mightyday mightyday

It’s Mighty Mouse Day!

Going on sale today: the Ralph Bakshi Mighty Mouse The New Adventures complete series on DVD. Everyone reading this blog should own a copy. This is the 1987 show that began the creator-driven movement in television animation – and launched the careers of John K., Bruce Timm, Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and many many talented others.

I’ve got two copies of this DVD set to give away. It’ll go to the first two people in the comments section below who can correctly answer these three questions:

On this series what is the name of Mighty Mouse’s girl friend?? What is the name of Mighty Mouse’s secret identity? And what is the name of Mighty’s orphaned kid sidekick? CONTEST NOW CLOSED!

I urge everyone who didn’t win the prize today to order it on Amazon or buy it at Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart or where ever DVDs are sold. You know you want it. You know you need it! If you ever wanted to be Mighty Mouse: Click Here!

And if you do pick it up, send us your comments!

  • Justin

    Pearl Pureheart!
    Mike Mouse!
    Scrappy Mouse!

  • Marc

    Pearl Pureheart
    Mike Mouse
    Scrappy Mouse


  • Phil

    oh and Mike Mouse
    Scrappy Mouse

  • 1.good ol’ Pearl Pureheart
    2. Mike Mouse is the true identity
    3.& Scrappy the poor orphan

  • Keith K

    Pearl Pureheart

    Mike Mouse

    Scrappy Mouse

  • Chuck Howell

    What he said –
    Pearl Pureheart!
    Mike Mouse!
    Scrappy Mouse!

  • Dana Anderson

    Pearl Pureheart.
    Mike Mouse.

  • Pearl Pureheart
    Mike Mouse
    Scrappy Mouse

  • CONTEST NOW CLOSED! Congratulations to Justin and Marc! Thank you all for entering this pop quiz!

  • No flowers for me! I must have this at once.

  • Chris J.

    Is it too much to hope that Bakshi will actually see any money out of this collection?

  • Ron

    I have a cartoon history question for Jerry: Many people know that Izzy Klein created Mighty Mouse for Terry Toons. It’s also true that I. Klein was a former Disney animator. Now here’s the question: Is there any truth to the rumor that Izzy originally pitched Mighty Mouse as an alter-ego for Mickey- and when Walt nixed the idea Izzy took it to Terry Toons?

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Shame I missed out on the contest, those names were still fresh in my mind!

  • Matthew Petersen

    My favorite childhood cartoon hero!!!!
    I remember my mom made me a Mighty Mouse costume for Halloween. I wore it two years in a row!!
    I have to get this DVD TODAY!!!

  • Paul N

    Got notified yesterday that my copy had shipped. Can’t wait! I loved this series, and I’m more excited for this set than any other in recent memory.

  • Ryan

    Well yeah, I’d happily buy it, but it just so happens that I’m a resident of the UK, so as ever, I have to wait for it to appear on eBay, or on the Amazon UK marketplace.

    Needless to say, I’ll get it as soon as I can!

  • Joe Torcivia

    After a year with no Looney Tunes Golden Collection, no Popeye, and no Woody Woodpecker, this was a very welcome purchase!


    SPOILER WARNING! (Don’t read further!)

    SPOILER WARNING! (Leave this post now!)

    SPOILER WARNING! (Go to the next post!)

    Watched the first episode as soon as I got home! What a clever parallel between the mouse-centric POV of Mighty’s origin and the well-known destruction of Krypton!

    Great stuff!

  • Mighty Mouse is Awesome

    What an awesome set.

    I got this as soon as the day started, and have already begun watching.

    The commentaries and featurette are most illuminating and shed some very informative light on many of the artists behind this brilliant experiment, as well as a many of the bits in these cartoons that became later staples of many television cartoons to come.

    …even some that you may not be expecting at all.

    However it is a shame that there is a lack of commentaries as only three episodes out of the 19 have them. I think this set really could have benefited with more commentary, and especially, more Ralph stories.

    Also, I have to say I was greatly disappointed that there was no commentary on the infamous “The Littlest Tramp” episode. I would have liked very much to have seen a more indepth discussion with the brains behind the show about the reception and controversy that was manufactured over this otherwise innocuous episode.

