Danger Mouse – 1981 (The Original Series)
The British animated television series, produced by Cosgrove Hall Films for Thames Television, between 1981 and 1992, clocking up no less than 181 episodes over it’s run, oh and then there’s two un-aired pilot episodes.
Danger Mouse had something for everyone, a superhero, it was funny, fast paced and unlike many popular cartoons you might think of it was BRITISH. Starring the voices of David Jason as Danger Mouse and the late great Terry Scott as his sidekick Penfold.
A ten-minute episode typically needed 2,000 drawings, so, as a cost-cutting measure, the cartoons made frequent use of repeated footage and “in the dark” sequences (black with eyeballs visible only, or, in Danger Mouse’s case, simply one eyeball). A recurring setting for episodes was “The North Pole” – simply because by using white, snow-covered backgrounds minimal painting and colouring would be required.
All the characters in the series are animals, yet the adventures of our hero appear to take place alongside the human world; there are various examples of a mouse-sized Danger Mouse walking through human-scale sets, standing on table-football tables and, not least, living inside a normal size pillar box. This becomes less consistent as the series goes on, as many later episodes show the characters as being human size. There are also times when the cast attempts to deliberately interact with humans (such as Duckula mind-controlling human Members of Parliament to be as showbiz-mad as he is, as well as the episode, “Trip to America” where, Danger Mouse and Penfold are seen to interact with a Texan).
In 2013 FremantleMedia confirmed to Broadcast magazine that an updated version of the series was being considered. The following year it was announced that a new series of fifty two episodes was being made for broadcast in 2015. In 2015 on children’s channel CBBC a new series began with Alexander Armstrong as the voice of Danger Mouse (another post for another day).
For those that like their stats, in a Channel 4 poll of the 100 Greatest Kids’ TV Shows, Danger Mouse came third, beaten only by The Muppet Show and The Simpsons.
The show follows the adventures of Danger Mouse, an English mouse, who works as a superhero/secret agent. The show is often seen as a loose parody of British spy fiction, particularly James Bond and the Danger Man series starring Patrick McGoohan.
The Voices Of
Created By: Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall
Produced By: Cosgrove Hall for Thames Television
Narrated By: David Jason
Original Transmission Dates: 28th September 1981 – 19th March 1992
Now go and watch the new version here