Little Roquefort is a character created for Terrytoons. He is a small but fiery little rodent always looking for fun, food, or a chance to relax, but unluckily for him, he is constantly pestered by a bothersome pussycat named Percy.
Background[edit | edit source]
The creation of Roquefort spawned from the success of MGM's cat and mouse duo, Tom and Jerry, the pair had gained great recognition and even seven Oscars, and so Terry Toons created the little guy along with a mean and stupid pussy cat hoping that the two would see similar acclaim.
And so Roquefort and the cat made their debut in 1950's "Cat Happy" and "Mouse and Garden", in the cartoons Roquefort and the cat both had their personalities established, with our little mouse being gentle, kind, yet still mischievous and able to defend himself through fast-thinking, even if he isn't much of a thinker, and the cat being rude, mean, stupid, yet had a playful edge to him almost mirroring Roquefort. Roquefort and his feline adversary were both voiced by Tom Morrison, who gave the mouse a dopey and scrappy voice and the cat a deep scratchy voice. He voiced the characters for the remainder of the shorts, however after this point, Roquefort's vocals were sped up to make him sound cuter, and the cat became more of a mute character (Only ever talking in "Cat Happy", "Flop Secret", and "The Cat's Revenge"). That same year the character made a sort of cameo in the Mighty Mouse cartoon "Mother Goose's Birthday Party", as short's version of the three blind mice looks exactly like Roquefort.
This cartoons seemed to go over well, so the crew decided to continue the creation of these shorts, with 16 more being made over the span of the next five years. During this time a few things of note happened, with the cartoon "Good Mousekeeping" the was at last given a name, that name being 'Percy Pussycat'. This cartoon also introduced Percy's owner, a short-tempered woman always shown from the waist down, the actress who played her is sadly not known.
The Little Roquefort cartoons were directed by Connie Rasinski (Who did the first) and other times Mannie Davis. The cartoons had a few different animators, such as Carlo Vinci, however, the series may be most known for the zany and off the wall animation by Jim Tyer, whose wacky double-takes and over the top movements further added to the shorts.
Around this same time, Roquefort and Percy started appearing in TerryToons Comics, but that title (Published by St. John Comics) is poorly documented, and it isn't certain exactly when he started there. It is known that Pines published him in his own comic for nine issues, from June 1952 through October 1953.
One odd thing about Percy and Roquefort's relationship is that even though Percy seemingly despises him and spends most of his free time trying to kill him, and even though Roquefort is always trying to escape him or foil his plans the two seem to actually deeply care for each over, as friends, to the point where some shorts even end the pair happily getting along in the end.
His last appearance, as well as Percy's, was 1955's "No Sleep for Percy". They had no further roles after that. He had appeared in one last comic book after that, Little Roquefort #10, published in 1958.
Roquefort and Percy continued to appear as part of the general TerryToons mix on CBS and in packages of cartoons syndicated to local stations for a long time to come, mainly on Mighty Mouse Playhouse.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
1950[edit | edit source]
1951[edit | edit source]
1952[edit | edit source]
1953[edit | edit source]
1954[edit | edit source]
1955[edit | edit source]
Legacy[edit | edit source]
Little Roquefort isn't all that much to write home about, however, he was billed as one of the top stars, his cartoons were regularly showcased on TV, and the cartoons their self's are well-liked by the people who have seen them.
For such a small guy he played his part in the studio's history and got lots of laughs along the way, and furthermore, he has shown time and time again that maybe it is nice to be mice.