    Otherwise, regarding the content of the show itself, I recall only a small number of episodes on their original airing, but when seen altogether, and again for the first time in decades…. I must say it is quite compelling.

    The show itself is very obviously an experiment in creative freedom, and results in more than it’s share of hits and misses, ranging from the brilliantly absurd to the ridiculously inept.

    But on the whole, the show, much to my surprise is, at times, even more compelling, interesting, wilder, and even at times funnier than it’s descendants like The Ren and Stimpy Show and Tiny Toons. And certainly a hell of a lot stranger.

    The show, at times, can be too strange for it’s own good, such as many episodes that revolve around redubs of old repeated Terrytoons footage, and strange music videos, and episodes with seemingly no plot that act more like elongated Cool World segments.

    But when the show is brilliant, it’s VERY brilliant, with centerpiece characters like BatBat, Petey Pate, Maxi, and The Cow.

    Funny enough also how it’s constant in-jokes after all these years become much clearer and certainly give the show a higher layer of relevance now, knowing what we know about many of these animators and their in-jokes in the years since.

    I cannot state enough, my praise for this DVD set that has taken WAYYY too long to see the light of day.

    At the end of the day I find myself wishing there were a lot more features than the sparse handful that we’re given, but what is there is still very good and the episodes themselves are like a history lesson and entertaining all on their own, as well.

    It is just brilliant. Don’t pass it up, or you’ll be sorry that you did.

  • Wonderful news! I don’t know if this is on the commentary track, or if it is true, but I had heard that episoe that featured “The Weasels” was narrated by “Mashy the Dog”, because, Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. (David Seville’s son) had a dog that HD been run over, and the folks over at Bakshi’s studio heard about it and incorporated it.

    Did anyone else notice that George Liquor of “Ren and Stimpy” sounded just like “The Cow”?

  • Murphy’s Oil Soap

    This is the best DVD compilation of the year. And the year just started. But good luck finding it in any brick-and-mortar stores in these waning days of the DVD format. Thank God for online ordering and the U.S. Postal Service, while it lasts.

  • Mighty Mouse is Awesome

    @Murphy’s Oil Soup: Best Buy. All best buy locations have it. I got mine from there, and it’s available in all stores in my county, too.

  • Joe Torcivia

    Murphy’s Oil Soap… I found mine easily at Target!

  • Jorge Garrido

    It’s a GREAT dvd! I can’t believe how crisp and clear the picture is! I also love the documentary and the home movies!

  • droosan

    There was only one copy on the shelf at my local Best Buy.

    Now there are none.

  • Luigi

    Amazon says it’s out of stock but will ship once they get more.

  • Dan

    Where’s the original Terry Toons Mighty mouse on DVD? *sigh*

  • Mighty Mouse is Awesome

    @Dan: Well, there are three on this set. But that’s not what this is for. Buy one of those “400 Cartoons in One Amazing Package” DVD’s if you want that, so badly.

  • @”Mighty Mouse is Awesome”: Buyers of such a 400-cartoon DVD will find only one Mighty Mouse cartoon, the infamously boring public domain short WOLF WOLF—because that’s the ONLY public domain Mighty Mouse cartoon.
    This Bakshi set, on the other hand, includes among its bonuses three protected vintage Mighty Mouse cartoons, including one so early that the character is still called Supermouse.

    @Dan: You should be pleased.

  • Burt Stein

    Dan and Mighty Mouse is Awesome (I agree!!): At huge risk of “preaching to the converted,” for which I apologize, this weatherbeaten point needs to be added to the mix. Sure, you’ll find Terrytoons in the “400 Cartoons in One Amazing Package” type of assortments. But because there are exactly four Terrytoons shorts widely regarded as public domain, here are the titles you’ll encounter: “Wolf! Wolf!” (Mighty Mouse); “The Talking Magpies” (sometimes with the “little flower” gag, sometimes without it); “Billy Mouse’s Akwakade” (a rare showcase for Philip Scheib’s music, with virtually no dialogue), and the lone B&W title, “Noah’s Outing” (Farmer Alfalfa). The happy upside, of course, is that as of this week we’ll also have a combined total of four original Mighty Mouse shorts out there at retail! Maybe if you look at it that way instead…!

