The one-eyed white wonder returns to DVD with this second set of episodes
of Danger Mouse. This two disc package contains all of the
episodes from seasons three and four of the series. If you've seen
the first set you'll know what to expect: some great silly comedy that
will entertain both adults and children.
Danger Mouse, or DM as his friends call him, is the world's greatest
secret agent. Wherever danger will rear its ugly head, he's there
to stop it. With his faithful, and rather timid, sidekick Penfold
(a hamster) to aid him, DM fights the evil machinations of Baron Silas
Greenback, the world's most evil toad, Count Duckula (in a pair of shows)
and other villains.
A parody of James Bond (and the British TV show Danger Man,)
this cartoon sets itself apart from other animated shows with its creativity,
not so subtle satire, and a strong sense of the absurd. The latter
is what I appreciate the most, and makes me a fan of the show. Each
episode is filled with strange situations that really give the show its
strange sense of humor.
In addition to the strange plots, there are a lot of bad jokes and even
worse puns, some of which the younger viewers may miss but are sure to
elicit groans from the adults. Danger Mouse also realizes that he's
a cartoon character. At one point DM and Penfold have fallen off
of a cliff and are holding on only by their finger-tips. Danger Mouse
remarks that "this must be the end of an episode.....the writer always
has to end on a cliff-hanger."
Like the first set, this one has a good number of parody shows.
Planet of the Cats has DM and Penfold traveling into the future
where the world that is ruled by cats. Then there is The Great
Bone Idol which is partially a hilarious take off on Raiders of
the Lost Ark. My favorite part is where DM finds the secret hole
in the desert where the Bone Idol has been secreted. Lifting the
lid, he peers down and can't believe his eyes. The hole is "packed
to the portals with prostrate pachyderms!" Yes, instead of snakes
this relic is guarded by elephants. (To which the narrator says "Will
this multitude of musing mastodons allow our heros to go below, tip-toe
to and fro find the lost so-and-so then give it the old heave-ho and blow?
Well, I don't think so.")
One of my favorite parts of the show is the narrator. His rhyme
filled closings are often some of the best parts of the show. When
DM is faced with a half dozen crocodiles guarding an object he needs the
narrator closes the episode with "Can Danger Mouse with charm and style
smile and beguile the hostile reptile a while, so he can do a quick nick
of the Mystic Stick?"
Though the program is very funny, the animation was done on the cheap.
They cut a lot of corners, animating only a person's mouth if they could
possibly get away with it, and often having characters look the other way
when talking so they didn't even have to do that much. Scenes of
Danger Mouse and Penfold walking or driving in their car are often reused,
as are some backgrounds.
Despite the low grade animation, Danger Mouse is a great show.
It has a slightly off kilter sense of humor which makes it enjoyable for
both adults and children.
Like the second season, each of these stories consist of five chapters
with abbreviated opening and closing credits as they were originally broadcast.
Each chapter runs about five minutes making each story clock in at around
25 minutes. At the beginning of each episode (besides the first)
there is a quick recap of the previous shows. While you can chapter
skip past the opening credits, this intro doesn't have a separate chapter
and watching the recaps get a little tiresome after a while.
The episodes included in this set are:
The Invasion of Colonel 'K'
Danger Mouse Saves the World ... Again
The Odd Ball Runaround
The Strange Case of the Ghost Bus
Trip to America
The Wild, Wild Goose Chase
The Return of Count Duckula
Demons Aren't Dull
150 Million Years Lost
The Planet of the Cats
4 Heads Are Better than 2
Tower of Terror
The Great Bone Idol
Public Enemy No. 1
These two seasons of Danger Mouse come on a pair of single sided DVDs.
The two channel audio track sounds about average for a program of this
age. The dialog is easy to understand and the background music is
clear. There are a couple of pops that are audible, and a very slight
hum in the background that is only noticeable in quiet parts when the volume
is turned up fairly high. There were one or two instances of distortion
where the soundtrack cracked, but this was rare. Not a bad sounding
disc though, just average. There are no subtitles.
Like the first set, this one uses the original British soundtrack.
For American audiences Nickelodeon redubbed only Stiletto's voice and gave
him a Cockney accent instead of his original Italian accent. He speaks
with an Itallian accent on these discs.
The video is acceptable, but not outstanding. The shows had a
faded look to them. The colors weren't as bright as they should have
been, and the details weren't as sharp. The image was a little on
the soft side too. There are a few specks on the print that was used,
but this was a minor defect. All of this doesn't mean the picture
is bad, it isn't, it's just showing it's age a bit. There are no
digital defects worth mentioning.
There aren't many bonus items included with this set. The only
extras are a karaoke version of the opening song and text biographies of
the characters in the show.
I have to admit, I find this show hilarious. If anything, these
two seasons are even more entertaining that the first two. The narrator
takes on a bigger role which adds a lot to the show, and the jokes are
even more silly in places. A laugh-out-loud funny show, this set
is Highly Recommended.