The Night Watchman


IMG 2135

Directed By: Charles Jones
Produced By: Leon Schlesinger
Henry Binder (uncredited)
Released: November 19, 1938
Series: Merrie Melodies
Story: Ted Pierce
Animation: Ken Harris
Keith Darling (uncredited)
A.C. Gamer (uncredited)
Bob McKimson (uncredited)
Phil Monroe (uncredited)
Rod Scribner (uncredited)
Ben Washam (uncredited)
Backgrounds: Art Loomer (uncredited)
Film Editor: Treg Brown (uncredited)
Voiced By: Mel Blanc (uncredited)
Margaret Hill-Talbot (uncredited)
The Sportsmen Quartet (uncredited)
Music: Carl W. Stalling
Starring: Tommy Cat
Preceded By: You're an Education
Succeeded By: The Daffy Doc
Merrie Melodies - The Night Watchman

Merrie Melodies - The Night Watchman

The Night Watchman is a 1938 Merrie Melodies short directed by Chuck Jones.


The watchman gets sick, so his son Tommy Cat is enlisted to watch the kitchen. When the gangland-style mice find out that he's the one on duty, they try to take over.



On the now-defunct WB channel, the sequence near the end of the short where Tommy Cat punches the mice was shortened.[1]


  • The recreated blue ribbon card had the VITAPHONE rings from "Count Me Out" for unknown reasons.
  • While the USA Turner print has borders in the recreated WB shield and preserves the original 1938-41 Merrie Melodies ending music cue, the EU Turner print, on the other hand, has no borders in recreated WB shield and has the 1941-55 Merrie Melodies ending music cue replacing the original ending music cue.[citation needed|date=]


  • When Frank Tashlin left Termite Terrace after producing "You're an Education", Leon Schlesinger had to find a new animation director to take Tashlin's spot. Schlesinger approached Robert McKimson, but McKimson declined the offer, allowing the offer to go to Chuck Jones. As such, "The Night Watchman" was the first short to be directed by Jones (credited as Charles Jones up until 1941), after he was promoted from an animator (where he was under Tex Avery and Bob Clampett's units).
  • This short was the first to make use of the 1938-39 green and yellow Color Rings with a black background and the shield was reverted to red, which would be used until September 1939.
  • For both American and European "dubbed versions" created by Turner Entertainment, recreated Blue Ribbon title cards were made for this short and "Daffy Duck & Egghead"[2][3]. For the 2006 DVD release, the original opening, credits, and ending title cards were found for this short.
  • This was Margaret Talbot's (née Peggy Hill) first short for Chuck Jones, later to do the voice of Sniffles the Mouse. Co-incidentally, Tommy Cat bears some facial resemblance to Sniffles, as he served as a prototype for the character.[citation needed|date=]

  • Much like "Ain't We Got Fun", this short features mice in villain roles rather than the cats. Jones would use similar role reversals in cat-and-mouse in "Scaredy Cat", "Kiss Me Cat" and "Claws for Alarm".
  • The scene where the lead gangland mouse pulls of the button from Tommy Cat's suspenders (and Tommy Cat doing the same thing to the lead gangland mouse at the end) is a partial reference to the Mickey Mouse short "Mickey's Rival" by rival studio Disney, where Mortimer Mouse pulls off the buttons from Mickey's shorts.



External Links

Animation breakdown of the cartoon

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