  • Mighty Mouse is Awesome

    By the way, I would like to clear up some previously made errors as well as make a few more observations about the cartoons, after having finished the set.

    First off, as if to almost overstate my belief from before that the amount of commentaries on the episodes themselves is pretty threadbare and almost shameful, I was actually in error about how many there are.

    There are not three commentaries, there are only two. Which is pretty pathetic, honestly. I think many notable episodes were left without commentaries, especially episodes that I genuinely wanted to know more about and were not at all, even mentioned in the featurette.

    I would have liked to know why Bat-Bat’s closing line in “Bat With A Golden Tongue” was so obviously and blatantly censored and what exactly the heck it was supposed to be.

    I wish they could have provided more insight about the cameos from Farmer Alfalfa, Deputy Dog, Gandy Goose, Sourpuss and The Mighty Heroes, or what was the reasoning for the redub and reused footage episodes, or touched more on very interesting episodes like The Ice Goose Cometh, among other things.

    In the end, it was clear from the featurette that there were mountains of stories abound with the production, and that the featurettes and commentaries only began to scratch the very surface.

    In the end, the special features just felt severely lacking, for no real good reason. Could they really not have gotten any of the cast that stuck around for two episodes of commentary, to do at least four episodes at the least?

    The commentaries themselves were incredibly insightful on the two full episodes featured, that surely they could have piled on a few more. Especially on episodes that were much more in need of them?

    Sorry if this ends up sounding like a criticism of the content in general. it’s not. It just left me wanting a lot more than the unreasonably brief taste it gave.

    But some other observations of my own….

    I was amazed at some of the great, clever gags that they slyly were able to get away with, and how there were so many that could never have even survived on later series.

    From the biting, satirical social commentary on the concept of Cats versus Mice as the struggle between social classes and values, to the frustration and inherent anger that led to rather scathing takes on the business world, executives, television, and even gags that continually even ripped on CBS themselves, and even relentless self-satire of the artists themselves…

    …it’s just astounding, when sitting through the show in one sitting just how anarchic, frustrated, bitter and angry the humor in Mighty Mouse really came out as.

    It’s thoroughly entertaining, when you compare the end product to the rebellious, almost adolescent-type of behavior from a group of kids just nearly out of school, to have their soapbox to say, in no flattering terms, their combined views and venting to the world around them in such a creative way.

    In it’s own way, The New Adventures Of Mighty Mouse is even more of an endearingly honest, and sincerely scathing point of view, than any of the shows that spawned from the Mighty Mouse Experiment afterwards or since.

    But yet, it also screamed intelligence and pure wit, bubbling under the surface of working within the medium of a children’s cartoon when taking on everything from the pitching process, to episodes based on Ayn Rand’s “Fountainhead”, Gandy Goose and Sourpuss as an ambiguously gay couple, EC Comics, and less than flattering allusions to everything in the culture’s consciousness at the time.

    To say nothing of the techniques and incredibly groundbreaking animation theories and concepts that evolved from one spectacular meeting of the minds, with a group of animators, that in their respective ways, would each become a large part of animation’s achievements in the future.

    It was the animation equivalent of a super-group, even though they themselves would not know it at the time.

    There is hardly a single show that didn’t evolve directly in many ways from this show. From Bruce Timm’s Batman, to John K’s Ren and Stimpy, to Tom Minton’s work on Tiny Toons, Jim Reardon for The Simpsons, Jeff Pidgeon and Andrew Stanton’s involvement in Pixar, to the countless shows simply made possible by it’s existance, going from Dexter’s Lab, Powerpuff Girls, and on and on down the list.

    Even in terms of voice acting, to hear Roger Bumpass prominently featured so many years before Spongebob Squarepants, as well as so many other easily recognizable voice talents that spring up in everything from local cartoon productions to localized anime, today… It’s impossible to deny how influential this show was to literally every animated project in the decades to follow… even if there are so many people who still, yet know next to nothing about this show.

    On the whole, it’s easily the most entertaining and interesting to watch DVD’s I’ve ever seen. In a weird way, the show is vastly more relevant today than it was back then. Truly before it’s time in many ways, yet came at a perfect time for leading into what we do enjoy today.

