Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mouse On The Mayflower

Originally aired on NBC, November 23,1968
Directed and Produced by Arthur Rankin Jr and Jules Bass.
Written by Romeo Muller
Original Music by Maury Laws
This special tells the story of the Pilgrims voyage from Plymouth,England to North America in1620 and their struggles to set up their settlement in the New World. The famous courtship of Priscilla Mullins by John Alden is also covered. It’s narrated by a church mouse named William who’s voiced by Tennessee Ernie Ford,who also sings the theme song.
J A Morris says:
Not a very good special. And especially disappointing considering this is a Rankin-Bass production. This special came just a year after the R-B classic ‘Mad Monster Party’.
Even though I grew up in the 70s, I’d never seen Mouse On The Mayflower until now (I don’t remember it being broadcast during my childhood).  I often watch specials like this and try to imagine what I would have thought if was a child. I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed Mouse. The primary characters aren’t very interesting, and I thought the singing voices were obnoxious. And the songs themselves aren’t so great either, this is not the best effort from legendary composer Maury Laws.
I guess the biggest problem with Mouse is there’s just too much going on. There’s the brutal voyage across the Atlantic, the relationship between John and Priscilla, a pointless subplot involving criminals who infiltrate the Mayflower. Plus, fantasy sequences where John imagines he’s a knight and Priscilla is a Princess that seem like they belong in another special.
On a positive note, voice acting god Paul Frees (best remembered as the voice of Boris Badenov from Bullwinkle cartoons) does not disappoint.  Frees seemed to voice about half a dozen characters, and managed to make this special somewhat enjoyable at times. Otherwise, not much to recommend here, unless you’re huge fan of Tennessee Ernie Ford.
My Rating:

 2 pumpkin pies.

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