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SupermouseMighty Mouse is an animated superhero mouse character created by the Terrytoons studio for 20th Century Fox. He was created by storyman I. Klein as a super-powered housefly named "Superfly," but studio head Paul Terry changed the character into a toon mouse instead. He was originally created as a parody of Superman, and 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.
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, and make him 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 Jonestown 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 desires it.
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 had two mouse girlfriends named Pearl Pureheart and Mitzi, 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 hometown is Mouseville, populated mostly by anthropomorphic toon mice.
Mighty Mouse was not extraordinarily popular, but he did become a cultural icon after Paul Terry sold the Terrytoon cartoon library to broadcast television. Mighty Mouse cartoons became a staple of children's TV programming for a period of over thirty years, from the 1950s through the 1980s.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Filmation made TV cartoons starring Mighty Mouse and fellow Terrytoon characters Heckle and Jeckle in a show called The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle. The show primered in 1979 and lasted for about 2 seasons. It even spawned a limited-theatrical-release matinee movie, Mighty Mouse in the Great Space Chase, released December 10, 1982.
During the 1980s, animator Ralph Bakshi (who got his start at Terrytoons) created a new series of Mighty Mouse cartoons, entitled Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures. In this series, Mighty Mouse had a real identity, Mike Mouse, and a sidekick: Scrappy Mouse, the little orphan. This series was aimed more at grown-ups than children, and its heavy satirical tone and humor makes it a collector's item even today; many collectors of older TV series seek out episodes of the Bakshi Mighty Mouse. The series was cancelled after two seasons, due to low ratings. In one episode, Mighty Mouse sniffed a red flower he had crushed into a powder, and media watchdog Reverend Donald Wildmon asserted that he was actually snorting cocaine.
All images and characters depicted on this site are copyright their respective holders, and are used for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.
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