Mighty Mouse dvd update

I just got an advance copy of the Ralph Bakshi Mighty Mouse The New Adventures complete series DVD — and it turned out a lot better than I could have hoped. Most of us have been clinging to bootleg videos or our own deteriorating taped-off-the-air VHS copies for 20 years; now we have gorgeous restorations to enjoy for all time. Rewatching these has been an incredible pleasure; they hold up quite well. Sure, the animation is a little funky compared the shows that have come after, but this series has earned its place as an “industry game-changer”.

I was proud to act as a consultant on this DVD project from its inception. The only credit I receive here is as “Animation Consultant” in tiny letters in the credit roll on the bonus documentary (which is better than my non-credit on the two Woody Woodpecker DVD volumes from Universal). I might as well point out a 21 year old in-joke – note the headline on the newspaper (above left – click thumbnails above to enlarge) from the second season cartoon, Still Oily After All These Years: “Beck-Bakshi Detente!”.

Below are a few menus and the back cover. The DVD goes on sale January 5th, 2010. Good sales could lead to the restoration and release of more classic cartoons from the Viacom vaults (the vintage Terrytoons of Mighty Mouse, Heckle and Jeckle, the Fleischer Betty Boops, Famous Little Lulu’s and George Pal Puppetoons). I can’t promise anything, but every purchase helps the cause. I’d appreciate it if you’d spread the word.


  • Paul N

    Ordered months ago, and if buying this helps put Puppetoons on DVD, I’m glad the money’s already spent!

  • Austin Papageorge

    I’m probably going to get this for my birthday. I hope the amazon supply holds up.

  • http://jmdurden.blogspot.com Justin M. Durden

    Planning on getting this either close to my birthday or for my birthday.

  • Kevin Martinez

    That Mighty screencap looks like film, grain and all. Considering the less-than-optimal prints used for DVD’s of MM’s contemporaries that’s a revelation.

    I’m buying this, in hopes that it will lead CBS to release more Terry/Fleischer/Famous stuff. Hopefully this release won’t fall by the wayside.

  • Chris

    Was John K. or Ralph Bakshi asked to do any cover art? Not knocking the Mike Kazaleh (?) art, just curious.

  • Brian O.

    Geez, I’d even buy ten titles from Goodtimes Video if I thought it could lead to the release of the Puppetoons.

    FREE THE PUPPETOONS!

  • Mr. Pencil

    If the sales of this set are going to effect Viacom’s outlook on their extensive vintage cartoon holdings I hope it sells through the roof! My feeling is that it won’t and, if the two are connected, that scares the hell outta me! . If it’s a numbers game: generations of consumers grew up with the old stuff where as the ‘New Adventures’ series will only be known to a very specific demo. Those who buy expecting the original MM’s will be disappointed. Mixes from the two studios i.e. separate ‘best of’ Terrytoons, ‘best of’ Fleischer volumes could make for a pleasant, less repetitive, viewing experience and only necessitate one disc at a time. Perhaps that would help ameliorate the costs of restoration. I don’t know. Anyway, Viacom should be commended for taking a step, whatever that may be, in this direction!

  • Christopher Cook

    Looking forward to it. I had always wondered, though, why Mighty Mouse was drawn without a tail from “This Island Mouseville” on.

  • http://weirdocorner.blogspot.com Eric Noble

    I want to get this as soon as it comes out. Thanks for the updates. This promises to be an excellent addition to my collection. Thank you Jerry for helping to put this out. I’ll cross my fingers for a collection of Fleischers “Betty Boop”.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    I suspect these packages are pretty safe bets for companies like Viacom.

    The actual production was done years ago, there are few royalties to pay on a reissue, commenters and historians like Jerry contribute their part for little or nothing, restoration costs are dropping as processes improve, little promotion is needed since there’s a decades long awareness of the product among the target consumer… it’s gotta be way cheaper than creating new content.

  • http://www.technologizer.com Harry McCracken

    I hope it knocks the widely-distributed bootleg set–the one that stole the cover John K. drew for our Animato cover story–outta business.

  • uncle wayne

    I had never seen the (new) series….until recent views on YouTube! I must say, as a true devout Mighty fan….the “new” series is sterling….and quite funny, to boot! Thank YOO for the DVDs….can’t wait to scoop one UP!

  • uncle wayne

    But HOW….i ask once again….does one get the REAL McCoys on DVD, too!?

  • http://radfordsechrist.blogspot.com/ Rad Sechrist

    Can’t wait to get this!

  • gaastra

    I’m getting this from amazon.com. Can’t wait. I love the scooby-doo spoof episode. Didn’t the mighty heroes show up in one episode?

  • http://www.classicparamountcartoons.blogspot.com ParamountCartoons

    I love Paramount cartoons. As skeptical as I am about the humor, epseciallly written by “Simpsons” and “Family Guy”, perhaps “South Park” level writers, it might pay off later. The pressure is on– if I buy this, not only I would support the loyalty of Paramount and CBS plus Mighty Mouse himself (LOL), I would take part in a Golden Age Paramount cartoon pledge drive that would drive dollar store bins away.

  • http://www.lyris-lite.net David Mackenzie

    The first thing I notice from these screen grabs (and the ones on John K’s blog) is the total lack of Composite video artefacts (dot crawl, rainbows, etc.)

