July 24, 1978 12:00 PM

Don’t be put off by the cutesy wind-up mouse and his little son, whose single desire is to be self-winding and free. This animated children’s film is literate and delightfully sharp. Much of the credit belongs to the voices, especially Peter Ustinov as the malevolent Manny the rat, Cloris Leachman as the weary parrot Euterpe, and Andy Devine as the philosopher frog. The glimpses of dark despair amidst the typical cartoon sweetness and light give this production, backed by Japan’s ambitious Sanrio Films, enough bite to keep dutiful adults entertained too. (G)

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