Sunday, October 26, 2014

There Has to be an Invisible Mouse, Bringing Hope to Every House

As you can guess from the title, the mouse finds its most potent weapon in the neverending game of cat and mouse in The Invisible Mouse.
We start as usual with an opening episode.  This time, the cat's got a nice bit of cheese round a piece of string.  The cat must have X-ray eyes or something because somehow it knows when the mouse gets close to the bit of cheese.  The cat's hiding around the corner, pulling on the string, bringing the mouse ever closer until... yup, the cat's ready and waiting to drop an iron on the mouse.  The cat just never learns.  The cat always underestimates the mouse's strength.  Basically, what happens is that the mouse moves the cat's foot into the path of the iron.  Iron hits cat, cat goes ow, mouse runs away.  I dunno; maybe I'm just not in the mood, or maybe I'm just impatient to get to the real heat of the ... get to the main part of the story.  But before the big Second Act, Tom has a little more fun with the mouse.  I actually looked up the term this time!  Tom gets a fireplace bellows and uses it on something other than the fireplace: Jerry Mouse.  Aw, look how happy Tom is.  Then Jerry hits Tom over the head with a plate.  Bye bye smile!
ACT TWO: And so it happens that Jerry runs past the "Chemo Set."  Makes you wonder where are all the people in these houses that Tom and Jerry are constantly fighting in.  Anyone other than the African American maid?  Anyone at all?  Well, it was during WWII and lots of people were working swing shifts at the factories and such.  Anyway, Jerry Mouse discovers the invisible ink after jumping into the bottle, and makes very very sure that the audience understands what's going on before diving completely into the bottle proper.  Apparently he was only half-way in the first time.
And so... let the grand invisible journey begin!  Oh, the world seems like a completely different place when you're stoned... I mean, invisible.  You know, I don't recall an instance off the top of my head when any of the Looney Tunes characters went invisible... Wile E. Coyote, maybe.  Why, I don't think even Tweety or Speedy Gonzalez ever had to rely on that.  Nothing against Jerry, of course.  And so, Jerry's exploration of the world as Invisible Jerry begins.  Why, look at how all this stuff seems to move by itself!  But before you go and think that it makes the animators' jobs easier, there goes Jerry under cloths and behind curtains.  Why, that's his outline!
And then, of course, the food.  I guess those are those old timey bon-bon type things.  As you can see, the animators are making the assumption that Jerry's invisible outer layer is making Jerry's internal organs and such invisible as well.  Well, this isn't Invisible Chevy or Hollow Man after all.
Now, dear reader, if you're like me, you're probably thinking of that song "Airplanes" by B.O.B., if only for its wish component.  After all, isn't being invisible nothing if not just a wish?  And what would you wish for if you could be invisible?  Run for elected office?  Win a pie-eating contest?  Walk on the moon?  Alas, our Jerry Mouse is a little more modest, as all he seems to want out of life, visible or in-, is to mess with the cat's head.  And boy!  Does being invisible do the trick in spades!  Tom's gone back to that hunk of cheese from earlier.  Well, Invisible Jerry eats it right in front of his eyeballs!  Tom is incredulous.  For his next feat of derring-do, Jerry takes Tom's iron (Tom's using the iron again) and drops it anew on Tom's foot.  The cat is psychically worn out from this ordeal, and all he wants out of life right now is to either have some milk or just find a nice quiet place to lie down.  Invisible Jerry takes away these two simple comforts in that order.  Tom ends up next to the piano, as that's where the fish bowl is, which he uses to cure his raging case of hot foot.  Invisible Jerry plays the piano.  Tom is scared anew.  An ode to The Concerto Cat, perhaps!
ACT THREE: TOM'S REVENGE - Damn!  Spoiled another surprise.  Anyway, Invisible Jerry enjoys a well-earned banana.  Now, this is where all nerds everywhere get a chance to scoff.  The invisible ink starts to wear off, and Tom can see Jerry's shadow, all big as you please, lunching away on a banana.  This is laughable at best and criminally negligent at worst... damn!  That phrase doesn't show up on Google yet.  Make it so, Colbert!  Anyway, at this point, I should give a shout out to my genius friend who once deconstructed the myth of invisibility with one flip of his genius switch.  It's a condensation of his Ph.D. dissertation, but it's basically this: in order to be invisible, you'd have to be blind and deaf.  For to be truly invisible, your eyes and ears would also have to be invisible, wouldn't they?  My current teacher does that a lot: "Well, you'd get this, wouldn't you?"  I mean, it would be kinda pointless if you were a set of eyes and ears walking around, right?... you'd be a trendsetter in burqa circles, of course.  But on to the cat's revenge.
After hitting the mouse with a large book, the ruse is over.  Tom is no longer impressed with the invisible mouse, but Tom does alter his thinking a bit, too!  Once in the kitchen, Tom gets the idea to sprinkle flour on the floor... well, he does overdo it a bit.  It takes a few seconds for the all-encompassing blanket of clouds to disappear.  Then Tom uses a bit of curtain to grab the mouse.  Tom tries to isolate the mouse in the curtain, then proceeds to hit the mouse over and over, again with a book... or so Tom thinks.  The mouse manages to escape, past Tom's fist, and Jerry heads over to the golf club bag.  Again, the strength of a human in a mouse.
Now, sure, Invisible Jerry could probably eliminate the cat with the golf club, but that's not what a Movie Hero does.  A Movie Hero does the classy thing and play a sneaky game of arbitrage.  Enter the bulldog.  To cut to the chase, Jerry hits the bulldog with the golf club, driving the bulldog through the floorboards of the porch.  Jerry then places the club in Tom's paws.  Arbitrage complete.  And so, the dog, a bit pissed off, keeps hitting Tom with the golf clubs, and off they go into the proverbial sunset.

EPILOGUE: There's just one last bit of business to take care of, and that is: how to undo the effects of the invisible ink?  Well, a little chocolate milk will take care of that, of course!  Now, why does that work and not all the bon-bons, for example?  Well, I think the answer is, because it's the end of the cartoon.  It's the only argument that makes any sense.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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