Bell Hoppy

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Bell Hoppy
Merrie Melodies (Sylvester and Hippety Hopper) series
Directed by Robert McKimson
Produced by Edward Selzer
Story by Tedd Pierce
Animation by Charles McKimson
Herman Cohen
Rod Scribner
Phil DeLara
Layouts by Robert Givens
Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas
Studio Warner Bros.
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) April 17, 1954
Color process Technicolor
Country United States
Language English
Preceded by Design for Leaving
Followed by No Parking Hare

Bell Hoppy is an animated Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon short starring Sylvester the Cat and Hippety Hopper. Released to theaters on April 17, 1954, the short was directed by Robert McKimson.

The story sees Sylvester in his "mouse chaser" persona, once again confusing baby kangaroo Hippety Hopper for a giant mouse. This plot is intertwined with a reversal of the "belling the cat" fable from the Middle Ages; instead of mice wanting to avoid becoming prey to a hungry cat, here, a pack of starving alley cats hope to place a bell around the neck of the largest mouse they can find, so that upon its approach, they can ambush, kill and feast on its carcass. Sylvester comes into the picture when – wanting to join a fraternal organization called "The Loyal Order of Alley Cats Mouse and Chowder Club" – he is offered the opportunity for membership by the leader of the club by successfully placing the bell around the mouse's neck.

Plot[edit]

Sylvester has once again been "blackballed" from membership to the Loyal Order of Alley Cats Mouse and Chowder Club, a fraternity of alley cats. Meanwhile, Hippety Hopper escapes from a cage at the local city zoo office and hides in a trash can. The Grandmaster Cat, digging through the trash to find food, expresses his frustration aloud at not being able to find anything good to eat and says he could eat the largest mouse possible ... at which time he finds Hippety. Hopper proceeds to do with him as he usually does with Sylvester, prompting the Grand Master to call an emergency meeting.

Meanwhile, Sylvester makes one last attempt to gain membership into the Loyal Order. The Grand Master – seeing Sylvester as a sucker – offers to let Sylvester join if he can place the bell around the neck of the largest mouse he can find, so the cats can pounce on the mouse when they hear him coming.

Sylvester and Hippety quickly meet, and the following gags occur (all with Sylvester getting pummeled into submission):

  • Sylvester simply tries to place the bell around Hippety's neck, but the kangaroo kicks the cat. The bell winds up around Sylvester's neck, earning him his first beating.
  • The cat hides in a delivery cart, with two bells around its frame. Hippety accidentally knocks the parked wagon's handle, causing it to careen down a steep hill. The other alley cats hide to ambush what they think is the giant mouse, but instead smash the cart (and Sylvester) into bits.
  • Sylvester finds Hippety hiding in a junkyard and tries to use a teeter totter to catapult his antagonist into a wall. But Hippety won't budge (after Sylvester jumps from a stack of junk onto the board), and the cat smashes into a wall ... next to a stoplight that sounds a bell-type sound when the lights change. Sylvester knows what this means and tries to hide on the stoplight ... exactly where the other cats strike.

In the end, Sylvester finally uses a mirror trick to get Hippety to place the bell around his neck. Sylvester is excited about finally one-upping his long-time nemesis and calls the cats into position. But by the time the cats are ready to pounce on the baby kangaroo-mistaken-for-a-giant-mouse, Hippety is back in the city zoo truck and very happy with his new toy. The oblivious cats jump in the path of the truck, getting them all run over.

Taking the opportunity, Sylvester now gets to serve as Loyal Order's Grand Master only to be "blackballed" again ... this time after declaring himself leader and pounding the gavel on the table too hard.

References[edit]