    Even when it comes down to the show’s few failures, even those seem interesting and worthy of note.

    From what I assume are many episodes padded out with stock footage and hardly new comment aside from re-dubbed lines, that I assume must have been a by-product of the show having so much work put into it, that many episodes were late, requiring the run to be padded out this way.

    Even then, the episodes serve almost as fun intermissions with which to watch some old, cobbled together Terrytoon footage as “The Locomotion”, or a jazzy arrangement of the theme song plays. It’s even impossible to hate these segments, which are obviously padding, but blatant padding, nonetheless.

    In the end, it’s like seeing a project with it’s ups and downs, experimentations that both succeeded masterfully at times and downright fail at others, warts and all… and to still make it all 100% stunning and compelling in both an artistic, entertaining, and historical viewpoint.

    It’s like a meeting of the minds with creative geniuses crossed with a “before they were famous” documentary, while being rife with equal parts satire, belly laughs, social commentary, hilarity, deep meaningful insight, history lesson and collection of fond nostalgia, all wrapped up in a crazy, wild, cartoon series about a flying rodent.

    It’s shows to rediscover like this, thanks to DVD, that actually make me wish that there was a Television version of the National Film Registry. Because if ever any animated television show, was to be deemed above others as culturally or historically significant, this would undoubtedly have to be near the top of that list.

    I just wish the DVD had gone further to share more insight into it than what is there. Particularly in the commentary department.

  • Wow, I was asleep at the switch and didn’t even know this was in the works. Finally I’ll be able to relive the adventures of the Motor City Dwarfs (and throw out a bunch of VHS tapes that I was only holding on to for a handful of episodes).

    Don’t Touch That Dial, with its savage satire on Saturday morning TV is one of my favourite TV moments.

  • Hmmm…I also see they’re finally releasing Rocket Robin Hood on DVD. Must be Jerry’s fault, due to the popularity of his World’s Worst Cartoons series!

  • FP

    Looks great! If I hadn’t already watched my VHS copies of the shows ten thousand times, I’d be tempted to get the DVD. The only ep I drag out to watch now is DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL

  • Tom Minton

    I recently clarified this online but it needs to be communicated, while confusion persists: Ralph Bakshi’s “Mighty Mouse: the New Adventures” delivered every episode on time and on budget. Nothing was late. The few designated re-use shows were planned from the inception in order to allow for full character layout to be done in the U.S. with only the network license fee available as hard cash to produce the series. No corporate backup money. Not even a business loan. The first season was done sharing building space with John Hyde’s company in North Hollywood and the second in a condemned schoolhouse in Van Nuys’ thriving crack district, where homeless people repeatedly broke in and stole the fax machine. Tight conditions, absolutely. Late? Never.

    Bat-Bat’s closing line in “Bat With the Golden Tongue” was explained on this very blog a few months ago by layout (and DVD cover) artist Mike Kazaleh, with these words: “The final line in “Bat with the Golden Tongue” was originally “Just say ‘no’ to canned laughter.” The day before it aired, McDonald’s threatened to pull its advertising if the line wasn’t removed. There was no time to record another line, so a stock scream was cut in. Jim Reardon had originally titled the episode “Bat with the Golden Arm” but CBS nixed that early on.”

    As for desired further behind-the-scenes anecdotal material, several hours of individual interviews were recorded in March of last year with everyone. What’s in the half hour documentary was cut by Giant Interactive, the company that put it together. Perhaps Jerry can post select unused portions of the raw stuff before it all gets forgotten in a storage facility over the ensuing decades, or, more likely, erased to save hard disk space. I suppose that one could mount a lobbying campaign for an all-anecdotal “Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures” DVD set that runs forty days and forty nights. They’d have to move at least twelve copies to turn a profit. It would be a hard sell.

    The audio commentary tracks were recorded in September 2009 and, while those of us involved on that day mentioned to those in the booth that there were many other episodes we’d also love to comment on, we were told that just the two half hours they’d selected were what they could do due to time and budgetary constraints. Whatever.

