Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Toons: Mouse on the Mayflower (1968)

I initially reviewed this next item at my other blog, The Land of Whatever, 3 years ago. Now, though, is the time for a fresh perspective.

Rankin-Bass, then known under the Videocraft label, tried to expand their holiday roster beyond Christmas with the Thanksgiving special, Mouse on the Mayflower, which premiered on NBC. Today, it doesn't air much anymore, as few cablers are willing to pick it up for a once-a-year broadcast. They'd want to play it into the ground, as ABC Family has done with several Rankin-Bass Christmas specials produced in the 70's for ABC, CBS, & NBC.

Mouse tells the story of Willum, who was aboard the Mayflower when it made its voyage to America, as narrated by a then-present day descendant (Tennessee Ernie Ford). The familiar Rankin-Bass casting formula is in place, with singers John Gary & Joanie Sommers joining veteran voice actors Paul Frees & June Foray and Green Acres star Eddie Albert in the cast. Albert voices Capt. Miles Standish, and Gary is John Alden. As William reminds, most of us know the story, but Romeo Muller's idea of telling the story from a mouse's point of view is meant to attract the kiddo's, a gimmick that would be duplicated six years later in 'Twas The Night Before Christmas for CBS.

Kevin Burns posted Mouse on the Mayflower:

Rating: A-.

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