown Belle (1913). See more »

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User Reviews

The Cat and the Canary
1 January 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Mabel Normand leaves her dog in the yard while she goes off, but the dog spots a cat which has gotten into the house and is trying to get at the canary in the cage,

That's Mabel, all right, but none of the other credits on this Keystone split-reel comedy are correct. Take a look at it for yourself on the Eye Institute site, where the direction is credited to George Nichols. Teddy was a Great Dane, not the lap dog -- or the collies -- in this movie. Other than this movie, Pepper's earliest credit was in 1917. There are no other humans visible in this movie, so unless Harold Lloyd is playing the canary or is in a dog suit, he isn't here. Roy Clark? Given that he has a credit for a movie of the same name in the same year at the Selig studio, I think that is also a mistaken credit.

There's a tendency for people to put in names of actors they have heard of into movies where they don't appear. Alas, the staff at the IMDb is far more reluctant to remove such credits than to insert them. One mass inserter insisted that you couldn't prove that a particular credit was false, and therefore it should be left in.

So, be very careful in accepting credits in hard-to-find movies.

As for this movie, it is a a charming affair, in which the real actors are animals, with Mabel present just for recognition. Animal actors had begun to become popular in 1905 with Hepworth's RESCUED BY ROVER, and by the time this movie came out, both Vitagraph and Thanhouser had doggy stars: Jean the Vitagraph Dog and Shep the Thanhouser Collie. The trend would peak, of course, with Rin-Tin-Tin in the 1920s. He would not be the last. When I was a child, Laddie was very popular on TV, and the occasional movie about a dog or two still shows up in the theater every year.

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