Why do mice make such memorable movie characters? We love to see the little guy win. And our leading rodents are not only very little but also very guy-like. Certainly the new-to-video Mouse Hunt believes in the humanity of its occasionally animatronic hero, and its Rube Goldberg slapstick is that much funnier knowing there’s a bold furry being behind it. Here’s our list of the All-Time Top Five cinematic mice. They may be pip-squeaks, but we see ourselves writ large in them.
STAR TURN: FANTASIA
Unflinching optimism gives spark to Mickey’s cartoons, from creator Walt Disney’s Fantasia to the 1995 Oscar-nominated short, Runaway Brain, which pits Mickey against a mad scientist after his gray matter.
HUMAN EQUIVALENT: Tom Hanks
STAR TURN: TOM & JERRY CARTOON FESTIVAL
All you need to know about violence can be learned from William Hanna and Joseph Barbera’s Tom and Jerry, and everything about endurance from Jerry, who never says die.
HUMAN EQUIVALENT: Super Dave Osborne
STAR TURN: SALUTE TO FRIZ
”Cheese!” cry the mouse masses. But who comes to their aid? Why, the people’s hero, the fastest mouse in all Mexico — Freleng’s Oscar-winning critter, that’s who!
HUMAN EQUIVALENT: Robin Hood
STAR TURN: MOUSE HUNT
”real” mouse is so skilled it’s unreal. Speaking no lines, wanting only to stay in its old home alone, it wreaks ingenious havoc, and knows its adversaries better than they know themselves.
HUMAN EQUIVALENT: MacGyver
STAR TURN: THE SECRET OF NIMH
A mouse and a lady, Mrs. Brisby doesn’t look for trouble. But when push comes to shove and her children are in peril, Don Bluth’s plucky heroine has got it where it counts — in her heart.
HUMAN EQUIVALENT: Sally Field