Tuesday, March 03, 2015

A Mouse in the Crowd

Another hectic week, so I gotta cut these short, and this is probably an ideal one to do that to.  No, Pecos Pest isn't a Speedy Gonzalez cartoon as the title might suggest, but quite the opposite.  The Tom and Jerry Universe keeps expanding, as all good cartoon serials do, and this time, Tom is visited by an adult grey mouse named Uncle Pecos.  Uncle Pecos is the kind of Country / Western Type-A personality that grabs a well-established brand like Tom and Jerry by its proverbial throat and threatens to not let go until it has attempted its conversion of the audience.  But I will admit that I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, due mostly because the personality taking us hostage is a feller by the name of Shug Fisher, according to the IMDb, and his infectious stuttering through "Froggie Went A-Courtin'", apparently written by the performer as well.  Double the ASCAP fees!  Cha-ching!
But in order to better incorporate the duo, there's gotta be some kind of gimmick.  Jerry Mouse is relegated practically to a token girlfriend role, as he sits by and listens to Uncle Pecos' pluckin' and a singin'.  AND THEN... TWANG!  His guitar string breaks.  But where is he supposed to get a new string?  And then... the necessity of invention intervenes... something like that.  Uncle Pecos spies Tom and his whiskers, and goes over and plucks one right out of Tom's face.  There's a metaphor for American Imperialism buried in there someplace.  Tom is outraged at first, but his anger is dulled by Uncle Pecos' sweet, sweet music.  And then... another guitar string breaks.  Eventually, Tom tries to run away, and is pretty successful at it for a while.  But then, he waits by the door, right next to the mouse-sized peephole.  Gee, I wonder what's going to happen?  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm......
Needles to say, this turns the whole five stages of grief paradigm completely on its head.  Instead of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance, it seems to be more like anger, acceptance, denial, running away, depression, and not just acceptance, but complete complicity, as Tom pulls out HIS OWN second to last whisker.  And screenwriters, take note here.  I know you're all sitting by the TV watching to see how Better Call Saul unfolds and all that, but the old timers know a thing or two about setting up the dominoes involved in screenwriting!
...where was I?  Oh yeah.  As you can see from the picture I have provided, Uncle Pecos is on television the next night, performing the songs we already heard.  The string breaks, like what once happened to Don McLean on PBS, I believe it was.  Now, he's a true professional and was prepared with a backup string.  Uncle Pecos?  Not so much.  And so, Tom gets close to the tv and laughs, thereby creating a visual moment that seems to be used to frame Tom and Jerry cartoons for showing on YouTube.  Silly boy, that Tom, he thinks he's safe from the almost God-like reach of Uncle Pecos..............

Good double bill with: ...what else?  Stan Freberg's The Yellow Rose of Texas (Don George).  I tell you darlings, the YouTubes gets away with more murder than Napster ever did.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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