    Everyone involved from the show that was contacted went the extra mile, contributed their time and, in many cases, lent archival artwork, handwritten scripts, boards and layouts. This greatly plussed the documentary, IMO. We are lucky that Bruce Timm still had the priceless 1987 VHS home video he shot at the Bakshi studio during the first season and that I happened to possess a dupe of the entire raw crew interviews done in January 1988 for that PBS McNeil-Lehrer Report on an ancient Beta L750 cassette which, miraculously, still played. Today not even PBS (the legal owner of the footage) has a copy of that stuff. It’s a rare contemporary DVD doc that allows a look into the past as well as the present and this is it. It’s a darned good thing that cartoonists happen to be pack rats.

  • Cyber Fox

    I am definitely buying this DVD as i am a fan of Mighty Mouse
    sadly, I have doubts this will sell well
    as of the following
    – People probably forgotten about Mighty Mouse after years of neglect from the Home Video (see: DVD) market
    – Paramount/CBS Video under played the marketing for this DVD set in favor of their obnoxiously popular shows (e.g. Dora The Explorer, CSI, South Park, SpongeBob)

  • Chris Sobieniak

    It’s nice for Mighty Mouse is Awesome to give his awesome mini-review of the set, and for Tom Minton to re-clarify much of the reasons for why it is what it is (despite what he says, as a kid I still thought “Animation Concerto” felt a little suspicious). I guess I don’t want to sound too mad/let down by the final results, but it’s sad thinking of what this could’ve been if they had put a little more thought/time/money into the project. I don’t want to say it’s unfinished, but I don’t want to say it’s half-a$$ed either.

    It’s nice though when we do find out about these things 20 years after the fact. I guess if there was a better outlet for these questions to be asked and answered, it would be nice than to just keep doing so in forum posts for another 20 years to come. This was a show though I hadn’t seen in a long while, and I don’t remember if I saw much of the second season since one of the CBS affiliates either in Detroit or Toledo didn’t carry it after the first season (no doubt the show got noticed big time).

    That “Mashy the Pup” story was something I first heard about 6 years ago from someone else over at Usenet and it stunned me thinking it over a while until I bothered watching “A Chipmunk Adventure” and that episode and it clicked. Those in-jokes and other crazy stories would’ve been great if they had more time to cover it in those commentary tracks. Such a shame they could do only two episodes worth though. The reasons aren’t as bad as the simple DVD spacing issues that fans would complain to the sky about. It’s a shame when a budgetary restraint fails to make things easier here (reminded of the first Family Guy Season One set with the limited commentaries contained from way back). If it was some consolation, why not factoids as subtitle tracks you can see while watching the episode or little moments where an image pops up, you click it, and get a short clip of one of the crew members talking about a particular episode or story relating to a one, that would be fine with me.

    As Tom mentioned before, it would also be nice for us to see that leftover documentary footage if it is possible for Paramount to release it somehow or for the footage to make it’s way someplace online (which is more logical over stamping out copies these days). I just know after watching the entire set, I may still want to know more behind the show than what is presented here, as others may too. Hopefully none of this footage ends up getting erased or stored someplace where there’s no hope (funny about the PBS thing again since how could you own something you don’t even have a copy of, I know plenty of people who proved that wrong thanks to YouTube, including me).

    Because of a setback in my jobs, I haven’t been able to get the set yet myself, but hope to once I get some extra cash handy.

  • A Donald Wildmon commentary on The Littlest Tramp would have been a nice extra too.

  • Jules

    The Rev. Wildmon is recovering from a recent near-fatal bout of St. Louis encephalitis. Blessed, meek mosquitoes shall inherit the earth.

  • I bought this set.

    Now, suppose that Mighty Mouse does well or Jerry Beck convinced Paramount enough that they wanted to open the vault (and buy out the rights from Lionsgate). What Paramount cartoon series from the 30’s and 40’s would do better in needing extra restoration?

    One option would be to save Paramount trouble and restore cartoons originally filmed in color- because UCLA has more of those cartoons. I ain’t sure what condition the negative to a certian farm cartoon is in, because the one thing that I want to see on that particular one is the Paramount logo- not re-created, but in its original pristine as-is condition.

