Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures

Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures

Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures (not to be confused with Filmation's The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse) was a revival of the classic Mighty Mouse cartoon, made by Bakshi-Hyde Ventures (a joint venture of animator Ralph Bakshi and producer John W. Hyde). It aired on CBS from 1987 to 1988 and was briefly rerun on Fox Kids in November 1992.

The series gave Mighty Mouse a true identity (Mike Mouse, a worker at Pearl Pureheart's factory), a sidekick in the form of the orphan Scrappy Mouse, friends in the forms of Bruce Vein the Bat-Bat (a parody of Bruce Wayne/Batman), Bat-Bat's sidekick Tick the Bug Wonder, and the League of Super-Rodents, and new antagonists including Petey Pate, the Glove and the Cow.

The show was a huge springboard for many cartoonists and animators who would later become famous, including John Kricfalusi (creator of The Ren and Stimpy Show), Bruce W. Timm (producer of Batman: The Animated Series), Jim Reardon (writer for Tiny Toon Adventures, Wall-E and director of many Simpsons episodes), Tom Minton (writer and producer for many Warner Bros. television cartoons, including Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, Baby Looney Tunes and Duck Dodgers), Lynne Naylor (co-founder of Spümcø, character designer for Batman: The Animated Series and storyboard artist for The Powerpuff Girls and Cow and Chicken among other work), Rich Moore (animation director for The Simpsons and Futurama), Andrew Stanton (director of Finding Nemo and Wall-E) and others. Kricfalusi supervised the production and directed eight of the twenty-six episodes.

Another factor incorporated into the show was the reintroduction of cartoon characters from the 1940s finding themselves in 1987, which was when the cartoon first aired. One such character called "Gandy Goose" had been frozen solid in the Arctic Circle during the Second World War and is unfrozen in 1987, where he finds he has been forgotten and that wartime ration books are no longer used. He recognizes Mighty Mouse, who promises to find him his long lost friend Sourpuss, but not before being somewhat of an annoyance to Mighty Mouse, such as forgetting not to address him as "Mighty Mouse" when he is in civilian attire. When Mighty Mouse is relieved at successfully reuniting Sourpuss with Gandy Goose, the narrator says Mighty Mouse had better not rest on his laurels as Deputy Dawg, a 1960s TV character, will soon be unfrozen.

The show lasted two seasons and inspired a 10-issue Mighty Mouse comic book series published by Marvel Comics in 1990 and 1991. No plans have materialized to release the show on DVD.

Development

Writing style

Kricfalusi described Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures as the origin of "‘Creator-Driven’ revolution" and that he hired artists "dissatisfied with the formula cartoons they were forced to work on at other studios." Kricfalusi referred to Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures as a "witty, satirical and wildly imaginative" series and "quite a revolution when compared to the cartoons being made everywhere else."

Kricfalusi said that he supervised the development of the cartoon in all aspects except the final editing. Kricfalusi said that he restored the "old time -director-unit system" in which three or four directors theoretically supervise all of the creative aspects of each individual cartoon. He said that two of the directors felt "kind of" reluctant to participate as they did not "really approve" of the direction. Kricfalusi intended for the cartoon to be "like a Warner Bros. cartoon." and that the show does not have his personal humor style. He described the team as "slightly cautious" in presenting ideas to CBS's executives.

Controversy

The show faced controversy, as the jokes were aimed more at adults than at children. A viewer notified media watchdog Reverend Donald Wildmon claiming that, in the episode "The Littlest Tramp", it looks like Mighty Mouse reaches into a pocket and snorts cocaine from his hand. Wildmon was disbelieving at first, but after investigating the episode and learning of producer Ralph Bakshi's background (e.g., directing the adult cartoon Fritz The Cat), alerted the media that this may have been intentional. While Bakshi defended the episode, stating that Wildmon had interpreted the scene out of context, he removed the scene from future airings of the episode because of his concern that the controversy might lead children to believe that what Wildmon was saying was true. Wildmon interpreted the cut as an admission that the claims were true, and Wildmon has been retired from his position as media watchdog. Bakshi denies it to this day, maintaining that Mighty Mouse smelled some crushed flowers given to him by the titular "Littlest Tramp" Polly Pineblossom, of whom he was reminiscing, and that the jet leading from his hand to his nose was a cartoon "smell line" moving super-fast from the mighty inhale. The smell lines were pink.

Episode list

Season 1 (1987-1988)

Episode
number
Name Production
code
Original airdate
1 "Night on Bald Pate" / "Mouse from Another House" 1A / 1B September 19, 1987
2 "Me-Yowww!" / "Witch Tricks" 2A / 2B September 26, 1987
3 "Night of the Bat-Bat" / "Scrap-Happy" 2A / 2B October 3, 1987
4 "Catastrophe Cat" / "Scrappy's Field Day" 4A / 4B October 10, 1987
5 "The Bagmouse" / "The First Deadly Cheese" 5A / 5B October 17, 1987
6 "This Island Mouseville" / "Mighty's Musical Classics" 6A / 6B October 24, 1987
7 "The Littlest Tramp" / "Puffy Goes Berserk" 7A / 7B October 31, 1987
8 "The League of Super-Rodents" / "Scrappy's Playhouse" 8A / 8B November 7, 1987
9 "All You Need is Glove" / "It's Scrappy's Birthday" 9A / 9B November 14, 1987
10 "Aqua-Guppy" / "Animation Concerto" 10A / 10B November 21, 1987
11 "The Ice Goose Cometh" / "Pirates with Dirty Faces" 11A / 11B November 28, 1987
12 "Mighty's Benefit Plan" / "See You in the Funny Papers" 12A / 12B December 5, 1987
13 "Heroes and Zeroes" / "Stress for Success" 13A / 13B December 12, 1987

Season 2 (1988-1989)

Episode
number
Name Production
code
Original airdate
14 "Day of the Mice" / "Still Oily After All These Years" 14A / 14B September 17, 1988
15 "Mighty's Wedlock Whimsy" / "Anatomy of a Milquetoast" 15A / 15B September 24, 1988
16 "Bat with a Golden Tongue" / "Mundane Voyage" 16A / 16B October 1, 1988
17 "Snow White & the Motor City Dwarfs" / "Don't Touch that Dial" 17A / 17B October 8, 1988
18 "Mouse and Supermouse" / "The Bride of Mighty Mouse" 18A / 18B October 15, 1988
19 "A Star is Milked" / "Mighty's Tone Poem" 19A / 19B October 22, 1988

Cast

References

External links

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