The Cat That Hated People

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The Cat That Hated People
Directed by Tex Avery
Produced by Fred Quimby
Story by Heck Allen
Voices by Harry Lang (cat, uncredited)
Pinto Colvig (archive footage, uncredited)
Clarence Nash (archive footage, uncredited)
Music by Scott Bradley
Animation by Walter Clinton
Louie Schmitt
William Shull
Grant Simmons
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) November 20, 1948
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7 minutes
Language English

The Cat That Hated People is a 1948 cartoon directed by Tex Avery and produced by Fred Quimby. The cat's voice was supplied by radio actor Harry Lang;[1] incidental music was directed by Scott Bradley.

Plot[edit]

Borrowing elements from three Warner Brothers cartoons Porky in Wackyland, Tin Pan Alley Cats, and Dough for the Do-Do, it begins with an antisocial alley cat complaining about his life in the city (a broom to the head stops his drinking freshly delivered milk; a thrown boot ends his serenade in one instance, two shots from a rifle in another), mentioning how he doesn't get along with children (who tie paper bags onto his feet) babies (who flail him about a playpen), housewives (who hit him over the head with broomsticks when he scratches their furniture), dogs (one uses him as a punching bag, then plays dead after giving the cat a ketchup-covered axe as the owner arrives), not being let out (to drink from a water cooler), and owners of sexy female cats (who butt in on his dates by shooting through his body with shotguns).

Much of his opening commentary is done as he is walking or lying on a busy sidewalk, with people walking on him and providing an occasional kick, one of which sends him to the front of the Moonbeam Rocket Company (a sign in the window says "Any place in space - 5 minutes") as he declares that he wants to go to the moon.

In the showroom of Moonbeam Rocket Company are rockets to Mars, Venus, Palm Springs (a miniature rocket), and a "Moon Special," which the cat enters. He pushes the start button (below it on the wall is "P.S. Hold on to your hats"), and the flight begins as buildings duck out of the way, "no vacancy" signs appear on planets as he passes them, and a succession of space-related sight gags ensue. Stars move out of the way of the rocket, which subsequently punches a hole in the Big Dipper before the Little Dipper moves to catch the leakage; the rocket then bounces pinball-style from star to star (with points being displayed for each "bounce") until it registers "Tilt" upon lunar impact.

After the crash, the cat revels in his newfound solitude, but the silence was only momentary as he discovers his new wacky toon neighbors:

  • A bicycle horn tooting itself
  • A steam whistle blowing
  • Disembodied mouth and hands repeatedly saying "Mammy, Mammy, Mammy" in the style of Al Jolson
  • A self-playing accordion
  • A yo-yo going up and down with the sound of a slide whistle
  • A manual fire engine siren operating itself
  • A tire repeatedly having blowouts by running over nails
  • A claw hammer chasing a nail, then pounding the cat into the group before pulling him out
  • A tube of lipstick chasing a pair of giggling lips (the tube applies the lipstick to the cat's mouth; then the lips kiss the cat's mouth)
  • A hand and scissors chasing a piece of paper (the scissors quickly cut the cat into a paper doll chain; two hands then stretch them out)
  • An invisible dog chasing a fire hydrant
  • A diaper, a safety pin, and a bottle of baby powder (which overtake and diaper the cat; when he has a temper tantrum his head is diapered as well)
  • A daisy-like flower running away from a shovel (when the plant passes the cat, the shovel digs a hole and plants him; after watering, the cat "sprouts" and quickly blossoms with a rose in one ear and a carnation in the other; a hand pulls him out of the ground and puts him in a vase)
  • A pencil chased by a pencil sharpener, which subsequently sharpens the cat's tail (which then writes "Chump!" on a rock)

The cat realizes that his original home was much preferable to his new surroundings; he pulls down a golf course backdrop, places himself on a tee and sends himself back to Earth with one swing of the golf club. He returns to "The good ol' U.S. of A." (on the corner of 45th Street and Broadway in New York City) and expresses his newfound appreciation of his home and the people who continue to walk over him.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Animated Film Encyclopedia, Graham Webb, McFarlane, published 2000.

External links[edit]