    I know their video budget, even for their heavily marketed shows and movies, is lower than Disney’s or Warner Home Video’s budget.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Oh well, still it was a nice idea if they wanted to milk this for all it was. I was actually thinking about this since last night, perhaps in a way, those of us who had known and loved this for so long had expected more in the end. That sort of entitlement to be spoiled has been around since DVD’s first showed up, and we just accept it as a given and not really think about what goes into putting them out in the first place.

    When I think back to one DVD set that impressed me far back, it was the Clerks cartoon series with the way each episode had a commentary track, plus animatics for each episode that was selectable by the angle function, not to mention the DVD-Rom features. Prior to that release, we hadn’t really see a DVD devoted to a cartoon series, let alone one that lasted only two weeks on ABC, give that much attention via home video. Getting back to Mighty Mouse, it would’ve been nice if more money had gone into at least the commentaries themselves if they had let them continue on with more episodes to enlighten us on the creative process at work on this show, or perhaps try to get Bakshi in to do an episode or two where he tells the viewers of his days at Terrytoons or how he got the classic 80’s show off the ground and the people who help shaped it and gone on to successful careers themselves. Heck, even Rev. Wildmon doing The Littlest Tramp by himself would’ve made for laughs just off the bat.

    Again, we all should be thankful the series is finally out and ready for consumption once again. Now if they can get Muppet Babies out on DVD too, that will complete the menagerie of CBS’s Saturday mornings in the 80’s! I often felt this show, plus Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and Garfield & Friends were the ones that dared to be different among others on schedule during their time on the air. Some or all of them shared in clever writing, effective use of stock footage and weren’t afraid to try a few things like break the fourth wall for a laugh.

  • Okay, another “censored gag” question. I remember distinctly when MM:TNA first aired, the dialogue in “Night of the Bat-Bat,” Bat-Bat’s encounter with the Cow began:
    “So! If it isn’t the famous Bat-Bat!”
    “So! If it isn’t the famous Cow!”
    “I see you’ve brought the famous Bug Wonder!”
    Originally, Bat-Bat continued with “And I see you’ve brought the famous…” and I can’t remember for the life of me the punch line. It was, I’m sure, some celebrity who appeared in caricature with the Cow, probably someone who never gave his/her permission to be used, and thus was snipped from the DVD set. It’s probably even mentioned on the commentary, which I haven’t got to yet.

    Some other stuff I was happily reminded of:
    A poster for the movie “Howard the Man” pasted on a fence in “Mee-ow!”
    “This stuff is thicker than Country Music!”
    Mighty’s father, “Le-Roj” (nudge, nudge) is actually Little Rocquefort with a cheesy mustache.

    I did not have to be reminded of my all-time favorite line: “No wonder they call television a ‘medium!’ Nothing about it is rare or well done!”

  • Found it! It’s “And I see you’ve brought the famous Merv Griffin!” With a Merv Griffin caricature standing next to the Cow!

  • Wow, what a revelation! I kind of knew this show by reputation, and checked out a couple of episodes on You Tube, but other than that it was under the radar. So I found the set on Net Flicks, rented disc three (to get the doc) and went out and bought it the next day!

    While the first season’s amazingly uneven, a lot of the individual cartoons are brilliant, and it is definitely a prototype for most of what’s been interesting about television animation since.

    To get to the point, I’m very curious about who designed Bat-Bat. Was it Lynne Naylor? It kind of looks like it, but Kricfalusi said that the story had been in developement for some time, and lots of the crew not in the credits worked on it.

    The influence on Timm’s Batman design is obvious. Not to take anything away from what Timm did. I love the DC animated stuff, and I know Naylor was a lead designer on Batman. But whew, if I didn’t know the dates, I’d swear Bat-Bat was a parody of the animated Batman, both in appearance and the way he moves!

  • Jim

    This show has got star power written all over and Paul Terry would be proud of that. I also want to add that the characters of Pearl Pureheart and Polly Pineblossom were never seen together with Mighty Mouse (a.k.a. Mike Mouse) and Scrappy in the series so I wonder why? The show could of lasted more than two seasons and would of made Mighty Mouse an even bigger iconic cartoon giant in animation.