Monday, March 2, 2009
Mighty Mouse Popular Cartoon
Mighty Mouse is an animated superhero mouse character created by the Terrytoons studio for 20th Century Fox.
he character was created by story man, Izzy Klein, as a super-powered housefly named "Superfly" Studio head Paul Terry changed the character into a toon mouse instead. Originally created as a parody of Superman, he first appeared in 1942 in a theatrical animated short entitled The Mouse of Tomorrow. The original name of the character was Super Mouse, but it was soon changed to Mighty Mouse when Paul Terry learned that another character with the same name was being published in comic books. Super Mouse appeared briefly in the Marvel comic book interpretation of the character, and was nicknamed "Terry the First", as he was the first version of the character.
Mighty Mouse originally had a blue costume with a red cape,like Superman, but over time this changed to a yellow costume with a red cape. As with other imitations of Superman; Mighty Mouse's super powers allow him to fly, be incredibly strong, and invulnerable. He has demonstrated the use of "X-ray vision" in at least one cartoon, while during several cartoons he used a form of super-hypnosis that even allowed him to command inanimate objects and turn back time (as in the cartoons The Johnstown Flood and Krakatoa). Other cartoons have him leaving a red contrail as he flies which he can manipulate like a band of solid flexible matter when he so desires.
The initial formula consisted of an extended setup of a crisis which needs extraordinary help to resolve and Mighty Mouse appears to save the day.
Mighty Mouse was originally voiced by Roy Halee, later Tom Morrison provided the character's voice in some cartoons.
The early, operatic Mighty Mouse cartoons often portrayed Mighty Mouse as a ruthless fighter. He would dole out a considerable amount of punishment, subduing the cats to the point of giving up their evil plan and running away. Mighty Mouse would then chase down the escaping cats, and continue beating them mercilessly, usually hurling or punching them miles away to finish the fight. A favorite move is to suddenly fly up to just under a much larger opponent's chin and throw a blinding flurry of punches that leaves the enemy reeling.
Mighty Mouse had two mouse girlfriends named Pearl Pureheart (in the cartoons) and Mitzi (in the comics during the 50s and 60s), and his arch-enemy is an evil villain cat named Oil Can Harry (who originated as a human in earlier Terrytoons as the enemy of Fanny Zilch). These characters were created for a series of Mighty Mouse cartoons that spoofed the old cliffhanger serials of the days of silent film; the cartoons usually began with Mighty Mouse and Pearl Pureheart already in a desperate situation, as if they were the next chapter of the serial. The characters often sang mock opera songs during these cartoons. Mighty Mouse was also known for singing "Here I come to save the day!" when flying into action. Mighty Mouse's home town is Mouseville, populated mostly by anthropomorphic toon mice.
Mighty Mouse fought other villains, though most only appeared in one or two cartoons. In at least two cartoons, he faced a huge, dim-witted but super-strong cat named Julius Pinhead "Schlabotka" (this cat's name was only spoken and never spelled out), whose strength rivaled Mighty Mouse's own. In another cartoon, titled The Green Line, the cats live on one side of the main street of a town and the mice on the other; a green line down the middle of the street serves as the dividing line. They agree to keep the peace as long as no one crosses it. An evil entity, a Satan cat, comes and starts the cats and mice fighting. Mighty Mouse appears and the evil spirit materializes tridents to attack him. This maneuver fails, and the devil cat disappears in a puff of smoke, like an air plane crashing to the ground. At the end, Mighty Mouse is cheered by mice and cats alike.
In the episode "Krakatoa", Mighty Mouse lassos the super-volcano Krakatoa, saving the island's inhabitants from the pyroclastic flow. Most memorably, a love-interest for Mighty Mouse makes her appearance, Krakatoa Katy. One line of her theme song is "Krakatoa Katy, she ain't no lady".
Mighty Mouse was not extraordinarily popular in theatrical cartoons, but was still Terrytoons' most popular character. What made him a cultural icon was television. Paul Terry sold the Terrytoon company to CBS television in 1955. The network began running The Mighty Mouse Playhouse in late 1955; it remained on the air for nearly twelve years (and featured The Mighty Heroes during the final season). Mighty Mouse cartoons became a staple of children's TV programming for a period of over thirty years, from the 1950s through the 1980s.
Despite the character's popularity on TV, Terrytoons produced only a handful of "Mighty Mouse" cartoons in the 1959-61 time frame; the company evidently believed that the existing library of "Mighty Mouse" episodes were enough to keep youngsters tuning in to CBS every Saturday morning.
Some early vinyl credits the original theme song to The Terrytooners, Mitch Miller and Orchestra, but recent publishing has generally credited The Sandpipers.(wikipedia)