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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (TV Short 1990) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • After many years of working together, Mike and Mary Anne face competition from modern, electric, gasoline diesel shovels. Looking for work in the newspaper one day, Mike finds a small town that is about to build a new town hall. The town select-men react with disbelief when Mike makes the claim that he and his steam shovel Mary Anne can dig the cellar in a single day; they protest that it would take a hundred men a week. Mike insists that Mary Anne can indeed finish the job in one day, though he has some private doubts. At sunup the next day, Mike and Mary Anne start work and just manage to complete the task before sundown. However, he neglects to provide a way out of the cellar. A young boy who has been watching makes the suggestion that Mike take the job of janitor for the town hall, and that Mary Anne should become the boiler for the town hall's heating system. The town select-men agree and the new town hall is completed before winter. Now the little boy visits every day with a lady who brings hot apple pies.


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