Here’s one of my favorite posts from my old blog, where I talked about an especially cool episode of the old Pixie and Dixie cartoon that gets into some unintentional religious territory. I’ve edited it a bit for reposting.
From May 7, 2014
So I was up late the other night and was flipping between channels. I switched it over to Boomerang, that channel that shows old school cartoons, around 1am. They were showing Pixie and Dixie cartoons. That’s the one with the city mouse and country mouse cousins who live in the same house and get harassed by Mr. Jinks, that cat who “hates mieces to pieces.” It’s basically Tom and Jerry with considerably less mayhem and considerably more tedious dialogue. Even as a kid I didn’t dig this thing as much as other 60s era Hanna Barbara talking animal joints like Yogi Bear or what have you. But I was curious to see how this thing looked nowadays.
Turns out the short I happened to catch, Missile Bound Cat, was pretty dang weird.
Pixie and Dixie are watching TV. It’s one of those old live action sci-fi kid shows, and this being Hanna Barbara World, the star of the show is a cat.
He goes around saving mice in peril or something. Pixie and Dixie dig it, but Mr. Jinks finds it offensive that a cat would devote his life to saving mice. Mice are for bashing with brooms and whatnot. By Mr. Jinks’ standards, that’s their lot in life. So Mr. Jinks blows it all off as fictional nonsense and mocks the mieces for liking something so inherently silly.
The thing is, Pixie and Dixie believe that Space Cat is real. It’s almost like he’s a savior figure to them– they have hope that something as physically superior and terrible as a cat could care for something as weak and helpless as a mouse. That is what faith in god-like beings amounts to, in a reductive way, right?
So Mr. Jinks calls their faith into question, saying Space Cat is just “an imaginary from your figment.” He goes to the window and yells out into the night sky that he’s going to beat these mice to death, and that if this Space Cat is real, he better come and save them.
We basically have an atheist questioning someone’s faith and daring their god to show himself in a talking animal cartoon from 1961. It’s kinda weird seeing that in this context, but if the thing had just ended with that and reverted right back to chase scenes with repeating backgrounds, I wouldn’t be writing about it.
Space Cat does exist in Hanna Barbara World. He shows himself to his devoted followers and saves them from Mr. Jinks’ wrath by disintegrating the poor cat’s face and the reintegrating it after the mieces insist that Space Cat show him mercy.
So yeah, Space Cat is real. Not much of a twist. Still nothing really shocking or anything. Quirky with some weird implications for the time, but nothing special. But nope, the cartoons isn’t over just yet.
Space Cat decides that Mr. Jinks must be judged for his sins.
He may not get his face re-disintegrated, but Mr. Jinks is going to go before Space Cat’s boss for some sort of final judgement. Space Cat takes Mr. Jinks to his home planet, which is ruled over my a mouse king. Mr. Jinks still thinks this is all nonsense. He’s not going to bow to some lowly miece, so he grabs a nearby royal broom and starts chasing after the king while spouting that this is the mouse’s rightful place in the world.
And Space Cat buys into it. Once he starts chasing after his former ruler, he feels like it’s the right thing to do. So Mr. Jinks returns to Earth, where the Space Cat TV show has turned into a typical cat chases mouse show, and the supposed natural order has been returned to the world.
So what we have here is a god-like entity betraying its lord and succumbing to what it believes is the right way to live. It’s as if Mr. Jinks is Satan tempting Jesus Space Cat in the desert, and he gives in to temptation and starts chasing after God with his Godbroom. And the cartoon ends with the notion that this is how things should be. The strong should pick on the weak because that’s the natural order. That is the right thing.
Weird stuff, man. That Hanna Barbara stuff sure could be crazy at times.