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title. mighty mouse

date. 1987

city. Los Angeles

story. creator, director


In this series, each episode had two self-contained 11-minute cartoon segments. It differed from the earlier incarnations of Mighty Mouse in many ways. It gave Mighty Mouse the secret identity of Mike Mouse, a sidekick in the form of the orphan Scrappy Mouse (who knows the hero's secret identity), heroic colleagues such as the Bat-Bat and his sidekick Tick the Bug Wonder, and the League of Super-Rodents. The series introduced antagonists like Petey Pate, Big Murray, Madame Marsupial and The Cow (actually a bull, because he is Madame Marsupial's boyfriend and he possesses male traits).


Unlike other American animated TV shows of the time (and Mighty Mouse's past theatrical shorts) the show's format was loose and episodes did not follow a particular formula. Episodes varied from superhero type stories to parodies of shows like The Honeymooners ("Mighty's Wedlock Whimsy") and the 1960s Batman series ("Night of the Bat-Bat" and "Bat With a Golden Tongue"), movies like Fantastic Voyage ("Mundane Voyage") and Japanese monster films (the opening of "Mighty's Wedlock Whimsy"), comic books ("See You in the Funny Papers"), and even lampooned other cartoons ("Don't Touch That Dial!") and specifically Alvin and the Chipmunks ("Mighty's Benefit Plan").


The series resurrected other Terrytoons characters, but acknowledged the passage of time: perennial menace Oil Can Harry returns to chase Pearl Pureheart once more ("Still Oily After All These Years"); 1940s characters Gandy Goose and Sourpuss and 1960s Deputy Dawg are revived (Gandy and Dawg frozen in time in blocks of ice) in "The Ice Goose Cometh"; "Gaston Le Crayon" has a cameo ("Still Oily After All These Years").


Bakshi's own 1960 creations — The Mighty Heroes — appear, aged, in the episode "Heroes and Zeroes". Fellow Terrytoons characters Heckle and Jeckle also appear, in "Mighty's Wedlock Whimsy".


The show was considered revolutionary at the time, and, along with 1988's Who Framed Roger Rabbit, inspired a wave of animated shows that were much zanier than those that had dominated children's animation in the previous two decades. It is credited by some as the impetus for the ‘creator-driven’ animation revolution of the 1990s.


It 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 Warner Bros. Batman: The Animated Series), Jim Reardon (writer for Tiny Toon Adventures and Disney/Pixar's Wall-E) 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 Cartoon Network's The Powerpuff Girls and Cow and Chicken among other work), Rich Moore (animation director for Fox/Comedy Central's Futurama and director of Disney's Wreck-It Ralph), Andrew Stanton (director of Disney/Pixar's Finding Nemo and Wall-E) and others.


John Kricfalusi supervised the production for the first season and directed eight of its twenty-six segments. Kent Butterworth supervised the second season, after John Kricfalusi's departure to work on the similarly short-lived 1988 animated series The New Adventures of Beany and Cecil. The show was licensed as a comic book series published by Marvel Comics in 1990 and 1991, which ran for 10 issues.

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