Friday, Apr. 18, 2014

(Re)Animations: Danger Mouse (1981)

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September 22, 2011

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“He’s The Greatest Secret Agent In The World!”

As a kid my exposure to any culture outside of the U.S. began and ended in front of the boob tube. I can vaguely recall the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989 on the news and being amused (but not fully understanding) the heroic antics of Crocodile Dundee in theaters, but it wasn’t until seeing Danger Mouse (and shortly thereafter Count Duckula) that my interest in “political affairs” really started. To celebrate the show’s 30th anniversary next week (Sept. 26th), and the official UK release of the Danger Mouse: The Complete Collection 30th Anniversary Edition, I thought it might be fun to take a look back.

First airing in the U.S. courtesy of Nickelodeon in 1984 (itself only a few years old at the time), Danger Mouse was the creation of Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall modeled after the much more serious spy exploits of Britain’s own James Bond. Unlike Bond, however, DM had a signature eyepatch and logo proudly emblazoned on his chest so I guess you could say he was a lot less “secret.” On the other hand, maybe it was all part of his cover since later episodes revealed DM didn’t even need the eyepatch. He was the self-proclaimed “Greatest Secret Agent In The World” after all.

Fighting alongside DM was his trusty sidekick, Penfold, and they’re commanding officer Colonel K who it would seem predicted the evolution of video chat (see above). Their mission, if they chose to accept it (which they did), was to foil the evil schemes of Baron Silas Greenback and his minions; Stiletto, Nero and… wait for it… Count Duckla. Yes, Count Duckula began his career on Danger Mouse as a vampire duck looking to get his own show. Ironic or brilliant foresight on the part of Cosgrove Hall? In fact, one of my favorite episodes (aside from Trouble with Ghosts) is The Four Tasks of Danger Mouse when DM first meets Count Duckula.

The series ended in the early 90s, but I was too far into my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles phase by then to remember much of how it ended.

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About Author

Rondal

Rondal is the Editor-in-Chief of Strange Kids Club and a creative instigator who tackles each day with Red Bull-induced enthusiasm and a mind for adventure. Rondal has written for other sites including Rue Morgue, Fuel Your Illustration and Bloodsprayer. His obsession with horror movies, 80s animation and action figures is considered unhealthy by medical professionals.

  • http://wings1295.blogspot.com/ Caffeinated Joe

    My brother and I used to watch this every week! Loved DM and Penfold!

    • http://www.strangekidsclub.com Rondal

      It was a pretty sweet show (from what I can remember of it). I’m glad they’re re-releasing it, but I wish we were getting it stateside as well.

  • LaDracul

    OMG, this was probably one of the things that made me an Anglophile… :)

  • http://uramyx.com uramyx

    Dangermouse was amazing! You mentioned Count Duckula as well. They were all the high point of British animation and kids TV in the 80s/90s (both voiced by David Jason also) I still have my VHS of Count Duckula also :D
    Other Great ones around that time were The Trap Door, Mr Benn and The Wombles!

    • http://www.strangekidsclub.com Rondal

      The Trap Door sounds familiar, but I can’t recall the other two. Did they ever make it over to the US or are they more of a UK thing?

      You’re so lucky to still have a Count Duckula VHS- I’d kill to get my hands on a DVD collection.