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Ben and Me is a 20-minute, later 25-minute animated short based on the book of the same name by Robert Lawson. It was released on November 10, 1953 alongside The Living Desert, later on May 30, 1989.

Synopsis

Ben and Me opens with two tour groups simultaneously visiting a statue of Benjamin Franklin. The human tour group discusses Franklin's life and achievements, while the leader of a mouse tour group reveals the contributions of a mouse, Amos, to Franklin's career.

Narrated by Amos, through his memoirs, the mouse recalls how he first met and befriended Benjamin Franklin, eventually aiding in his publishing, inventions, and political career. Amongst Amos' contributions were bifocals, inspiring Franklin to build the stove, and changing the format of Poor Richard's Almanac to an event-oriented newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette. After Ben's experiments with electricity unintentionally endanger Amos' life, Amos leaves Ben and moves back in with his family. Years later, Amos hears of Franklin again when he read from the newspaper that the inventor was sent to England as part of a colonial attempt to reason with King George III over the unfair taxations imposed on the colonies. Then Franklin returned as the colonists asked him, but Ben said, "Gentlemen, I'm afraid the mission was a failure. The King was unreasonable. He wouldn't listen." Amos, seeing this- and the confusion and anger of the colonists- realizes he could help, but initially refuses. Amos and Franklin finally resolve their disagreements in the midst of the American Revolution, and in the end, Amos plays a key but little-known role in aiding Thomas Jefferson with the drafting of the Declaration of Independence until on July 4, 1776.

Deleted scenes (extended version of the animated short film)

Some prints of this cartoon are missing scenes telling about Amos Mouse's family. These sequences were created for the short's presentation in the Disneyland episode, "The Liberty Story", and even on Mouseterpiece Theatre and later the extended version released on the Walt Disney Mini Classics line of videos. Also seen on the UK VHS of Walt Disney's Fables: Volume 3.

  • In 1568, Christopher Mouse and his family of 24 moved to London from Devonshire and settled in the cellar of a bakery on Fleet Street. While Christopher gathers flour in the sack, he is caught by a fat cat (resembling Lucifer from Cinderella) he blows the flour to the cat and chased Christopher, until he made it in the cellar.
  • One foggy day in November of 1573, Christopher's eldest son Aramis sailed through the Thames River in a teacup.
  • Aloysius Mouse worked as a painter under the tutelage of famous German painter Hans Holbein the Younger as they painted the Portrait of Erasmus of Rotterdam in 1523.
  • Jason Mouse, Amos' great-great-great-grandfather, fought for the mice's rights and in 1620, after his petition for all cats to be caged fell on deaf ears, he moved with his family to Southampton aboard the Mayflower to Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Scenes from "The Liberty Story"

From "The Liberty Story" that two other missing scenes telling about Amos Mouse's family which it right in between Aloysius.

  • Lucius Mouse, the black sheep of the family, working in an ale house.
  • Cousin Geoffrey Mouse left the cellar of Fleet Street after the repeated warnings of his family and moved to Richmond Palace. During Elizabeth's reign, he relaxed under the royal table where he grabbed the crumbs from the table, and unfortunately became a victim of the headsman's cat who was also named Elizabeth.

Releases

Television

Home video

VHS

LaserDisc

DVD

Gallery

Screenshots

Miscellaneous

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