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Mighty Mouse Playhouse

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Mighty Mouse Playhouse
MMPlayhouse.jpg
Premiere December 10, 1955
Finale October 2, 1966
Creator Edward Winiarski (character concept), Izzy Klein (development)
Network CBS
Style 30-minute animated superhero action-adventure
Company Terrytoons
Seasons 11
Episodes 20
Origin USA

Mighty Mouse Playhouse was an animated superhero action-adventure airing on CBS, who bought the Terrytoons library in 1956. It showcased Mighty Mouse cartoons made throughout its theatrical span.

Mighty Mouse was originally created by the Terrytoons studio in 1942 to capitalize on the Superman craze of the time, where the Man of Steel hit it big first in comics, then radio and the Fleischer theatrical cartoons. Terry artist I. Klein first conceived of the character as a fly, but studio chief Paul Terry changed it to a mouse. Its original name was "Super Mouse," but a character in the Coo Coo Comics line already staked claim to the name, so two years later it was changed to the alliterative Mighty Mouse.

Low budgets being the Terry standard, the cartoons were pretty much interchangeable. Mice are depicted as innocents, victimized and persecuted by evil cats. Just as all hope is lost, one mouse changes through animation alchemy into Mighty Mouse in the cartoon's final minute and metes out justice to the cats. The early designs of the title character himself were quite ordinary, but by 1947 he was designed into what became the more recognizable hero. The studio began featuring him in all seven minutes of a cartoon with two co-stars: villainous Oil Can Harry and damsel in distress Pearl Pureheart. Dialogue was sung in opera style in all shorts with this trio.

CBS launched Mighty Mouse Playhouse with Colgate Dental Cream as a sponsor, and it was immediately passed off by the PTA and Action for Children's Television as "corny." It was a hit with children, regardless, and the show had a remarkable 11-year run. It featured three Mighty Mouse cartoons and a short subject with some of the Terrytoons studio's other stars. Three TV-budget Mighty Mouse cartoons from 1959 and 1961 were added in the early 1960s. It aired in black and white up until 1965, when all of CBS's shows were telecast in color.

After Playhouse was canceled, the Mighty Mouse cartoons became the middle feature of Mighty Mouse & The Mighty Heroes in 1966. The heroic rodent would be seen again in 1979 in Filmation's The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle, then in 1987 in Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures. A CGI movie and subsequent TV series was planned by Paramount and Nickelodeon for 2010 but both are currently on hold.

Contents

Cast

Actor Character Duration
Main Cast
Roy Halee Mighty Mouse (singing) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Tom Morrison Mighty Mouse (speaking) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Oil Can Harry 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Jo Miller Pearl Pureheart 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

In-Depth

Seasons

Season Premiere Finale #
CBS
Season 1-11 December 10, 1955 October 2, 1966 20

DVD Releases

Three original Mighty Mouse cartoons from the Terrytoons studio appeared in the January 5, 2010 release of Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures.