5th Column Mouse (film #4 on Bugs & Daffy: The Wartime Cartoons (MGM/UA Home Video, 1989). Also, film #10 on Cartoon Explosion, Vol. 2: Finny Fiesta/Popeye's Greatest Hits DVD (Front Row Entertainment, 2002). Also, film #20 on Disc #1 of TV Cartoon Classics DVD Boxed Set (Platinum Disc, 2005)). [Category: Military & Propaganda]

"Why we fight" told allegorically as a cat-and-mouse story. A bunch of mice live a free and easy lifestyle until a cat shows up. The cat captures one of the mice and coerces him to betray his buddies into a life of slavery. But when the cat decides he wants to start eating them, the mice decide to fight back. By all working together and developing a "secret weapon" (a dog-shaped tank), they defeat the cat. This little piece of propaganda is actually a fairly accurate depiction of how most Americans viewed World War II and their role in it. It delivers the hopeful message that the little guys can defeat the big bully if they all work together and "show their stuff". It's interesting, though, that the mouse who betrayed his buddies gets nothing worse than a pie in the face.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ***.

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