In keeping with my nostalgic and obsessive-compulsive moods I’m looking back on many of my childhood favorite cartoons, most of which I haven’t seen since I was a child. I’m trying to avoid needless nostalgia and look at these shows as objectively and honestly as I can. At the same time, these aren’t meant as real reviews, this is just for fun, and I’ll be using these exact same questions for every cartoon in this series.
Danger Mouse (1981, 89 episodes)
The Skinny: Danger Mouse is the greatest secret agent in the world. Based in a Mayfair pillar box on Baker Street in London, DM works with a trusted but doofy sidekick named Penfold (apparently a hamster) and for the absent minded Colonel K (apparently a chinchilla). DM’s main nemesis is Baron Silas Greenback, but the evil toad has many of his own sidekicks.
The show is broken up into several small serials, each lasting about five minutes with credits.
Is it as good as I remember?
Not quite, but it’s generally pretty funny.
Is it better then I expected?
Yes. I obviously didn’t get most of these jokes as a kid, and had I not since learned anything about ‘70s and ‘80s English pop culture I probably would’ve still been in the dark.
Do I hate myself for ever liking it?
No, I’m actually kind of proud of myself.
Is the animation acceptable?
The character designs are fun, but the animation is as cheap as it comes. The mouth sync is usually off, or forgotten all together, and repeated frames are often awkwardly employed to create the illusion of movement. However, some of the trippier episodes feature fun, Terry Gilliam-esque animation.
Is there a MacGuffin?
The spoofish and serialized nature of the five minute episodes leads to many MacGuffins, but there isn’t an overall arcing thing that everyone wants.
Is there a consistent plot point that makes no sense, even within the cartoon universe’s loose rules?
Usually the show is meant to make no sense, so this question is pretty much non-applicable.
Is there anything interesting to note as an adult?
Danger Mouse was pretty obviously made for adults. The show’s pace and tone is very much like that of Rocky and Bullwinkle, another show made for adults. The pop culture references still zip right over my head, but I did pick up plenty of homage to Monty Python, Danger Diabolik!, Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Who, and of course, James Bond. I also suspected that Count Duckula was related, but didn’t verify that fact until now.
Did I remember the theme song?
Yes I did, word for word.
Here it is.
Is the theme song still good?
Yes it is, and it’s been stuck in my head for weeks.
Are the toys still cool?
I’m not aware of any toys existing, though I’m sure there had to be some around at some point.
Overall score as a grown up: 7/10
For more information try these sites:
Danger Mouse on wikipedia
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey