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Saturday-morning cartoons had been in a rut, nothing but superheroes, toys, and other franchise properties, and certainly little that was flat-out funny. In the nick of time (1987 to be exact), along came Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures to save the day, and, as the theme song promised, things wouldn't be like they'd been before. Born in creative anarchy, Mighty Mouse brought a Looney Tunes sensibility back to Saturday mornings, with cartoons that, like their Warner Bros. predecessors, seem designed by the animators to first and foremost amuse themselves, as witness "Don't Touch That Dial," a "Duck Amuck"-inspired cartoon in which Mighty Mouse finds himself inserted into parodic takes on The Flintstones and The JetsonsScooby-Doo!, and Rocky and Bullwinkle (think Sylvester Stallone instead of flying squirrel). Mighty Mouse has cult classic drawn all over it. It was produced by Ralph Bakshi, who began his career in children's animation before making the infamous X-rated Fritz the Cat as well as WizardsLord of the Rings, and the epic American Pop. He recruited John Kricfalusi (who would later create the kindred-spirited Ren & Stimpy) as well as young (and cheap) talent just out of college, among them Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series, Andrew Stanton (Wall-E), and Jim Reardon (The Simpsons). As someone observes in the excellent series retrospective included as a special feature, "I don't think you could afford to put all those names in the same room." Like the best of Warner Bros. and Jay Ward, most of the cartoons have cross-generational appeal, with silliness for the kids, and sly, subversive satire and pop culture references for adults. The series was a rebuke to the "electronic pabulum" television dished out. So, of course, after a mere two seasons, it was canceled after a controversy blossomed over the cartoon "The Littlest Tramp," in which an image of Mighty Mouse sniffing a crushed flower was outrageously misrepresented by a fundamentalist group to be a cocaine gag. That cartoon is included in this set. As a treat for baby boomers who grew up with the original, three vintage Mighty Mouse cartoons are also included as bonuses.

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