It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… a mouse?
The mousy parody of Superman flew into existence in The Mouse of Tomorrow as Super Mouse wearing blue and red, created by Paul Terry. Seven episodes later, Terry changed the mouse’s name to Mighty Mouse and his colours to red and yellow to avoid confusion with the character Marvel would soon produce.
Mighty Mouse’s powers include flight, super strength, and invulnerability. In certain episodes, he displayed X-ray vision, psychokinesis, and the ability to turn back time. He also has shown the ability to manipulate the contrail that follows him as he flies as a band of solid, flexible matter.
Unlike many popular heroes, Mighty Mouse does not have a rogues gallery. He most commonly battles with nondescript cats.
Many of the earliest films had the cats depict caricatures of Nazis. In two episodes, he battled Bat-cats, an alien species of cat. In another two, he went paw-to-paw with Julius “Pinhead” Schlabotka, a super-cat with strength rivaling Mighty Mouse. One episode had an evil entity called “Satan Cat” that broke the shortly held peace between cats and mice. After defeating the entity, Mighty Mouse was cheered by cat and mouse alike.
The most common reoccurring character was the often damsel-in-distress and significant other to Mighty Mouse. In the cartoon, it was Pearl Pureheart and in the comics we got Mitzi.
Where’d he go?
After his initial 80 episode run from 1942-1961, Mighty Mouse didn’t have much success.
There’s only been a couple of resurgences, none making waves. When CBS acquired Terrytoons, they released reruns from 1955-1967, adding only 3 new episodes.
In the late 1970s and again in the late 1980s there was two new series. Since then Mighty Mouse has been reduced to cameos.
In 2004 there was talk of a CGI movie staring Mighty Mouse scheduled for a tentative release in 2013… There has been no word since.
It is time! Now, with superheroes being so relevant in popular media, Mighty Mouse has a perfect outlet for return.
My thoughts for a return
Humans are creatures of habit, we love patterns, we like to know what comes next. So give us that! Besides Oil Can Harry, Mighty Mouse doesn’t have many villains to claim as reoccurring. But he could! He has so many great villains that TV shows could use as a rogues gallery.
It may not be culturally appropriate to use the Nazi cats, but the alien bat-cats, Satan Cat, Pinhead, and Oil Can Harry, would be great staples.
Along with the previously mentioned, many villainous beings have challenged the mouse such as Willy the Spender, Dr. Jekyll and Hyde the cat, Simon Legree, the Kilkenny Cats, Bad Bill Bunion, Svengali’s cat, Deadeye Dick, the Catnip Gang, witch and her cat, and the robot from space. These one-shot baddies could easily be used as interesting returning characters.
The flying-carpet cats, pirate cats, mob/gang cats, and the vultures, all are packs of animals that have had a run-in with our hero. They could very easily have a spot as well. Give them a silly name and they’ll be a formidable challenge.
Speaking of name giving, the fox could use a name. He showed up in an episode terrorizing barnyard animals.
Then there’s the wolf. First appearing in “Wolf! Wolf!” (my favorite episode), has been a reoccurring character of sorts. Never having a name, and never explicitly the same wolf, he gave great shows. Forget Oil Can Harry, I think the wolf should be the arch-nemesis. Never purposefully going after Mighty Mouse, but always being thwarted by him just the same, the wolf would make for some hilarious content and intriguing stories. I understand the long-standing cat vs mouse archetype, but if you want that, go watch Tom and Jerry, this mouse will be concerned with greater enemies. Cats are easy, try taking on a wolf!
I love comics, I love movies, I love books too, but, I think Mighty Mouse needs to be a show. It started as a show, and should forever be a show. Shows are short and self-sustain, yet can still be set in an arc if needed. They are fast paced, but this will lead to action-packed shorts that can still tell stories and display beautiful vedute.
CBS currently owns Terrytoons, I believe, and that’s fine. Although they don’t have much animated experience under their belt, they have produced a great share of television shows. Plus, they have the money to hire.
For an animator, I’d like to have Dean Deblois. He has done movies such as Lilo & Stitch and How to Train Your Dragon. I think he could give an updated look to the Mighty Mouse cartoon without changing the original style too much.
For a director, I NEED Brad Bird. If you’ve seen the masterpieces known as Incredibles and Incredibles 2, you’ll know why.
Personally, I don’t need the mouse to speak. I flipped when Tom & Jerry started spewing words. If in today’s standards it is necessary for dialogue, I think Kevin Conroy would be pretty cool, right?
We love you Mighty Mouse!
If you love Mighty Mouse as much as I, help me out! Let’s start a movement. Get the word out about the need of a new Mighty Mouse show! If you want to start a MIGHTY revolution, comment below to let me know!