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The mouse gets one up on the lion.
The mouse gets one up on the lion.

Slap Happy Lion is a 1947 cartoon directed by Tex Avery and produced by Fred Quimby. It is about the tragic downfall of a lion from king of the beasts to a gibbering, pill-popping wreck. It is narrated by a mouse whose torments drove him crazy. The mouse's voice was supplied by Frank Graham. Scott Bradley provided the music.

The closing title in the re-issued version does not display the regular MGM card and erroneously, the Tom and Jerry card. This might indicate that MGM made a mistake when reissuing it.

The lion's design served as the inspiration for Genghis from The Wacky World of Tex Avery.


Outside the Jingling Bros. Circus, a hospital ward clerk hauls out the lion in a wheelchair who has had a nervous breakdown. Watching this, a mouse expresses his disappointment about the lion being "mouse shocked" and then tells about what happened before.

We are then given a flashback about the lion being king of the beasts. His loud roar frightens every last animal, including a gorilla who shrinks down in size, screams, and runs off. Then one day, the lion meets a mouse who says "Boo" and the lion gets scared and screams two times. He comes down from the tree to roar at the mouse but the mouse proves to be tougher than him.

The lion tries to eat the mouse but fails to notice he's missing a tooth. The mouse then gets out of the lion's mouth and rolls out his tongue like a window shade. The lion tries swallowing the mouse who finds himself inside the stomach. As he finds two bones, the mouse plays the ribs inside the lion like an xylophone. The lion tries to kill the mouse by swallowing a lit bomb. When the mouse sees the bomb and screams, he escapes the lion's mouth again. The lion feels smug until he realizes the bomb is still inside him which makes him scream for help and blows up but can't blow him up when he survives the explosion.

While the lion looks for the mouse, the mouse sneaks inside his head and then pulls out firecrackers which blow up. The mouse cooks the lion's tail causing him to roar in pain and when he goes to the lake to cool it down, the mouse pulls out a safety pin to poke on his rear.

The lion then tries to hide from the mouse but finds him in the following areas:

  • On top of a palm tree
  • Under a rock
  • In an abandoned hut
  • In a gun that the lion fires
  • In a bed
  • In a reflection of the mirror
  • In a bottle of whiskey

The mouse finally peeves the lion in different ways and now a nervous wreck, the lion runs out of the hut and around the jungle.

After the story, the mouse wonders how anyone could be afraid of a mouse when another mouse shows up and says "Boo." and despite being a mouse himself, he screams and runs off like the lion did.

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