Advertisement
 
00:00


Advertisement
Advertisement

Mighty Mouse: Wolf! Wolf!

Little Bo Peep and her free-range sheep are threatened when Wily and Jazzy wolves attempt to capture them. But Mighty Mouse saves the day.

Mighty Mouse is an American animated anthropomorphic, superhero mouse character created by the Terrytoons studio for 20th Century Fox. The character first appeared in 1942 (originally named Super Mouse) and subsequently in 80 theatrical films between 1942 and 1961. These films appeared on American television from 1955 through 1967, Saturday mornings on the CBS television network. The character was twice revived, by Filmation Studios in 1979 and in 1987 by animation director Ralph Bakshi, who had worked at the Terrytoons studio during his early career.
Mighty Mouse has also appeared in comics and other media.

History
The character was conceived originally by Paul Terry.[1] Created as a parody of Superman, he first appeared in 1942 in a theatrical animated short titled The Mouse of Tomorrow. Originally named Super Mouse, after seven films in 1942-43, he was renamed Mighty Mouse for The Wreck of the Hesperus (1944), after Paul Terry learned that another character named "Super Mouse" was to be published by Marvel Comics.[citation needed]
Beginning in 1945, some Mighty Mouse episodes had operatic dialogue, and he was drawn slightly differently. Both changes attempted to take advantage of the growing popularity of singer and actor Mario Lanza, beginning with Mighty Mouse and The Pirates.[citation needed] Others included Gypsy Life and The Crackpot King. Mighty Mouse's adventures later focused on Pearl Pureheart and Oilcan Harry; the dialogue in these episodes were always sung by the characters.
His appearance
Mighty Mouse was first drawn wearing a blue costume with red trunks and cape, similar to Superman. Later, this outfit was changed to a yellow costume with red trunks and cape; in various theatrical shorts, those colors were reversed.[2] Roy Halee, Sr. was the first actor to provide the voice of Mighty Mouse,[3] a role later filled by voice actors Tom Morrison[4] and Allen Swift.[5] In The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle and Jeckle, Alan Oppenheimer provided the voice, and during the run of Mighty Mouse, the New Adventures, Mighty Mouse was voiced by Patrick Pinney.
His powers
Mighty Mouse's superpowers included flight, super strength, and invulnerability. In some films he used X-ray vision and psychokinesis. He was also able to turn back time in The Johnstown Flood and Krakatoa. Other cartoons showed him leaving a red contrail during flight that he manipulated like a band of solid, flexible matter.
Recurring characters
Mighty Mouse featured two recurring female leads. In the cartoon shorts, she was a mouse named Pearl Pureheart. In the comics in the 1950s and 1960s, the female lead was named Mitzi. His recurring arch-enemy is a villain cat named Oil Can Harry, who originated as a human in earlier Terrytoons as the enemy of Fanny Zilch.
Show formulas
The early formula of each story consisted of a crisis needing extraordinary help to resolve. At the decisive moment, Mighty Mouse came to the rescue. In the early films Mighty Mouse would not appear until nearly three quarters through the cartoon. Beginning with A Fight to the Finish (1947), the story line usually begins with Mighty Mouse and Pearl Pureheart already in a desperate situation as though in the next chapter of a serial.
Mighty Mouse cartoons spoofed the cliffhanger serials of silent films as well as the classic operettas of stage still popular at the time.
The characters often sing mock opera arias (e.g., Pearl: "Oil Can Harry, you're a villain!"; Oil Can Harry: "I know it, but it's a lot of fun..."). Mighty Mouse sings tenor, Pearl soprano, Oil Can Harry bass-baritone. Mighty Mouse is also famous for singing "Here I come to save the day!" when flying into action.
In several Mighty Mouse cartoons, whenever he achieves the most impossible physical tasks, the narrator exclaims, first softly, "what a mouse!!!", then loudly, "WHAT A MOUSE!!!".
The early Mighty Mouse cartoons often portray Mighty Mouse as a ruthless fighter. One of his most frequent tactics is to fly under an enemy's chin and let loose a volley of blows, subduing the opponent through sheer physical punishment.
Villains
While his typical opponents are nondescript cats, Mighty Mouse occasionally battles specific villains, though most appear in only one or two films. Several of the earliest "Super Mouse" films (having been made during World War II), feature the cats as thinly veiled caricatures of the Nazis, hunting down mice and marching them into concentration camp-like traps to what would otherwise be their doom. The Bat-cats, alien cats with bat wings and wheels for feet, appeared in two cartoons; in two others between 1949 and 1950 he faces a huge, dim-witted, but super-strong cat named Julius "Pinhead" Schlabotka (voiced by Dayton Allen) whose strength rivals Mighty Mouse's. In rare moments, he confronts non-feline adversaries such as human bad guy Bad Bill Bunion and his horse, or the Automatic Mouse Trap, a brontosaur-shaped robotic monster. In The Green Line (1944), the cats and the mice live on either side of a green dividing line down the middle of their town's main street. They agree to keep the peace as long as no one crosses it. An evil entity, a Satan cat, starts the cats and mice fighting. At the end, Mighty Mouse is cheered by mice and cats alike.
At least one episode, Wolf! Wolf!, has fallen into the public domain and is available at the Internet Archive.[6]
Gypsy Life (1945) was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Short Subject (Cartoon).[7]
3.71

More Public Domain Movies