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Danger Mouse review
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A lesson in the surreal

As a kid, the 80s cartoon DangerMouse was one of the few bits of essential lunchtime viewing, being on sometime around 1pm on Channel 4. It was probably the most entertaining thing on during the day at that age, but unlike most other classic 80s kids TV, amazingly it still holds up to scrutiny when 4 times the age and certainly family viewing.

The premise of the show is fairly simple - one of the world's greatest secret agents, DangerMouse, stars alongside a somewhat cowardly and timid sidekick, Penfold (a Hamster), in a series of adventures, invariably saving the world in one way or another - by conincidence or design.

Where the cartoon differs from many other family shows is in it's use of parody and the surreal. Rather than taking the British spy idea seriously Cosgrove and Hall take an often wry take on the genre, while on very regular occasions the plots take a surreal comedic twist. A long suffering narrator regularly voices his disdain for the nature of the stories, while much wordplay - that would surely often go unnoticed by youngsters - can be noted within the episodes when watching carfeully - indeed, it is from this wordplay that the absurdity of the show often arises.

While not up to the standard of great adult comedy programmes (Arrested Development anyone?), it's clearly a cut above pretty much any family cartoon created within the last decade - indeed, it could be argued that it found this niche years before The Simpsons (widely recognised as the pinnacle of such shows) was even conceived by Matt Groening.

Added by Phil
11 years ago on 16 March 2008 22:30