Rough on Rats (1933)

Van Beuren Studios
Directed by:
 Harry Bailey

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Three kittens run amok in a grocery store, then have to battle a nasty rat.

Cartoon Cats: The short begins with the Mama cat leading her kittens to a bowl where there is supposed to be milk. But the bowl is empty and Mama cat attempts to get some milk out of a pitcher. Instead her head gets stuck. She falls to the ground, shattering the pitcher and scaring her away. She does not come back throughout the short.

Rough on Rats - cartoon Mama cat with three kittens

Rough on Rats - cartoon Mama cat running away after breaking pitcher leaving three kittens

Finding themselves unsupervised, the kittens get into everything, playing on the scales like a teeter-totter, riding the basket across the store, finding out castor oil tastes nasty, and getting caught in a cash register as well as on fly paper.

Rough on Rats - black kitten sticking tongue out after tasting castor oil

Rough on Rats - cartoon kittens playing teeter totter on scales

Rough on Rats - cartoon kittens playing in swinging grocery basket

Rough on Rats - cartoon kittens playing on light fixture

Rough on Rats - cartoon kittens with cash register

Rough on Rats - cartoon black kitten stuck on fly paper while two other kittens watch

The kittens end up in the adjacent living quarters and spend some time playing on the piano and enjoying a catnip mouse.

Rough on Rats - cartoon kittens playing by piano with catnip mouse

The black kitten then sees what looks like a string sticking out of a hole in the wall. The kitten grabs the “string” but it turns out to be the tail of a very large rat!

Rough on Rats - cartoon black kitten grabbed by giant rat with two other kittens scared

The rat carries the kitten to its lair where it happens to have a meat slicer (what rat doesn’t?) The short turns scary as the rat straps the kitten to the machine and threatens to cut him into slices.

Rough on Rats - cartoon rat about to cut black kitten with meat slicer

The siblings are quick to the rescue, luring the rat out with some cheese. They rescue the black kitten and then the short turns insanely violent as the kittens just pound on the rat, using everything within their reach to pummel the baddie.

Rough on Rats - cartoon kitten spraying giant rat with poison

Rough on Rats - cartoon kitten throwing stuff down on giant rat

Rough on Rats - cartoon kittens in basket about to throw stuff down

Rough on Rats - cartoon kittens pounding rat stuck on fly paper

In the end the rat is subdued (maybe even killed!) and the kittens stand aside looking pleased. The black kitten then manages to get its head stuck in the closing iris of the cartoon.

Rough on Rats - cartoon kittens standing on barrel looking pleased

Rough on Rats - cartoon black kitten head only

Final Mewsings: Don’t let the cuteness fool you; kittens can be vicious when riled!.


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