LETTERS  PCR #320      (May 8--14, 2006)

  • Reader recalls an old HBO cartoon movie (ED Tucker responds)
  • Reader is looking for obscure Brando movie (ED Tucker responds)
  • Vito Trabucco on Chris Woods
  • Dave remembers Stan Freberg

    Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.


    Dear Crazed Fanboy,
    I am searching for the title to a cartoon movie I saw on HBO in the early '80s. It was about a father and son mouse (I think). The thing that stood out in the movie was this soup can (or could have been a dog food can) whose label was a picture within a picture of itself displaying, in a way, infinity. The boy always found the label fascinating and kept asking his father where the picture ended he said Infinity has no end. The cartoon movie was either about the aftermath of a nuclear war that the humans had or they were in a garbage dump I cant remember that part clearly. But I do remember that the boy mouse thinks that his father is dead and he falls into the water where he sees the soup can and its label. He begins to remember that his father said that there is no end to infinity as the kid begins to stare into the pictures within the pictures on the soup can label he advances through all the pictures in his mind and then the soup can label rips. As he slowly drowns he thinks he found the end of infinity. I cant remember if the little boy mouse dies or not. The cartoon movie was very sad I definitely remember that much. But do you happen to know what the title to that cartoon movie was?

    Any help in solving this demented matter is greatly appreciated. Trying to piece together my childhood and this memory is something that keeps coming back.

    Thank you,
    Vaughn Rice Black

    Vaughn, thanks so much for writing! I didn't get cable in my area (South Tampa) until very late in 1985, so I don't know if that movie had come and gone by that time or not, but I certainly wish I could've seen that film, it sounds cool as hell! I asked ED Tucker if he knew this one. His answer is below. --Nolan


    Wow, what a memory rush! I do indeed remember this 1977 film, it was called "The Mouse and His Child" (or alternately, "The Extraordinary Adventures of the Mouse and His Child") and was based on a children's book by Russell Hoban. It's been years since I saw the film but I remember the mouse and his child were actually a clockwork toy and were joined at the hands. They fall into the trash and are rescued from the dump by a rat that involves them in a plot to rob a bank. At some point in the story they get broken apart but can still function independently.

    I also remember the scene Vaughn describes about the can, I believe it was dog food (Bosco Brand?). On the label was a picture of a dog holding the same can with the same picture on it into infinity. The mouse child stares into one discarded can that has a rip in the very center of the picture and sees his reflection in the shiny metal of the can and realizes that HE is at the end of infinity.

    I believe this was Japanese animation but it was very unique for the time and featured some top notch voices including Peter Ustinov, Sally Kellerman, and Andy Devine. There was a VHS release of this film from many years ago (Columbia Home Video?) but I don't see a DVD listed on Amazon although the book is still in print. I apologize for some of the sketchy details but most of this is from recovered memory! Hopefully this will make it in time for this week's letter column and Vaughn will have his mystery solved!

    - ED -


    I'm looking for a film that isn't really "Independent" but it's nearly impossible to find, and I was wondering if you might know anyplace that I could try finding it at. The name is Burn! It's directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, with Marlon Brando in it. It was recently re-released, (October 2005) in DVD format, any old copies are all on VHS. If you by any chance know of a great used/new DVD store, that might carry it, it would be awesome. Thanks!

    Rachael [no last name]

    Rachael, thanks for writing! I am not familiar with the status of that particular movie, so I will once again defer to my esteemed colleague, ED Tucker. --Nolan

    I can't advise you on local stores, but I can tell you that the 1969 Brando film is available through Amazon.com. Their list price is $12.99 but it is available through their marketplace seller for as low as $6.67. I also understand that their is some controversy surrounding the domestic release being 10-15 minutes shorter than the overseas version and apparently this has carried over to the US DVD release. Please let me know if you need any further assistance.



    I was checking out your site today and saw your Happy Birthday wishes to Chris Woods (Re: "Announcements"). I saw you refer to him as "tragically underrated." I totally agree with you, and thought that was real nice of you to say that about him. He certainly deserves a lot of credit for his work. Guys like him and the Guzzos are the reason I wish I had a million bucks to throw around.

    Life can suck as an indie filmmaker.

    Vito Trabucco
    Hollywood, CA

    Yes, so true. I guess it's like that everywhere. Chris works so hard on everyone else's projects and is so rarely appeciated for his own. I'm glad you feel that way, too (and I agree about the Guzzos). Now then, as far as WEST of the Pecos, I know a couple nutty guys in L.A. I hope get the recognition they're due someday as well! Thanks for writing. -- Nolan


    You probably don't remember this. But many years ago, you and Steve Beasley were the guys who introduced me to the wonderful camp of Stan Freberg. And for that, I am eternally grateful. I still have the casette tape from all those many years ago. And dl'd countless more through this webby thing we call life's blood. THANKS TO THE BOTH OF YOU!

    Your friend,
    Dave! [backbiter69]

    You're welcome! Glad to help, ha, ha. --Nolan

    To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

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