Short of the Week

Myszochujek

An extroverted mouse battles censorship in this restored 1957 Polish animation.

Lovingly restored by The Polish Film Club, Kristof Babaski’s 1957 animation Myszochujek (aka ‘Penismouse’) is the playful tale of a mouse who refuses to be censored by the oppressive authorities. Unreleased until 2014, the film club acquired the rights to this experimental animated short, transferred it to HD and added a reconstructed soundtrack so that a brand new audience could enjoy the exploits of this rebellious rodent.

Following the titular ‘Penismouse’ as he battles the system that wants him to cover his rather impressive rodent appendage, our protagonist has to avoid a bulldozer and bullets as he fights for his right to showcase his member. Offering fans of animation a new take on the cartoon mouse, on the surface Myszochujek may be a light hearted romp about an uninhibited mouse, but scratch that surface and you’ll find a story centred around control and censorship. Experimental in delivery, as well as in content, Babaski (literally) seemed interested in pushing boundaries with the visuals of his film, as well the narrative. Comically playing with the 4:3 frame which contains his main character, like with his story, his visual approach whilst entertaining and amusing, also seemed to have deeper roots intent on making a statement on the restraints of the world in which we live.

Now over 50 years old, whilst the simple line-drawn style of this animation may seem dated compared to more modern techniques, its narrative has stood the test of time and still feels as relevant and powerful all this time after it was originally created. Although it doesn’t look like there are any more ‘Penismouse’ films on the horizon, in a recent interview for Directors Notes Anika Jarzynka from The Polish Film Club admitted she hadn’t given up hope – “as far as I am aware this was the only Myszochujek film… But you never know, there could be another one hidden away somewhere waiting to be discovered”.

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Editor on Short of the Week | Cohabiter on Directors Notes | Communicator at @kung_fuelvis
  • MunKy

    Amazing. Im in love with this little mouse.

  • bob the moo

    I want to believe…but really struggle to believe that this was made in 1957 when so much of it feels like it could easily be made today as a reference back to that style of Eastern European animation….can anyone point to an online resource for Kristof Babaski that doesn’t exist because of this short?
    I hate to be the cynic here, but I’m struggling with the restoration story….

  • bob the moo

    I want to believe…but really struggle to believe that this was made in 1957 when so much of it feels like it could easily be made today as a reference back to that style of Eastern European animation….can anyone point to an online resource for Kristof Babaski that doesn’t exist because of this short?
    I hate to be the cynic here, but I’m struggling with the restoration story….

  • http://www.andrewsallen.com Andrew S Allen

    I hate to break the filmmaker’s intended illusion, but I’m with you, Bob. This is most likely modern made with a constructed history. But I don’t think that diminishes it’s appeal one bit.

  • Anika Jarzynka

    Dear Bob the Moo, we are delighted that the film is causing your debate. I can confirm the film is a mix of old and new + was indeed made back in 1957. We were open to reinventing it and that’s way we did!

    All the best,

  • bob the moo

    Thank you for the reply Anika.
    I am interested to read more on Kristof Babaski but due to the popularity of your short, all Google results are focused on this…can you direct me to an online resource for Kristof which predates recent interest?

    Thanks!

  • Anika Jarzynka

    Unfortunately not but I am compiling all infomation surrounding Kristof and will be publishing it v soon on our upcoming website. I’ll message you soon.
    A x

  • bob the moo

    So, just to be clear, there is nothing about this man Kristof that predates your work…not a mention, not a credit on another piece of work….nothing….and the only proof of his existence will be presented on a website you’re creating?

    Okay, I think that makes the situation very clear.

    Your coyness about the existence of other Penis-Mouse shorts also implies that they are wholly your creation and that the character, the films and indeed the animator himself are all just part of your construct.

    Like Andrew says, this shouldn’t make a difference to the film itself, but I think it is pretty clear to everyone that everything about this being from the 1950′s is a crock!

  • TheZithLord

    Oh, Kristof Babaski. I love his films! Huehuehue