6.2/10
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When the Cat's Away (1929)

While Tom Cat goes away hunting, Mickey, Minnie, and their mouse friends break into his house and perform music. They play various tunes on the piano while the other mice hit household objects in tune to the music.

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(uncredited)
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Storyline

Tom Cat drinks his moonshine and then heads off with his rifle to go hunting. While the cat is away, Mickey, Minnie, and the other mice living underneath the porch, will play. Mickey forms another mouse into a key to open the padlock on the door, and then into the house everyone goes. Mickey and Minnie dance on the piano to play music, while the other mice use whatever they can get their hands on - a saxophone, a violin, even a spittoon - to accompany him. A parrot attempts to join in, but the effort of his bad singing causes him to lose his balance and fall into the spittoon. Later, Mickey uses a mousetrap as a catapult to toss himself up to a wheel of Swiss cheese on a high shelf. But these mice are more interested in music than in eating. Mickey slices the cheese in a circular fashion that allows it to act like a paper roll for the player piano. When the roll is finished, two mice form themselves into a makeshift phonograph, which means more fun and music for everyone. Written by J. Spurlin

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Plot Keywords:

cat | piano | mouse | spittoon | hunting | See All (37) »


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Release Date:

11 April 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

När katten är borta  »

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Sound Mix:

(Powers Cinephone Sound System)
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Soundtracks

A Hunting We Will Go
(uncredited)
Written by Thomas Augustine Arne
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User Reviews

 
Has some good moments, but nothing all that special at the end of the day
28 July 2012 | by See all my reviews

When the Cat's Away is not among Disney's worst cartoons but also not among their best either. Starting with what I didn't like so much, the story is practically non-existent, and seemed more an excuse to run interlude after interlude, that gets tiresome after a while. The animation is not bad actually, but nothing really stands out, other Mickey cartoons showed things like Mickey's frustration etched in his features that made you feel for him, but there isn't much of that here. There are also times where you felt the quality of the backgrounds could have been smoother. The cat is not really a compelling character either, the rats and Mickey and Minnie are far more likable and developed, for a title character the cat seemed just there, making his role pointless. It was almost as if the cartoon was meant to be another idea that was dropped. The music score is also not bad, it is energetic and characterful but it has been more subtly used before, here there are occasions where it is somewhat crude. On the other hand, Mickey and Minnie are both likable characters, and their friends are equally sweet. There are some good gags as well, the best three being the Kingdom Coming gag with the rats turning themselves into a record player, Mickey using one of the rats as a key to unlock the door and how his tail picks him up as he was about to fall into the mousetrap. Another nice touch is the rats marching in whistling the same melody that the cat did as he marches away. On the whole, a decent cartoon but a long way from great. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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