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Western Animation / Mouse and Garden

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"On Moonlight Baaayyy..."

Mouse and Garden is a 1960 Looney Tunes cartoon, directed by Friz Freleng.

It stars Sylvester the cat in one of his appearances without Tweety Bird. In this one Sylvester and another cat named Sam are in a waterfront district, scrounging through garbage cans for food. They are coming up with the usual fish heads and scraps when Sylvester spots a much more appetizing meal: a live mouse. Sylvester tries to eat the mouse without Sam noticing. Sam notices, and tries to steal the mouse without Sylvester noticing. Eventually they give up and declare a truce. They stuff the mouse in a jug, bed down for the night in a shack at the end of the pier, and agree to eat him together in the morning. However, neither of them really mean it.

Sam the cat was voiced by Daws Butler, who is better known for voicing many, many characters for Hanna-Barbera.



  • Apple of Discord: The mouse serves as this to Sam and Sylvester, who, despite stealing from each other behind their backs, were on friendly terms until then.
  • Batter Up!: Sam has a club in his teeth as he appears still tied to his bed...
  • Bowdlerization:
    • Versions shown on ABC's The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show cut the sequence of Sam the Cat replacing the captured mouse under Sylvester's foot with a stick of dynamite, Sylvester swallowing the dynamite, and the requisite explosion, with Sam, then saying to the unwell-looking Sylvester, "You'd better have that tooth fixed."
    • Nickelodeon left in the dynamite sequence, but some versions that aired on the channel had two rather innocuous lines cut: Sylvester's "You never know where those little devils will hide, do you?" after Sam catches him trying to keep the mouse to himself and Sam's "Aw, geez! N-now you made me feel bad!" as Sylvester ties his toe to Sam's and tells him he can't trust him.
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  • Bring the Anchor Along: Sylvester ties Sam to his bed, but Sam manages to get up and catch him trying to get the mouse while still tied to the bed, carrying over his back.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Why is the cartoon set on a waterfront? So there can be a closing gag in which Sylvester and Sam go zooming off in a motorboat.
  • Dumpster Dive: The cartoon opens on Sylvester and Sam rummaging for food on garbage cans. There's a bit of foreshadowing as Sam takes some of Sylvester's food behind his back. ("What's yours is mine, and what's mine is mine.")
  • Escalating War: At first Sam and Sylvester merely attempt to hide the mouse from each other. They graduate from that to using firecrackers on each other, and then sticks of dynamite, climaxing with Sylvester tying Sam to a motorboat and starting the engine.
  • Hypocritical Humor: A lot. Sylvester ties Sam to the bed, says "Now I can trust you," then tries to steal the mouse for himself.
  • Literal Ass-Kicking: Ends with Sylvester and Sam marooned on an island in the harbor, having lost the mouse, kicking each other in the butt.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Sam's voice was inspired by radio actor Frank Fontaine's character Crazy Guggenheim. (An early version of that character also inspired fan favorite Pete Puma from the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Rabbit's Kin".)
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Before they even find the mouse Sylvester and Sam are repeatedly trying to steal food from each other. They promise to do the fair thing and share the mouse with each other, but they can't do it.
  • Reed Snorkel: The mouse is in a jug which is hanging from the underside of the pier. Sam attempts to steal the mouse by approaching underwater, using a pipe as a Reed Snorkel. Sylvester throws a stick of dynamite down the pipe.
  • Weird Moon: The typical gigantic cartoon moon. (It also seems to jump around in the sky between shots.)
  • What a Drag: Sylvester plans to have Sam dragged away in a motorboat, his foot tied to the boat by a long rope. Sam catches on and ties the rope to Sylvester's foot. Unfortunately, Sam picks the wrong time to shake hands goodbye, and they both end up dragged away and stranded in a rock in the middle of the water.