The Night Watchman
Directed By: Charles Jones
Produced By: Leon Schlesinger
Henry Binder
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
Film Editor: Treg Brown
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Margaret Hill-Talbot
The Sportsmen Quartet
Music: Carl W. Stalling
Starring: Tommy Cat
Preceded By: You're an Education
Succeeded By: The Daffy Doc

The Night Watchman is a 1938 Merrie Melodies cartoon 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 cartoon where Tommy Cat punches the mice was shortened.[1]


  • 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 cartoon 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 cartoon was the first to make use of the 1938-1939 green and yellow Color Rings with a black background, which would be used until 1939.
  • For both American and European "dubbed versions" created by Turner Entertainment, recreated Blue Ribbon title cards were made for this cartoon and "Daffy Duck & Egghead"[2][3]. For the 2006 DVD release, the original opening, credits, and ending title cards were found for this cartoon.
    • 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 1938-1941 Merrie Melodies ending music cue, the EU Turner print, on the other hand, has no borders in recreated WB shield and has the 1941-1955 Merrie Melodies ending music cue replacing the original ending music cue.[citation needed|date=]

  • This was Margaret Talbot's (née Peggy Hill) first cartoon 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 cartoon features mice in villain roles rather than the cats. Jones would use similar role reversals in cat-and-mouse in "Scaredy Cat", "Claws for Alarm" and "Kiss Me Cat".
  • 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 cartoon "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