The Cricket in Times Square is a tame little story adapted from the 1960 book by George Selden in which a liverwurst-loving cricket named Chester is transported in a picnic basket from a field in Connecticut to the Times Square subway. There, the genteel Chester is befriended by Tucker Mouse, Harry the Cat, and Mario the Newsboy, whose parents’ newsstand is suffering from a severe lack of sales. When Tucker and Harry discover that Chester has the uncanny gift of being able to reproduce any music he hears, Tucker suggests that Chester perform during rush hour to attract business to the newsstand. It works; Chester’s magnificent melodies stop commuters in their tracks.

Though the animation is ordinary (the director is Chuck Jones, best known for his Road Runner and Bugs Bunny cartoons), the characters — especially the generous Tucker and the stately, kind Harry — remind us what the world is like when creatures are good to one another. B+