Directed by Charles Swenson and Fred Wolf
Adapted from the classic children’s novel of the same name by Russell Hoban, The Mouse and his Child has been unfairly neglected as a misfit film: A musical animated feature for children, it also channels many of the darker, philosophical themes of its source. The father and son of the title are mechanical toy mice, connected at the hands, who embark on a wondrous, perilous quest to become self-winding after a toy shop accident sends them to a landfill. Helped and harried by a menagerie of creatures, including an evil rat (voiced by Ustinov) who enslaves broken toys for his nefarious plots, father and son ultimately succeed in their journey, but not before the impressionistically drawn film touches on the nature of existence, the limits of infinity and the rigors of experimental theater. This is an odd one, but also one not to be missed.
Recommended for ages 10+
Based on the novel by Russell Hoban. Producer: Walt DeFaria. Screenwriter: Carol Monpere. Cinematographer: Wally Bulloch. Cast: Peter Ustinov, Cloris Leachman, Sally Kellerman, Andy Devine, Neville Brand. Presented in English dialogue. 35mm, Color, 83 min.