March 26, 2020 posted by Steve Stanchfield

“The Magic Slipper” (1948)

I hope this post finds you all well. In this critical moment in history, the best we can do is try to be safe and get through it as best as well can. Here, in Michigan, we’re sheltering in place as many of you are.

I moved the basics of the Thunderbean office back here to my house and am continuing operations for the time being, but many of the supplies will dwindle in the coming days. There’s quite a few ‘special’ discs that I’ll be getting to people this week, and work continues on the newer ones, although currently hampered by the inability to do scan of anything new.

I’m wishing the best to all of you out there as we move forward in this uncertain time. Of course, I’ll continue to post as well, and will hopefully have a little more time to work on some of the upcoming projects and share them as they continue.

Some good, pure cartoon escapism is on the plate for this week’s cartoon, Mighty Mouse in The Magic Slipper (1948)

Whenever I see a good print of a 40s Terrytoon, my opinion is altered. In my mind, many of them exist as the somewhat desaturated or brownish TV prints that were broadcast in the 70s that I grew up with, or watching them in black and white when our big color set went out again (and that seemed to happen frequently growing up).

Channel 20 in Detroit would run a show of Terrytoons after school that may have been called The Mighty Mouse Show, but featured of course other cartoons as well. This is a pretty good 16mm Kodachrome print, and I think it gives at least a pretty good impression of this short.

The title, honestly, sounds more exciting that the short actually is – in fact, it’s pretty standard fare across the board. Enjoy it like a good comic in a Sunday paper. There’s even a little Jim Tyer there to keep everyone smiling.

The oddest thing about the short is a strange Jazz interlude with stereotype characters – the only humans in the whole film. The sequence appears to be lifted entirely from Mississippi Swing (1941).

At any rate, take a little break and enjoy a Terrytoon in HD, from a rare, spliceless Kodachrome print.

Oh, and by the way – Do you have a favorite Mighty Mouse cartoon?

Have a good and safe week everyone!


  • Thank you Steve for all the posts and hope all is well there.
    I think my favorite Mighty Mouse cartoon would be 1950’s MOTHER GOOSE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY because of Jim Tyer’s animation scenes, especially the birthday cake fight.
    Seems like Tyer came to Terrytoons at just the right time as Mighty Mouse was high in popularity and Heckle & Jeckle was fast becoming popular also When Tyer was given the right sequences to animate, he showed a special kind of animation magic. Maybe that is why when we were growing up these Terrytoons were so popular. He made it work so well.

  • That’s a beautiful print of a ‘charming’ cartoon; but despite it being “spliceless”, there appears to be a cut at 5:21. First the wolf pulls himself out of the dirt and then runs away from Mighty Mouse, yet in the very next shot he’s going the other way and batting our hero around with the flat of his sword. Any idea what, if anything, is missing here?

    Anyway, I enjoyed this cartoon very much, especially the final dance sequence with the blink-and-you’ll-miss-them stolen kisses. Please don’t judge me, but I much prefer Cinderella in rags.

    As for a favourite, I’d probably have to pick “Krakatoa”, the rare Mighty Mouse cartoon without a villain, in which he rescues the islanders from a wholly natural disaster. Great action, great effects animation, and above all a great song. Krakatoa Katie rocks the sarong look like Dorothy Lamour!

    I’m also partial to “The Crackpot King”, with the title character channeling Hugh Herbert, and Phil Scheib channeling Victor Herbert! Wonderful music in that one. Channel 20 used to show a clip from it (“Someone, please save me!” “I am on my way! Have no fear, for I will save you!”) in their commercials for the Mighty Mouse show.

    And I love “The Wreck of the Hesperus”….

  • Thanks, Steve, for your always interesting posts and accompanying cartoon(s). Oh, I wish I knew more about the Terry cartoons, as much as I know about Warner Brothers or MGM, but I never memorized titles in question. I like the earliest ones out of the series, along with selected LITTLE ROQUEFORT cartoons, but I’m always saying that my favorite Terry characters were GANDY GOOSE AND SOUR PUSS; some of the most surreal animation at Paul Terry’s studio and images that still haunt my dreams for some unknown reason these days. It could be all the talk about classic Terrytoons on animation forums on the net. Good luck, as usual, on all those projects nearly ready and forthcoming. I do check my mailbox each day for the impending good news, and I realize that the restrictions put on us will push projects back unexpectedly.

  • I have a vague memory of watching a Mighty Mouse cartoon that involved an angry kangaroo when I was very young. Anyone wanna help figure out what that is?

  • My top favorite film with the Mighty one has to be “Gypsy Life.” Those bat-winged cats who live in a cave freaked me out as a kid, and I can still drop a jaw when I see it today. Honorable mention: “The Sultan’s Birthday,” directed by Bill Tytla.

    • I second the motion. “Gypsy Life” and “Sultan’s Birthday” are particular favorites of mine as well.
      On nearly every version of “Sultan’s Birthday” seen on YouTube, a moment or two is cut from just before the harem girl mouse starts her dance, when she glances back and forth from beneath half lidded eyes, and the mouse sultan gives a wolf whistle. Does anyone have any idea why this moment is routinely cut?

  • Thanks Steve!

    More than once I’ve advocated for a Tyer Tuesday as a complement to Thunderbean Thursday.

    Favorite MM? That’s a toughie. I’d think maybe one of the operettas with Oil Can Harry. It would certainly have to include Tyer footage. But then there is Krakatoa with Katie’s jitterbug moves.

    With all due respect to Avery’s Red, is there anything sexier in cartoondom than Terrytoon female mice? Funny how they don’t look like the other pear-shaped mice. Coincidence? I think not!

