A Mouse Divided

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A Mouse Divided
Merrie Melodies (Sylvester) series
Directed byI. Freleng
Produced byEdward Selzer
Story byWarren Foster
Voices byMel Blanc
Bea Benaderet
Music byCarl Stalling
Animation byArthur Davis
Manuel Perez
Ken Champin
Virgil Ross
Layouts byHawley Pratt
Backgrounds byIrv Wyner
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s)January 31, 1953 (USA)
Color processTechnicolor
Running time7 minutes

A Mouse Divided is a 1953 Merrie Melodies animated short directed by Friz Freleng and featuring Sylvester. The title is a pun on Lincoln's House Divided Speech.


The episode starts where a drunken stork delivers a baby to the nearest available home. Sylvester's wife, wanting a baby, despite his objections ("And what thanks do I get? I wish I was dead! Boo hoo hoo! Every day it's the same thing - pitter-patter of little feet!"), graciously receives the package. Sylvester is nonetheless excited- until he learns the baby is a mouse, at which point he tries to eat it. His wife quickly stops him, and when she goes out (and is not seen again afterwards), he tries again, but stops after the mouse calls him "Daddy".

Sylvester's attitude toward the mouse changes entirely from this point on and decides to take him for a walk. Unfortunately, when the neighborhood cats are not so enamored of the mouse, he is forced to run back into the house knowing he can't take him out without letting the cats eat him. Several cats try to steal the mouse, using tactics such as posing as a vacuum cleaner salesman ("Good day, Sir, I represent the Little Giant Vacuum Cleaner Company, Walla Walla, Washington and if you watch closely, you'll notice the powerful action of this machine as it removes completely and forever all foreign particles from around the room. I realize that you may not be ready to purchase the Little Giant right now but if you ever do, just remember the Little Giant Vacuum Cleaner Company, Walla Walla, Washington."), babysitter and Santa disguises, cutting holes in the floor, running the door down, etc., only to be foiled by Sylvester, who for once is on the winning end of the same traps by which he usually ends up getting foiled. The stork, meanwhile, returns (still drunk) under orders to deliver the mouse to its real parents by fishing it out with a piece of cheese. Sylvester, believing it to be another cat, stops the mouse and is pulled up instead ("Boy [hic!], did that mouse grow!").

A later scene reveals a married mice couple walking a disgruntled Sylvester (dressed as a baby) with the wife telling her husband, "Well, nothing like that ever happened on my side of the family.", before he looks at the audience in bewilderment as the cartoon irises out.

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