Ridiculous Rodents-Goofy Gophers, Squeaky Squirrels and Mice on Motorcycles

Fall in love with Squeak the Squirrel (1957), a little ground squirrel in search of a nut and willing to perform any number of tricks for those sweet nutty treats.

Runaway Ralph (Color, 1988)
An all-star ABC Weekend Special adaptation of Beverly Cleary's beloved tale of a rebel mouse and his favorite toy motorcycle.  Equal-parts cheese and charming, Ralph S. Mouse is brought to life through stop-motion animation (and it appears as if they used real fur to decorate the puppets) and his adventure is accompanied by a veritable Who's Who of 1980s-90s family sitcoms. Fred Savage (The Wonder Years) stars as Garf, a nerdy loner who's been sent to camp to learn some people skills, but only ends up befriending a peanut-butter maniac mouse. Ralph gets fed up with his family (including Billy Barty as the voice of his uncle) and he takes his motorcycle on the road; ending up at Happy Acres Summer Camp, where Garf saves the talking rodent from being the camp-cat's next meal. Then, Ralph repays the favor by saving the day and winning Garf some much-needed human friends. Other campers include Kellie Martin (Troop Beverly Hills, Life Goes On), Sara Gilbert (Roseanne) and Summer Phoenix (the youngest Phoenix) with grown-up cameos from Ray Walston (Fast Times at Ridgemont High), Conchata Ferrell (Edward Scissorhands) and more!


Chucky Lou: Story of a Woodchuck(Color, 1948)
One of the most baffling nature films of the collection, in stunning Kodachrome! Chucky Lou was just a little woodchuck in the woods, until some tummy trouble and a well-meaning woman with a picnic basket lands the funny little rodent in some kind of animal reserve.  Then, it gets really weird when they sit Chucky Lou on a stool and encourage children to dress her up in doll clothes! Nature! Isn't it wonderful?!

Hammy the Hamster in The Boot House (B+W, 1961)

From Tales of the Riverbank, otherwise known as Hammy Hamster, a British children’s television show of talking animals that originated in Canada; created by David Ellison and Paul Sutherland. This film tells of how one day Hammy the Hamster is told of a strange craft seen moving down the river. On inspection it turns out to be an old boot and Hammy decides that it would make an ideal home for him. He and his friends pull it ashore and up the hill and start work on converting it into a house. As darkness falls, Hammy moves in and finds that his friends have prepared a house-warming party for him.

Frederick (as Fredrick) 1971 Leo Lionni, 1970 poet mouse psychedelic cut-outs Giulio Gianini

Much Ado About Nutting(Color, 1952, Chuck Jones)

A squirrel in the New York City doesn't know what to do when confronted by the seemingly insurmountable task of getting a coconut into his home, much less crack it. He starts looking at peanuts, then walnuts, then brazil nuts, but when he sees the coconuts, he is determined to take one home and eat it somehow. He even tries climbing up the Empire State building and throwing it off to break it open, all to no avail.  Will he ever get his tasty coconut treat? 

 Mouse Husband

He Was Her Man  (Fritz Freleng,1937, color, 8 min)

A not-so-Merrie-Melody! In the 1930s even cartoon mice were learning hard lessons about life and gender dynamics. Our heroine sells apples on the street in the snow while her ne’er-do-well drunk of a man lazes.  Her meager earnings just make him meaner.  It’s a domestic drama fit for a feature length drama, and will thoroughly convince viewers of Freleng’s genius.  

The Private Life of Beatrix Potter
MS of older man walking along the English countryside.  MS of him holding a magnifying glass to one eye.  He is trying to crack a secret code that is in a journal.  The journal is about the inventor of Peter Rabbit.  Panning shot over all the works of B. Potter.  (she wrote at least 16 books)  Still portrait shots of B. Potter and her family.  A woman remembers the Potter family.  Beatrix was born in 1865.  More family photos and stories.  Beatrix developed a love for art and she began drawing at an early age.  There are several stills of her drawings.  She talks of her love for the country.  EXT shots of the countryside and a horse drawn carriage, sheep, rolling hills, etc.  It was here that she became at peace with her imagination.  She started drawing fungi...mushrooms.  They were so accurate that they became the standard illustration for mushrooms.  She was hoping to make this her career but she was not trained well enough.  She gave up all hope of the academic world.  MS of an older woman remembering Beatrix from when she was a child.  The camera pans over a letter that Beatrix wrote to this woman. It was the beginning of Peter Rabbit.  She published her own books because nobody else would publish them for her.  The Tale of Peter Rabbit cost  her fourteen pounds to publish.  Many other children’s books followed.  EXT shots of different farm animals going about their day.  Kittens, baby ducks, mice, etc.  LS of wild horses running around the countryside.  Beatrix died the day before Christmas. An older man recounts this story with tears in his eyes.