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DVD Review

DVD cover

Danger Mouse
The Complete Collection
30th Anniversary Edition


Starring (voice): David Jason, Terry Scott, Edward Kelsey, Jimmy Hibbert and Brian Trueman
FreemantleMedia Enterprises
RRP: £49.99
Certificate: U
Available 26 September 2011

Danger Mouse (1981-1992) was a popular British animation, from Cosgrove Hall Films. The stories feature the British super spy; the eye patched Danger Mouse, who was aided by Penfold, a hamster. Together with their boss, Colonel K, a chinchilla, DM fought against fiendish threats to national security...

It’s odd having recently reviewed a modern CGI film, which has all the advantages of decades of advances in animation, to realise that Danger Mouse is still a better program. The animation may be a little on the rough side, in fact in order to save money many of the stories are set in the north pole or in locations which can be reused, but the scripts, which often parodied the spy genre are brilliant, each episode is a little gem in itself. The scripts were aided by great visual gags and the vocal talents of David Jason (Danger Mouse) and Terry Scott (Penfold).

The show ran for eighty-nine episodes, including one unaired pilot episode and now you can own the whole shebang on a ten disc DVD courtesy of the Danger Mouse: The Complete 30th Anniversary Edition.

A hero is only as good as the villain he faces and Danger Mouse had a corker in Baron Silas Greenback (voiced by Edward Kelsey), a particularly colic toad, who was, in turn, aided by his right hand caterpillar, Nero, and the stylish Italian crow, Stiletto Mafiosa (voiced by Brian Trueman):. His diabolical schemes usually involved machines which were as impractical as they were a work of genius, with which Greenback intended to take over the world. Over the course of the show DM faced off against many villains, but Greenback and Count Duckula, made the biggest impression, with Duckula becoming a successful spin-off show in its own right.

What sounds like it could have been just a British phenomenon turned out to be a worldwide success for the studio, creating legions of fans which still exist.

The tens discs has a large amount of extras.

Disc one: A Danger Mouse Quiz and a Gallery.
Disc Two: A Penfold Quiz and a Gallery
Disc Three: Danger Mouse and Friends (37 min, 55 sec) is a program presented by Ian Carmichael OBE. It was first transmitted 10 December 1987 and takes a look behind the Cosgrove studios, which includes a look at both cell and model animation.
Disc Four: An Interview with Mark Hall (11 min, 16 sec) which looks at the beginnings of the studio, plus a Gallery, and
Disc Five: Behind the Scenes Footage (6 min, 23 sec) which appears to have been taken from a larger program for CBTV. It’s another piece looking at how the program was made, but this time with a child acting as the reporter.
Disc Six: More Behind the Scenes Footage (6 min, 16 sec) which looks like a section out of Magpie possibly, and another Gallery.
Disc Seven: An Alligator Animation Short (53 sec) which is a small piece of DM, about DM and Penfold defeating an alligator with an elephant.
Disc Eight: Worms Animation Short (23 sec) which is similar to the previous short; and biographies for the six main characters.
Disc Nine: The unaired Pilot Episode, The Mystery of the Lost Chord (15 min, 04) which displays all the elements of humour and presentation which made the final show such a delight to watch. There is also an Interview with Brian Cosgrove (8 min, 02 sec) discussing how DM was the cartoon child of Danger Man.
Disc Ten: Pilot Audio: Original Theme Tune Ideas (9 min, 39 sec) which has four different treatments of the theme tune.

The show is displayed in its original aspect ratio, the picture is a little grainy, but then the series is more than a little old. The DD2.0 audio track is very clear.

This is the sort of show that each new generation of kids, and kids at heart, should discover; its longevity is strictly down to the quality of the show.


Charles Packer

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