The Mouse is Mine: Paul McCarthy Blocks Auction of His Adorable Cartoon Critter Drawings

Everyone is familiar with the Beatles ' transformation into cartoon characters in "The Yellow Submarine," and diehard Paul McCartney fans also speak fondly of "The Frog Chorus," another animated film based on a McCartney song from 1980. The holy grail of McCartney cartoons, however, is the fabled and never-released "Bruce McMouse Show." Sketches for the hour-long show — chronicling the life of a mouse and his family living beneath the floorboards of a concert stage — were scheduled to hit the auction block last week, but McCartney's lawyers suddenly blocked the sale, charging that the animator's daughter does not have the rights to the images. Maggie Thornton , the daughter of animator Eric Wylam , counters that the drawings had been in her family for the past 40 years, . "My father was given a pile of scrap paper covered in rough drawings and I always believed they belonged to my father," Thornton said. "Hopefully it's all just been a misunderstanding." According to Chris Albury of Dominic Winter Auctioneers , the auction house attempted to contact McCartney about the sale back in March but received no reply. Then, shortly before the items were to go up for auction on Thursday, McCartney's lawyers blocked the sale, saying that the images are the property of the musician's company, MPL Communications . The 26 drawings, which were estimated at £25,000 ($40,500), were made by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney , and Linda's daughter Heather while on vacation in Antigua. They were then used as the basis for "The Bruce McMouse Show" in 1973, which included interactions between the mouse family and Wings using footage from the band's 1972 European tour. Maggie Thornton, who is one of the few people to have seen the film, , "I can see why it was never released. The storyline doesn't really work and some of the cutting between the singing and the animation isn't very good." The drawings, however, are extremely cute, as you can see in the slide show on the left.