Title - By Word of Mouse
Director - Friz Freleng
Released - 1954
Reason for Placement --
In the mid 1950s, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation underwrote three Looney Tunes cartoons to educate viewers about consumerism and business, all directed by Freleng.
In the first one, By Word of Mouse, a German mouse named Hans comes to visit his cousin Willie in America, but doesn't understand the idea behind mass-consumption and mass-production. When Willie fails to explain it to him, they go to see a professor mouse who gives them a brief lesson on how economics work. However, the mice must go over the lecture while being chased around the classroom by Sylvester!
The other two toons follow similar paths: in Heir Conditioned, Sylvester inherits a fortune, but his financial advisor, Elmer Fudd shows him why he should invest the money. And in the last one, Yankee Dood It, Freleng takes the classic story The Shoemaker and the Elves and demonstrates how a business runs.
Sure, sounds boring, but I give these shorts high marks because I learned more from these three cartoons than I ever did about business in high school or college (it's often been my opinion that schools need to start offering a personal finance course for people like me who never had much of a chance to learn about basic economics and such). Truth be told, you could probably put any of these three cartoons in this spot on the countdown, but I'm going to give the extra point to By Word of Mouse; it's just as educational as the others, but the chase during the lesson plan is what does it for me.