Aesop's Fables of Contentment & Kindness
Aesop's Fables of Contentment & Kindness. The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse; The Lion and the Mouse. Golden Book Video. About 25 minutes. ©1986 Dolmatch. Racine: Western Publishing Company. One extra copy.
Simple, even rudimentary animation. The framework is provided by three monkeys, who appear before the first fable, between the two, and after the last. Town Mouse and the Country Mouse (about 10 minutes) presents little Mike bored in the country telling his mama that he needs to go see the world. The train takes him to town, where he meets cousin Max fresh from being chased by a cat. They eat well--chocolate and cheese!--in Max's well furnished hole. Mike is frightened at night by an "owl" clock and next morning by traffic and a ringing bell. They sneak past the sleeping cat only to be chased. A woman attacks with a broom. Mike is happy to return to Mama. The monkeys moralize variously, even contradictorily: "Sometimes things are better than you may think, and we should all appreciate what we have. Follow your heart but be prepared for the consequences. Mike had to find out for himself that country life wasn't such a bad thing after all." In The Lion and the Mouse (about 10 minutes), Malcolm is bringing cactus fruit home to his sick mother. He is followed and then chased by a fox into a hollow log, which the fox rolls over the cliff. Malcolm staggers home. His sister Amanda goes back ahead of him to get the cactus fruit; by now the fox has it on a string. Amanda jabs him in the foot. In running off, Amanda runs onto a lion. Malcolm begs the lion to spare her. The lion does not laugh but yields since they would not make much of a meal. Amanda soon announces that the lion has been caught. After being released by them, the lion apologizes.