Quimby the Mouse: A Tragic Tale of Abuse and Helplessness

Quimby the Mouse: A Tragic Tale of Abuse and Helplessness

Quimby the Mouse is an animated short by Chris Ware, with music by the enigmatic Andrew Bird. It was created for the 2009 spring event, “This American Life-Live!” The theme of the performances in the live show was “Return To The Scene Of The Crime”, and this animation certainly lived up to it! Quimby the Mouse is an incredible piece, but also a sad and tragic story about the female mouse in the film, a tale of sadism and helplessness from which there is no escape.

Quimby’s apparent sadism is a nice contrast to the innocuously sugar-coated Mickey. Whenever Chris Ware uses humor in his films, it isn’t with the intent of provoking mirth. It almost invariably serves the end of making things hurt more, an artistic mandate to make you hurt as much as possible, whether it’s recognizing terrible things in yourself or aching with sympathy or drawn in by loathing or… many other really distressing things. And this is certainly the case with Quimby the Mouse.

You can listen to this episode of “This American Life-Live!” online here.

Quimby the Mouse: A Tragic Tale of Abuse and Helplessness

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