Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Fifth-Column Mouse

Monday was Friz Freleng's (possibly) 100th birthday and we're supposed to blog about one of his cartoons.

Fifth-Column Mouse is a WWII-era propaganda cartoon about the lurking threat that collaborators and enemy sympathizers pose on the home front. It's a cat and mouse cartoon, but the thing that struck me most about it was this was the first time I had ever heard "double-talk".

Since then I've spotted it in several other movies from the 1940's. A guy will start out speaking normal english and gradually drift into a collection of syllables that have the rhythm and flow of normal speech but mean nothing. I dont' know who invented it but it was very disorienting the first time I heard it.

Hey... what did that mouse just say?

Fifth-Column Mouse is a great cartoon; it makes you nostalgic for the time when wars had clear good guys and bad guys and a definite end. It was on a VHS collection of wartime cartoons once, I'm not sure about the DVD status.

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