Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mission Magic - The Complete Series|
Actor: Rick Springfield
Genres: Kids & Family, Television, Animation
Music adventure comedy and enchantment all mix together in this beloved 1973 animated series. Your school was never like this! Miss Tickle is a teacher with secret magical powers and she leads her 6 favorite students on am... more »
It's Magic all over again!
Dunestar | 05/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, I have to give kudos to Ink & Paint, Entertainment Rights, and BCI for unearthing these Filmation treasures from the Seventies. Especially with Mission: Magic! since this illustrates the reason why we fondly miss Saturday Morning Television.
Before Springfield became famous as an international rock star, or starred on General Hospital, he did a stint for Filmation back in 1973. Jumping on the popularity of films like 'Wizard of Oz,' 'Alice in Wonderland,' and 'The Yellow Submarine,' the premise dealt with Rick being sort of a monitor of dimensional worlds beyond our own.
The ingenuine part was his 'agents' so to speak (since he contacted them via a grammaphone): a class of high school students belonging to The Adventurers' Club, and a teacher known as Miss Tickle. Whenever Rick contacted the group, Miss Tickle would revive her familiar statue of Tut-Tut to conjure forth a door on a blackboard (How many fans recall as kids drawing on chalkboards, in hopes to open the magic door?), which became a doorway to fantastic lands and realms.
The stories were rather simplistic but fun, basically Rick would discover a problem in his dimensional travels, contact Miss Tickle and the group, and they go and attempt in solving the problems.
Considering this was 1970s Saturday Morning TV, Miss Tickle rarely used her magic to hurt anyone, nor did anyone actually get hurt. For instance, in '2600 AD', Rick ends up getting 'stunned' while fending off robots, while in another episode, he gets knocked out while under a spell.
The show was rather great and actually once crossed over into 'The Brady Kids' when Wilmer (magic mynah bird) borrows Tut-Tut to access the magic door and accidentally transforms the familiar (cat) into a bird.
What really made the series great was, besides hearing Rick's Australian accent, like most of Filmation's original shows, the plethora of characters were voiced by three or four actors, including Erika Schiemer (Lou Schiemer's daughter, and famous for the original Sabrina's voice) and Howard Morris (aka Ernest T. Bass, the original Jughead, and doing voices for The Jetsons as well.).
Despite the outdated references, Mission: Magic! actually holds up rather well. One beef I had was the booklet claims the show was too out there (due to the wild scenery and abstract openings) for it to ever be put into syndication. Actually, this is inaccurate, since back in the Seventies, ABC would sell their 'failed' Saturday Morning Shows (series never going past their first season mark) to their affliates as 'afternoon fillers' between 3 and 5. Though not shown on the DVD set, Filmation did run an 'alternate' opening version of the series where Rick Springfield sang a more subtle version of the title song.
Thus, if Mission: Magic! was so great, why did the series last for only one season? Normally in those days, animation was an extremely costly process, meaning networks would only order so many episodes made. If the ratings did exception well (on rare instances), they'd order more for the next season.
But the problem with Mission: Magic! was not lack of ratings, but instead a radical change with children's programming. In 1974, a watchdog group called ACT (Action for Children's Television) didn't fancy Miss Tickle being a teacher who could perform magic, and 'endangering' her class by taking them on 'unauthorized' field trips into other worlds.
Also came the fact a teacher performing magic was not exactly acceptable, despite the fact, Miss Tickle didn't always use her powers for solving problems. And you thought critics against Harry Potter were strict!
Which was a shame because Mission: Magic! was indeed a great treasure and could have been the first animated version of 'Doctor Who' and 'Fat Albert' rolled into one if given half the chance.
Even if you're not a great fan of Rick Springfield, the DVD is still worth getting and watching. Because not only was it honestly a great show for its time, it definitely revives the lost spirit of Saturday Morning Television."
Pj Thorp | 04/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'd give this one six stars if I could.
Incredibly innovative sci-fi fantasy plots well animated by Filmation in the early 1970s. Miss Tickle (pun on "mystical") leads an animated Rick Springfield and her students on adventures into fantasy lands and alternate realms.
Amazon also still has copies of the Mission Magic CD with the songs from the show, if you're interested.
This one will be money well spent, and great kid-friendly material too."
