Series Created by Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall
Starring the Voices of David Jason, Terry Scott, Edward Kelsey and Brian Trueman
- All seventeen episodes of the first two seasons, including the unaired pilot “The Lost Chord”
- Character descriptions
Released by: A&E Home Video.
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Rent It for the nostalgia.
[ad#longpost]England has a great spying tradition from John La Carre’s George Smiley to Ian Fleming’s James Bond to Greg Rucka’s Tara Chace. Now we can add another to this shadowy pantheon: Danger Mouse (Jason). The world’s greatest secret agent (as the narrator, also played by Jason, constantly reminds us) and his trusty if cowardly sidekick Penfold (Scott), under the direction of Colonel K (Kelsey), face death and danger in the never-ending battle against evil. This usually means “DM” crosses swords with the insidious amphibian Baron Silas Greenback (Kelsey) and his henchman…ah, sorry, henchcrow, Stiletto (Trueman). Stand by for adventure now that Danger Mouse is here to save the day.
Man, this is stirring up some nostalgia for me. The only thing that kept me from slitting my wrists in middle school was watching Nickelodeon with You Can’t Do That On Television, The Tomorrow People, and Danger Mouse. But that was then and this is now. One thing that hit me right away was the accent of Stiletto. I remember him talking in a Cockney accent, but it seems that he originally had an Italian accent. That was a bit of cognitive dissonance. The first season’s episodes last only ten to twelve minutes which also didn’t jive with my memories. And the second season lasts longer but the episodes are broken up into five minute bits so we get a lot of “In our last episode…” I realize that this is how this was originally aired, but it gets old quickly. It’s a shame that they couldn’t spend some money to clean up the picture of the scratches, the dirt, and the color imbalance you get with old prints. It’s not bad, but it is noticeable.
The show is still a fun satire of action-adventure movies, especially the canon of James Bond and the duo of Holmes and Watson. The voice acting is very well done with Jason and Scott–in fact all the voice actors do top notch work. There are some bad jokes and clever references so the adults won’t get bored. For us Americans, the British references are kept to a minimum as not to confuse the non-Anglophiles. It’s quite silly and goofy. It’s just I remember it being funnier, more outrageous. That’s the problem with nostalgia, most of the time the experience is sweeter in the remembrance. Especially when the remembrance comes from when you were a little kid, when everything was somehow funnier and more outrageous. The show is good, but there are better examples of the genre out there.
The extras are weak. There are some character descriptions that simply regurgitate several bits from the show. It’s a shame that there were no notes of the inspiration of the characters. Why did the animators decide on a white suit and eye patch, for example? An interview with the creators, who I believe are still with us, would have been nice. The pilot episode is a little interesting since the actors went in a different direction, but it was recycled into the episode “Who Stole the Bagpipes?” so you’ve already seen most of it. If you feel the need to revisit your past, Danger Mouse can definitely help. But don’t be surprised if the past is different than you remember.