skip navigation
Mr. Bug Goes to Town

Mr. Bug Goes to Town(1941)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)


powered by AFI

In a New York City garden, a miniature city populated by insects exists among the grasses of a small, empty lot. The insects are in danger of losing their homes because a broken fence now admits humans to walk through the garden. As a result, grasshopper Hoppity returns home from his adventures in the world to find his home has changed: Mrs. Ladybug's thatched home burns down because a human carelessly tosses a discarded match, and human children playing stickball in the garden unwittingly trample insect homes. C. Bagley Beetle, a ruthless insect entrepreneur, feels safely ensconced living in the neighboring lot, which is owned by humans, but he offers to sell Mr. Bumble space if he gives Beetle permission to marry his daughter Honey, who is in love with Hoppity. Mr. Bumble rejects Beetle's offer, and Beetle angrily pushes a burning cigar butt down a slope into Mr. Bumble's shop. Hoppity risks his life crossing the street to get water from a hydrant, but the cigar is pushed over and the shop is saved. Beetle then orders his minions, the mosquito Smack and the fly Swat, to exterminate Hoppity, but when Smack instead accidentally electrocutes himself with a radio wire, Hoppity saves his life, and his romance with Honey continues uninterrupted. Hoppity and Mr. Bumble go on a mission to find a new home, and climb the extensive wall that leads up to the neighbors' walled garden. Hoppity and Bumble are impressed by the beautifully maintained garden, and when Mary and Dick, the human owners, rescue Bumble from drowning in a watering can, the insects are convinced that they have been invited to move there. The entire insect village makes the long trek to their new garden home, but they are soon flooded out when Mary waters the garden with a hose, and after returning home, everyone blames Hoppity for their predicament. Depressed, Hoppity packs his traveling bag, and ends up on Dick's windowsill, while Dick, a composer, plays his newest composition. Hoppity overhears Dick and Mary say that they will fix up the garden if someone buys the song, but will lose the house if no one does. Hoppity reports back to his fellow bugs that they will all be forced out unless Dick and Mary get a check from the publishers. As time passes, the bug community gets more and more trampled, and Hoppity anxiously awaits the daily mail delivery. Hoppity is thrilled when the check finally does arrive, but is unaware that Beetle has arranged for Smack and Swat to hide the check so that Dick and Mary never receive it. Dick and Mary are evicted, and unknown to the insects, the house is scheduled to be demolished to make way for a skyscraper. Beetle kidnaps Hoppity, then takes advantage of the situation and tells Bumble that he will allow all the insects to move up to his "land" if Honey will marry him. Honey reluctantly consents in order to save her village. The wedding ceremony is disrupted by a construction crew, however, and the fleeing villagers are unable to find a piece of land that is not dug under. Hoppity, meanwhile, has been trapped inside the envelope with the publisher's check, and when he is finally freed, he tells the villagers about Beetle's scheme, but they are all scooped up by a big tractor before they can act on the news. Later, Mary and Dick revisit their old homesite, and fantasize that they could be living in a penthouse with a garden if they had sold Dick's song. After once again overhearing their discussion, Hoppity then retrieves the envelope and makes sure that it is redeposited in the mail. He then rallies his terrified community into climbing the skyscraper's girders, convinced that a glorious new home awaits them at the top. After being bounced from address to address, the publisher's check finally reaches Dick. The insects, meanwhile, reach the top of the skyscraper by the time it is finished. At first, it appears that Hoppity was once again misinformed about the garden, but when they look over the edge of the roof, the insects see their new garden awaiting them, with Dick and Mary as their hosts. The villagers settle into their new high-rise home, as Beetle, Smack and Swat look on enviously through the bars of a grate.