Bring the Magic Home
Neil Barto | 11/05/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Mission:Magic was one of the first origanal animated series from Filmation. It was also one of the first cartoons to have a diversified cast of characters. The show was a mixture of Magic School Bus and Isis. Some of the background music for the show was also used in other Filamation classics such as the Shazam/Isis Hour. The only downfall to the show was the terrible laugh track that was included with each episode.
The characters in the show were:
Rick Springfield - This legendary singer used a gramophone to get in contact with the Adventurer's Club to give them missions in magical lands to solve mysteries. Rick has a pet owl called Ptolemy. Rick has a song he sings in almost every episode of the series.
Miss Tickle - The teacher in charge of the Adventurer's Club who had magical powers and a magical cat called Tut-Tut who is a stone statue of ancient lore that becomes a real cat. Miss Tickle uses school supplies like chalk, keys and erasers as magical items, and has a magical purse that when a knob is turned, makes the Adventurer's Club members fly.
Carol - A blonde girl who is infatuated with Rick Springfield.
Harve - A chubby kid with glasses who always lands on his rump unlike everyone else who lands on their feet when they are flying to a mission. Harve is afraid of heights and thinks he can do anything.
Socks - Wears a hat that looks like Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat.
Vinnie - Messes up his speech all the time
Franklin - Black student who always talks about how he doesn't like how tall he is.
Kim - Asian girl who seems to be the most level headed of the group.
Principal Samuels - Only in a couple of episodes but loves to tell tall tales.
Some fun facts about Mission: Magic - Miss Tickle and Tut-Tut debuted on another cartoon series The Brady Kids (an animated version of the Brady Bunch). Tut-Tut and Ptolemy were based off the poem The Owl and the Pussycat. The episode Horse Feathers is the only time another character sings a song other than Rick Springfield. Miss Tickles powers don't work in water. Franklin is the only member of the club who seems to own a car.
Special Features include:
a 3:30 interview with Lou Scheimer founder of Filmation
a 4:40 interview with Erika Scheimer daughter of Lou Scheimer and voice actress for Kim
a 32:40 documentary on the magic of Filmation
All 16 episodes of Mission:Magic are included and are presented on the DVD in production order. They are:
1) The Land of Backwards
4) Land of Hyde and Goseek
5) The City Inside the Earth
6) 2600 A.D.
7) Something Fishy
8) Giant Steppes
9) Statue of Limitations
10) Will the Real Rick Springfield Please Stand Up!
11) Doctor Astro
12) Doctor Daguerrotype
14) Modran Returns
15) Horse Feathers
16) A Light Mystery
Classic FILMATION Saturday Morning Cartoon
William T. Adkins | Cleveland, OH USA | 10/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are those of us who remember one special Friday night of the year...the night that we got a sneak peek of the new season's cartoon lineup on Saturday mornings. We also used to get Friday night previews of the regular shows, but nowadays, high school football has relinquished this pastime to, well...the past!
For those who don't remember, this series was created in 1973, a time when the Banana Splits came on at noon and House of Frankenstein at 3pm were quickly replacing cartoons from the 60s primetime slots. Before then, Three Stooges and Little Rascals were the only "kiddie" alternative to the $1,000 afternoon movie, usually hosted by the local channel's weatherman.
In the late 1960s, the Flintstones, Lost In Space, and other "fantasy" programming was competing with Dr. Kildare, Marcus Welby, Television Theatre productions, etc. I don't know if they had Saturday morning cartoons in the 50s, but in the early 70s, it was the start to every young kid's Saturday. It gave us adventures to recreate all day, over and over again with different buddies playing different characters. Also, we seem to somehow realize that Wiley would survive falling from a cliff where we, unfortunately, would not. This, too, is another lost art it would seem.
This series was an attempt to bring the spiritual feelings of I Dream of Jeanine / Bewitched with the open-minded, racially tolerant Star Trek (which was off the air by then), and the youth who were still following The Archies and Josie and the Pussycats. And don't forget to flavour with the moralistic lessons of Sesame Street! It's definitely corny by today's standards, but it's also a good teaching tool, especially about reasoning and tolerance of other's views. It really is too bad this kind of programming cannot be found anywhere on the tellie today.