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Cat Tamale (1951)

When the cat's away the mice will play, and are on their way across the kitchen to the cheese in the refrigerator, but the cat's not away and Katnip makes his appearance and runs the mice ... See full summary »



(story) (as I. Klein)


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Uncredited cast:
Herman's Cousins (voice) (uncredited)
Sid Raymond ...
Katnip (voice) (uncredited)
Herman (voice) (uncredited)


When the cat's away the mice will play, and are on their way across the kitchen to the cheese in the refrigerator, but the cat's not away and Katnip makes his appearance and runs the mice away. Of course, Cousin Herman ---or 'Hoiman as his Brooklyn cousins call him--- shows up and he is more than a match for Katnip. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Release Date:

9 November 1951 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)


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User Reviews

Up there with the best of the Herman and Katnip cartoons, and one of Herman's best too
15 March 2015 | by See all my reviews

While not a fan of the Herman cartoons, on re-watch while not brilliant they are much better than remembered. Cat Tamale is one of the best Herman and Katnip cartoons as well as one of the funniest, and when talking about the Herman cartoons overall it's almost as good as Naughty But Mice.

Cat Tamale only has one major flaw really. The Herman cartoons came at a time where Famous Studios cartoons were becoming very repetitive, and while it is not by all means the worst in this regard, narratively Cat Tamale does have some over-familiar material, including a beginning strongly reminiscent of that of Saved By the Bell in terms of writing and animation. If you are familiar with other Herman and Katnip cartoons and other cat and mouse cartoons the formulaic story and the outcomes of the gags won't come as a surprise.

The animation however is great, the backgrounds are very detailed while not trying to do anything too complicated, there are some really warm colours and the cartoon is beautifully drawn with both Herman and Katnip nicely designed(Katnip's character design is much improved over Mice Paradise, in that cartoon his movements were sometimes a touch rough, here his movements were smooth). The music is even better(from the catchy and upbeat title credits theme to the way the cartoon is scored), the component that's consistently good in every one of the Herman cartoons. It has so much energy, the orchestration is wonderfully vibrant and it adds so much to the humour.

Cat Tamale just flies by while not feeling rushed in terms of pacing or resolving things abruptly, the gags and ending are nicely rounded off. The gags are pretty inventive and are among the best and funniest of the Herman cartoons. Herman and Katnip are a well-matched pair and are entertaining together and individually, back when Katnip had some degree of menace. Herman is funny and cunning, even if he has been more likable before and his antics do get predictable for anybody familiar with his cartoons. The mice bring a poignancy to the story while not being too mawkish or used too much Arnold Stang as always does a great job and Sid Raymond's menacing delivery is much more appealing than some of the shriller voice work when Carl Meyer was playing the adversary role.

All in all, one of Herman and Katnip's best and funniest and along with Naughty But Mice one of Herman's best overall cartoons too. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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