    The videotape technology in place in the 1980s (usually Betacam, Betacam SP I believe) allowed program makers to avoid those artefacts because these are Component-based formats, but it seems that for TV shows, they didn’t bother taking advantage of that, which sort of makes sense because the shows were designed for TV broadcast, and analog TV was Composite anyway (so the viewers would never see the benefits of Component mastering).

    Jerry, do you know if this was just an unusually well-produced show in terms of video quality, or have they actually gone back to film elements and transferred everything again? It looks excellent, whatever they did.

  • Burt Stein

    IIRC, there was at least a cameo appearance by Heckle & Jeckle in one of the second-season episodes (though just which one escapes me). Too sad that Bakshi and crew missed the opportunity to give H&J a full-on spotlight episode, along the lines of “The Ice Goose Cometh” or “Still Oily After All These Years”! But at least they weren’t totally forgotten.

  • Tom Minton

    “That Mighty screencap looks like film…” That’s because the original negative was used as the optical source for this DVD set. There were never any prints struck from those negs. “Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures” hit the air 22 years ago as a first generation phenomenon, direct from negatives to one inch tape, state of the art in 1987, with no intermediate print and no resultant loss in sharpness. This DVD went straight from restored original negative to DVD, so the show is as sharp and saturated as it has ever been. I’ve seen it. The whole thing turned out better than expected, as Jerry states. Only minor quibble I have is my peculiar credit on the box – Flash Gordon? Somebody made a strange choice from Imdb. I spent 14 years in my second tenure alone at Warner Bros, two at Bakshi, two at Disney, and they pick Filmation’s Flash Gordon, from 1978, on which I did maybe two days worth of board fixes, total? You say ‘who’s gonna know?’ I do. Too late. They’ve probably printed at least a dozen by this time.

  • Cyber Fox

    I’m willing to get this
    as for the thought of this leading Viacom to bring Betty Boop, etc. to DVD… Don’t hold your breath!
    You will know that they will downplay the promotion for this DVD in favor of South Park, SpongeBob, Dora The Explorer or any of their other popular and mostly disliked properties

    I mean look at “The First Alvin Show”, NO promotion at all so no sales meaning no Complete Series release…pity!

  • Jorge Garrido

    Hey, Tom, I’ll call my friend over at Warner and get your credit changed to Lou Scheimer’s “Nancy.”

  • http://www.thepeternetwork.com/forum ThePeterNetwork

    I don’t have to buy it just to convince the studio execs that there is a market for this kind of DVD. I’ll buy it just to enjoy it like I do with all my cartoon DVDs. Of course, buying to produce more similar DVD sets doesn’t hurt either.

  • Kevin Wollenweber

    I, too, have pre-ordered this baby and cannot wait to get it! I hold out dim hope that Viacom will care, but there *IS* hope. C’mon, guys, it’s 2010; we should be celebrating everything and restoring it as technology to do so improves and, hopefully, technicians want to show off a little! No DVNR, just pure quality clarity from frame to frame! Bring all of the originals back, too, including George Pal’s PUPPETTOONS!

  • http://patrickdeancomics.blogspot.com/ Patrick

    Now I can retire my VHS copy I taped from its Saturday morning slot with commercials kinda cut out and ten minutes of a Kricfalusi Beany & Cecil episode in the middle.

  • troy joseph reyes

    ive been waiting for this one! waiting waiting waiting! and like any good cartoon junkie i will overdose on it in the weeks following its release..boy oh boy! one complaint: why couldnt they get it out before christmas, perfect stocking stuffer from me to me! alas…merry christmas!

  • http://tonymora.blogspot.com/ Tony Mora

    Where do I get my hands on this game changer?

  • Howard

    It can be pre-ordered from Amazon.com

  • Chris Sobieniak

    “I mean look at “The First Alvin Show”, NO promotion at all so no sales meaning no Complete Series release…pity!”

    We all feel that way. I only wish we’d get more of this fine deserving program. We should be thankful all of Bakshi’s MM will finally see the light of day in a few weeks.

  • http://cartoongeeks.com Michelle “Ms. Geek” Klein-Hass

    This is going to be totally awesome. These were hilarious cartoons, way ahead of their time. Maybe Bakshi will get some deserved propers now. Now, I’m not sure whether this is Viacom or CBS Entertainment or Paramount or what. But whoever’s putting this out, good on them. Another awesome thing coming down the pike this year is the ENTIRE “Daria” series on DVD, for a reasonable price. The whole thing. All 65 episodes and two TV movies. Plus lots of extras from the MTV vaults. The Maxx is already out, The Head will be out soon.

    I still think that if MTVN looked at the entire Paramount/Viacom animation archives they could come up with an awesome cartoons-only channel. Imagine everything from Farmer Alfalfa to Betty Boop to Mighty Mouse to Ren & Stimpy to Beavis and Butt-Head to Daria to the MTV Spidey series! Maybe they should just have this stuff up on the web for streaming or something if they can’t find a way to monetize a cable channel.

    It’s all about the access.

  • http://hedgehog-rover.deviantart.com Martin Juneau

    I really enjoy to buy it for encouraging the artists who worked at this tiny jewel. I just hope sales going very well and that the sales in Canada mostly Quebec in countries (Not just on Montreal please!) was available even if our animation vision is limited with what we see on TV.