Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures
From The TV IV
Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures is an animated comedy that aired on CBS. It is an updated version of the Mighty Mouse cartoons produced from 1942 to 1960 by the Terrytoons studio and released by 20th Century-Fox and the fourth series of the character on CBS, the first being Mighty Mouse Playhouse (1955-66).
Pretty much like the Mighty Mouse cartoons of yore, our hero comes in to save persecuted mice from evil cats. But in this series, Mighty Mouse has an identity: he's Mike Mouse, a labeler at the Mouseville Cat Food Cannery, and his boss is the damsel in distress he's rescued on many occasions, Pearl Pureheart. The token damsel in the 40s and 50s, Pearl is a throroughly modern and self assertive lady, although she can get in a spot once in awhile that requires Mighty Mouse's aid.
Mighty Mouse has a new Rogue's Gallery of villains as well, with the most prolific being Petey Pate, a bald and insecure nebbish feline, and the Cow. Old nemesis Oil Can Harry appears in season 2, and Mighty Mouse is given a tagalong sidekick, Scrappy. He's an orphan mouse who is presumably there for viewer identification.
Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures was a critical success but not a ratings success. It went up against NBC's Alvin and the Chipmunks, and working against it especially is that adults were making up a good chunk of its audience. The 2-11 demographic wasn't there as it was for Alvin and company.
The show gained notoriety in an episode in which Mighty Mouse sniffs the petals of a pulverized flower given to him and it goes up his nose. A viewer raised a stink, claiming that the hero was sniffing cocaine, and the Rev. Donald Wildmon took up the case demanding action. Bakshi and CBS both insist that nothing of the sort ever happened, but the scene was altered anyway in subsequent airings. An apparent make-good episode was done in season 2, in which Mighty Mouse helped fellow crime-fighter Bat-Bat break his addiction to joke-telling. (Layout artist Mike Kazaleh revealed that Bat-Bat's last line in the episode--"Just say no to canned laughter"--was replaced with a stock scream after McDonald's threatened to pull its advertising if the line was not removed.) Season 2 also featured an episode, "Don't Touch That Dial," which was a brilliantly scathing indictment on the state of Saturday morning television.
It was also a rare case of a Saturday morning cartoon driven by the artists, not by writers via network committee. Some of the artists had worked for Filmation and Hanna-Barbera and clearly enjoyed themselves on this show. One artist, John Kricfalusi, would go onto make The Ren & Stimpy Show four years later. Bakshi's Mighty Mouse show would return on FOX in repeats in November 1992.
Originally, CBS had the show pencilled in at 8:30 AM. At the last minute it was moved to 10:30 AM after CBS yanked the show that was intended for the 10:30 spot, The Garbage Pail Kids, pulled after numerous complaints from parents. Jim Henson's Muppet Babies was expanded to 90 minutes as a result and Mighty Mouse was relocated to 10:30.
|Patrick Pinney||Mighty Mouse||1||2|
|Maggie Roswell||Pearl Pureheart||1||2|
|Michael Pataki||The Cow||1||2|
|Season One||September 19, 1987||December 12, 1987||13|
|Season Two||September 10, 1988||October 23, 1988||6|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
|The Complete Series||January 5, 2010||3||purchase|