With the friendly debates over Canadian accents going on in the comments of the latest Cinecast episode, I figured I’d bring a little classic Canadian animation to the fore this week. “The Cat Came Back” was originally a comic children’s song written by Harry S. Miller way back in 1893. It has remained popular throughout the 20th century, but now it’s pretty much indelibly linked to Cordell Baker’s 1988 cartoon, depicting the trials of one Mr. Johnson as he struggles to get rid of a persistent and destructive little yellow cat. Frankly, Mr. Johnson does seem to get angry at the cat for very little reason in the beginning – if you didn’t want him to play with the rattle, why did you wave it in front of him? But the cat gets his revenge and moreso, as Mr. Johnson goes to ever more explosive lengths to get rid of him. The cartoon won a Genie Award for Best Animated Short, and was nominated for an Oscar, but lost to Tin Toy, one of the very earliest Pixar films. I guess if you’re going to lose an Oscar, losing to Pixar is about as good as you can do. I will warn you, once the song starts playing, you will NOT be able to get it out of your head.
the recovering academic