  • My favorite Mighty Mouse cartoon as a kid was ‘Wolf! Wolf!’, probably because it was the only MM toon I could find on all of those public domain compilations on VHS. Same with Woody Woodpecker in ‘Pantry Panic’.

  • I don’t have a particular Mighty Mouse cartoon. Even as a kid I could see a lot them were subpar animation. What I did enjoy is when they would show the first Mighty Mouse cartoon, with the origin. It looked really Golden Age, compared to what followed. I imagine you could cherry pick Terrytoons and find some gems, like the Lantz Studio. I don’t think they showed those on Saturday Morning on CBS.

    • The fact that they’re subpar is precisely why it’s easy to pick a favourite. If I had to pick a favourite Bugs Bunny cartoon, I’d have trouble narrowing it down to a top ten.

      I never liked the Mighty Mouse TV package because all the flaws and cliches are more blatant when viewed en masse. What really drove me crazy were all those saxophones practising their scales! You’re right, the early cartoons are better, but even they are best in small doses.

  • Another Mighty Mouse classic off my list. All thanks to you, Steve? Have you found any lost Screen Songs/Kartunes shorts from Paramount lately? I’ve been wanting to see some full shorts with the bouncing ball segments included. Let us know if you or anyone else finds some. Thanks again.

  • Generally I’ve always thought the quality of MM cartoons is pretty good (as cartoons – I’m not referring to typical print quality) & definitely one of my favourite cartoon series. The dvd-r collection I have has some cartoons missing but has most I think.
    MM made a big impression as a child – & he still does!

  • As far as Color Terrytoons go, I’ve slowly but steadily been building up a small collection of low fade 16mm film prints up through 1944. After this point, most of the titles lose their charisma for me for some reason. My favorite Mighty Mouse is Pandora’s Box, really like the character designs, and the background art on this one is really nice as well. Another would be Frankenstein’s Cat, just for the shear goofiness of the idea. (Still looking for a nice print of that one).

    Here in Bellingham, Mighty Mouse, and all the other color Terrytoons (via TV prints ) were shown on the local KVOS-Channel 12 station, on an early morning program called “Frisky Frolics”. The show ran up into the early 1990’s if I remember correctly. I have about a half dozen LPP prints I won on Ebay, that I’m fairly certain came from a former worker at the station, as he was in Everson, about 15 miles away. All had the head leaders cut off, but still stored in their film canisters. Prize of the bunch was a mint print of “The Three Bears” ( no toucha my spaghet !)

  • I don’t remember the title, but there was a particularly funny one where the Villain (I’m assuming Oil Can) hypnotizes a female singer to sing “Carry Me Back to Ol Virginny”, and continues singing no matter the action around her or where she’s taken to, even underwater (there was terrifically animated “take” by a surprised fish)

    • That’s “Perils of Pearl Pureheart” (1949), one of the operatic melodramas with Oil Can Harry as the villain — and you’re right, it is a very funny cartoon!

  • Two words: Krakatoa Katie. ‘Nuff said. 😀

  • This was swell. More Mighty Mouse!

  • Funny, just last week I finished the last of the 80 original Mighty Mouse cartoons (had been watching one a week on Saturday mornings along with Popeye, The Mighty Hercules, and Our Gang films). I have several MMs I love, but for some reason, When Mousehood was in Flower was the first that popped into my head.

    Now that we finished Mighty Mouse, I have begun watching the Ub Iwerks ComiColor cartoons from the old (1999!) “Cartoons that Time Forgot” discs from Image – I have all three discs (two Iwerks, one Van Buren) and we played the heck out of these (and the VHS tapes that preceded them when my older kids were growing up. Any chance of a Thunderbean restoration of the ComiColors?

    • I think they just announced a new ComicColor set in a joint project with Lobster Films last December on “Stu’s Show”. I recall seeing Jerry presenting the cover of it.

  • Fave Mighty Mouse? Has to be “Svengali’s Cat”!

  • It is very sad the thunderbean continues to sell “special discs” and than never ships them. I have ordered 3 separate special discs and have never received any of them. My numerous emails to Steve have never been answered and naturally I’m very upset at being taken by this corrupt individual. One things for sure thunderbean will never get another dollar from me. Absolutely shameful

  • I think I remember a Mighty Mouse cartoon with an Arabian Nights setting, where the cats kidnap the female mouse, Mighty Mouse flies in to save her, and everyone is singing. It may have been black and white, and in the big scene I think I remember they were singing Donizetti.

    • There are two Mighty Mouse cartoons with an Arabian Nights setting, both in Technicolor: “Sultan’s Birthday” (1944) and “Aladdin’s Lamp” (1947). The former is the only Mighty Mouse cartoon directed by the great animator Bill Tytla (and one of only two not directed by the Terrytoons triumvirate of Mannie Davis, Connie Rasinski and Eddie Donnelly). Invading cats on flying carpets abduct the sultan’s harem girl, who is rescued by Mighty Mouse. But there is no singing in this cartoon.

      In “Aladdin’s Lamp”, all the vocals are sung, but there is only one cat that kidnaps the heroine (Aladdin’s daughter). There aren’t any tunes from Donizetti that I can identify; Terrytoons typically draw on Viennese operetta style more than Italian bel canto. The sextet from “Lucia di Lammermoor” was used in many cartoons, especially by Warner Bros. (e.g., “Back Alley Oproar” and “Long Haired Hare”); I know that Terrytoons’ house composer Philip Scheib used it on occasion, but I can’t remember exactly where, and in any case it doesn’t occur in either of the Arabian Nights cartoons.

      They’re both excellent cartoons and well worth viewing.

  • My favorites are the two best operatic-serial spoofs “Fight to the Finish” and “Sunny Italy”

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