No, it’s not Disney’s ‘Godfather’ of animated rodents, Mickey Mouse, or even Looney Tunes’ lightning-fast Mexican Speedy Gonzales, but Terrytoons’ Mighty Mouse, the pint-sized but buffed superhero who first appeared way back in the 1940s.
The LA Times reports that Paramount Pictures, via its Nickelodeon Movies off-shoot, is keen to get the little fella in a full-length feature film, following the success of Alvin and the Chipmunks and its so-called ‘Squeakquel’.
Cousins Brian and Mark Gunn (whose only major writing credit includes an untitled sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth) have had a crack at a script, but Paramount is apparently keen to see what a new writer can come up with.
A brainchild of Isadore ‘Izzy’ Klein, the character was originally Super Fly (meaning he was a super-powered housefly and not a fictional cocaine-dealer from the early ’70s), but morphed to Super Mouse after Terrytoons boss Paul Terry decided a mouse was more appealing.
A parody of Superman, Super Mouse made his first appearance in the animated theatrical short called The Mouse of Tomorrow (1942), and sported the Man of Steel’s trademark blue tights, red cape and matching red undies.
Two years and seven shorts later, Super Mouse’s name was changed to Mighty Mouse and his uniform to yellow and orange.
Mighty Mouse really hit the big time in 1955 with the advent of television and his Saturday morning cartoon series. It featured the infamous theme song, which was brought to further attention in the late ’70s by comedian Andy Kaufman on Saturday Night Live.
The superhero with the whiskers made a return to TV screens in 1987 starring in The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse. It lasted two seasons.
Mighty Mouse made his last appearance in a controversial 2001 ‘Power of Cheese’ television commercial. It was set in a city like New York, and shows Mighty Mouse dining on cheese in a restaurant oblivious to the terror on the street outside caused by an alien invasion. The advertisement was taken off the air following September 11.
All would be forgiven now, and Mighty Mouse, with the title character’s on-going battles against the neighborhood cats, including Oil Can Harry, and his penchant for romance, has all the hallmarks of being a great film for the family.
No director has yet been signed for the Mighty Mouse movie, and there is no clear direction it will take in terms of it being a mixture of CGI and live-action like Alvin and the Chipmunks or completely CGI. But, a 2013 release date has been set.
Now, what other classic animated characters should we expect to see make a comeback on the big screen? Woody Woodpecker? Felix the Cat? Tom and Jerry? Betty Boop?
Source: LA Times
Superman Returns/Might Mouse poster art by Henrique Lima