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Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941)

Not Rated | | Animation, Comedy, Family | 5 December 1941 (USA)
The happy tranquility of Buggsville is shattered when the populace learns that a colossal skyscraper is to be built over their tiny town.


Dave Fleischer, Shamus Culhane (uncredited)


Dave Fleischer (original story), Dan Gordon (original story) | 10 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Kenny Gardner Kenny Gardner ... Dick (voice)
Gwen Williams Gwen Williams ... Mary (voice)
Jack Mercer ... Mr. Bumble / Swat (voice)
Tedd Pierce Tedd Pierce ... C. Bagley Beetle (voice) (as Ted Pierce)
Carl Meyer Carl Meyer ... Smack (voice)
Stan Freed Stan Freed ... Hoppity (voice)
Pauline Loth Pauline Loth ... Honey (voice)
The Four Marshals The Four Marshals ... Chorus Interpretations (voice)
The Royal Guards The Royal Guards ... Chorus Interpretations (voice)


In a vacant corner lot off Broadway (by about a yard) is a place called the Lowlands by the tiny community that lives there. Bugs and insects are neighbors and hang out at the Honey Shop of old Mr. Bumble the bee and his daughter Honey. Hoppity the grasshopper arrives to be with Honey, his sweetie. This bugs the crooked C. Bagley Beetle, so do his bunglers Smack the Mosquito and Swat the Fly. The Beetle wants Honey and the Lowlands for himself. But the Human Ones, with their littering and carelessness, pose a threat of destruction to every Lowland home of bug and beetle alike. Despite the doomsaying of Mr. Creeper, the snail, Hoppity finds hope of a new home behind the house of two Human Ones: Mary, who cares for a beautiful garden; and Dick, a struggling songwriter who puts his own hope on a Broadway hit to save his home. Written by CPL Rixter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The first full-length animated musical comedy! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

5 December 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hoppity Goes to Town See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fleischer Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (video)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The titles are shown over what seems to be a 3 dimensional background because it is. The Fleischer studio pioneered the idea of building models and filming them rather than drawing background plates. They did this several times in the "Popeye" cartoons. See more »


Swat the Fly: You wouldn't hit a little guy with glasses would you?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Released to TV as "Hoppity Goes to Town" by NTA, with copyright date and one minute missing. A hasty retitle patch-job somewhat ruins the beginning-credits sequence. See more »


Featured in That's Adequate (1989) See more »


We're the Couple in the Castle
Music by Hoagy Carmichael
Lyric by Frank Loesser
Played in the score during the opening credits and often in the film
Sung by Kenny Gardner (uncredited) several times
See more »

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User Reviews

Mr. Bug and Fleischer
25 June 2006 | by tostinatiSee all my reviews

Leslie Carbaga's excellent book on the Fleishers tells the whole story of the Fleischer's big move of their entire animation unit to Florida, and their subsequent ejection by Paramount.

Mr. Bug Goes to Town didn't destroy the animation pioneers' credit with Paramount, although it's often told that way, and this was Paramount's favorite version of the story. According to Carbaga, the big studio, more than anything, wanted to get their mitts on the animation studio and ease the famously bickering brothers out of the picture altogether. Mr. Bug provided them the pretext to do just that. --The sad closing of a great quirky, innovative chapter in American animation.

I wanted to comment, also, that the film actually debuted December 4, 1941, not December 7. That may have been close enough to do the trick, anyway, in terms of national mood damaging the film's success. But another part of the legend of this troubled little film is that it was killed by having the bad luck to be in the theaters at the same time Dumbo (released October 23, 1941) was still doing very brisk holiday business. I haven't done the research into box office numbers, but I'd say that Dumbo's concurrent presence in theaters likely had an impact on Mr. Bug. Movie-going was at an all time high at this period, and successful films could go strong in theaters for months. -- Something unimaginable in these typically short-run, quick to-DVD days.

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