Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Leigh Hodgkinson "Talented Mouse" (2007)

I have been researching the work of Leigh Hodgkinson for an article and am compelled to enthuse about her animated series Talented Mouse made in 2007 for the UK’s Channel 4. Enjoying something of cult status at the time, Kayvan Novak makes a series of telephone calls to an unsuspecting public. (He is the Fonejacker!) If you have not seen the series you will laugh aloud. In the link there are four shorts. In the first, Catnip, the mouse phones up to order sufficient oil to dispose of the family cat. To the internet shopping order he adds certain essentials including a blowtorch to punish the cat for eating mother, father and naïve country cousin. "Are cats flammable?" he asks. If flambéed cat is not to your liking, how about the cheese board? A call to the pest control officer is made for instructions prior to extracting a cubed lump of the stuff from the mousetrap. I have attempted to put together a kitchen from self assembly packs and I know the pitfalls of following instructions. I have never, however, been skewered before. Time to make that call to an adult cheese line where tantalising innuendo of a cheesy nature is exchanged before in the final film of the four on offer, the mouse attempts a liaison at the local underground station during a call to a girl as he endeavours to get a faltering stage career off skid row. A montage of snapshots, video and animation ingeniously illustrate recordings of the squeaky voice. Performer and director obtained their rewards: Kayvan obtained a BAFTA, Leigh an Annecy Crystal. The French town is a lovely place so it’s no palliative but when the mouse squeaks "you lied to me!" down the line the visual trigger of huge gouts of blood has a brilliance that is certainly the equal of the script. In short, the inventive series is full of gratuitous violence towards mouse and cat with humans richly amused. I certainly was. Leigh has just moved over to a brand new studio, Beakus, packed with exciting directors, about which much more at the weekend.


Anonymous said...


That brightened my day.

*gives another try to get laptop's keyboard working*

Stray Snippets said...

It made my day, thanks! I've posted it too.