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Western Animation / It's Got Me Again!

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It's Got Me Again! is a 1931 Merrie Melodies animated short (7 minutes) directed by Rudolf Ising.

A mouse adventures out of its hole and finds a house without any people in it. After successfully snatching a piece of cheese out of the mousetrap, the mouse summons his buddies—and there are a lot of mice in the walls. All the mice come flooding out of the mouse hole to find a house that apparently belongs to musicians, as there are musical instruments scattered everywhere. The mice have one heck of a party, singing and dancing, until a hungry cat shows up.

This short was produced only two years after the Warner Brothers animation studio started up. It does not have any of the iconic Looney Tunes characters (they hadn't been invented yet) and doesn't really look like a Warner Brothers cartoon. Friz Freleng, who would later become one of the busiest Looney Tunes directors, was an animator on this short.

This short is also notable for being the first short in the franchise to get an Academy Award nomination (ultimately losing the Oscar to Walt Disney's Flowers and Trees).


  • Captain Ersatz: The whole cartoon represents Warner Brothers shamelessly imitating Disney. Not only are all the mice carbon copies of Mickey Mouse, the one mouse that talks sounds just like Mickey. And the whole visual style with the animals gamboling around and playing musical instruments and such is copying early Disney cartoons like The Skeleton Dance. This is largely because director Rudy Ising and animator Friz Freleng had gotten their starts with Walt Disney when Walt was still based in Kansas City – all of their early work is similar to the house style of early Disney projects they had worked on. (Some say Mickey was even based on a sketch that Ising had made while at Disney's old mouse-infested studio in Kansas City, meaning that it's Ising who's responsible for that look in the first place.) Warner Brothers would not find its distinctive animation style until later in the decade when iconic characters like Daffy Duck and Porky Pig were created.
  • Cats Are Mean: A mean cat (drawn much more realistically than Sylvester would be) wants to eat the cute mice.
  • Cuckoo Clock Gag: The cat has come down the chimney to get at the mice. The cat is temporarily startled when a cuckoo bursts out of a cuckoo clock and shouts "Cuckoo!". Then the cat rallies, and eats the bird.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Doesn't resemble later Merrie Melodies shorts at all. It's in black and white. We don't hear "Merrily We Roll Along" at the beginning, and the opening logo is completely different. Ends with a pig (Piggy, an early character) saying "So long, folks" instead of "That's all, folks!"
  • Improvised Weapon: The mice chase the cat off by improvising weaponry out of musical instruments. They shoot drum sticks like arrows, using the strings of a harp. They turn a record player into a machine gun firing record needles. The cat beats a hasty retreat.
  • iSophagus: The cat eats the cuckoo from the cuckoo clock. This backfires when he hiccups cuckoo noises, alerting the mice to his presence.
  • Mickey Mousing: As befitting a short that is basically WB copying the Disney style, once the music starts up, all the action of the characters is timed to it.
  • The Runt at the End: Subverted. After all the mice flood out into the house, one tinier mouse scoots out, then looks behind and urges his grandpa on. Grandpa, with a white beard and crutches, is the last mouse to enter.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: All the mice look generic, except for a scene where a male mouse is threatening a female mouse.. For that scene the male mouse is drawn bulkier and has a hat, and the female mouse has a skirt.
  • Title Drop: Actually the leader mouse says "He's got me again!" when the cat traps him in the corner.