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Mission: Magic!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mission: Magic!
GenreCartoon series
Presented byFilmation
Voices of
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes16
Production
Producers
Running time30 minutes
Production companies
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Release
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 8 (1973-09-08) –
December 22, 1973 (1973-12-22)
Chronology
Related showsThe Brady Kids

Mission: Magic! is an American Saturday morning animated series starring rock star Rick Springfield and is a spin-off of The Brady Kids, produced by Filmation.[1] 16 episodes aired on ABC from September 8 to December 12, 1973. It was also broadcast in Springfield's native Australia, where Springfield was then a bigger celebrity.

The show involved Miss Tickle, a magical teacher who could transport her students to fantasy realms through her magic blackboard.[2]

Characters and format

Even though Springfield still spoke with a pronounced Australian accent in the mid-1970s, he provided his own voice for his animated doppelgänger. On the show, Springfield always wore white pants and a white sweater which sported on the front an encircled lowercase "r" with a lightning bolt in the background; this design was taken from the back cover of his 1973 album Comic Book Heroes.

Springfield was joined by a cast of characters:

  • Miss Tickle, a bubbly teacher who was secretly an expert on magic (her name was a pun on the word "mystical")
and six teenaged students:
  • Kim, an Asian girl, who is the leader of “The Adventurers Club”
  • Vinnie, who spoke with a thick New York accent and often confused elaborate words
  • Carol, a blonde girl who had a crush on Springfield
  • Socks, a quirky Jughead-like character who wore a light blue hat
  • Franklin, a black athlete
  • Harvey, a short, stocky and bespectacled nerd

They were involved in a weekly after-school group called “The Adventurers Club,” although it's debatable whether the organization was a social club or an actual class, as Miss Tickle often incorporated various school subjects into the group's adventures. In the first episode, the Club was visited in class by the school principal Mr. Samuels, who knew nothing of Miss Tickle's magical abilities.

Almost every Mission: Magic! adventure began by Rick communicating with the Club via an enchanted gramophone telling them where he was and either inviting them to come along, or transmitting a distress message of some form.[3] Miss Tickle would aim her magic ring at Tut Tut, a ceramic cat on her desk who would come to life after Miss Tickle recited the incantation:

"O Tut Tut, cat of ancient lore,
"'Tis time to draw the magic door."

After drawing a magic door on the blackboard, Miss Tickle, Tut Tut and the students would fly through the door and meet up with Springfield and his familiar, an owl named Ptolemy. In their travels to otherworldly lands and times, they would solve mysteries, fix problems, or help people in need. At the middle or end of each show, Springfield performed a song, its lyrics often tying into the message of that week's story. An album with most of the songs from the series was released in 1974, followed by a CD version in 2004.

Although Mission: Magic! was primarily intended to promote Springfield's teen idol status in America, the cartoon itself would be a forerunner for the 1990s PBS series, The Magic School Bus, in which Lily Tomlin provided the voice of teacher Miss Frizzle. Both shows featured red-headed, magic-wielding teachers, with students from diverse ethnicities and backgrounds, and both shows combined entertainment and education. In each weekly episode, both school groups would magically transcend time and space to go on new adventures.

Ironically, Springfield himself eschewed this series years later, claiming that it "scarred me for life."

Voice cast

Episodes

Title Original air date
1"The Land of Backwards"September 8, 1973 (1973-09-08)
The Adventurers Club goes to the Land of Backwards where they meet poet Shelly Percy, and contend with Big Billy and his gang. The trouble is that they are arrested when they return stolen jewels. They escape, and save the day. Shelley expresses his joy by crying, showing that everything is done in reverse in this land after all. Song: "You'd Better Think Twice"
2"Modran"September 15, 1973 (1973-09-15)
Modran, and his three minions Bell, Booke, and Kendall steal gold so that Modran can win a tournament by cheating. Miss Tickle and company go to the Land of Prestidigitation to stop them. Socks releases a genie, and Modran captures Carol, Kim, Ptolemy, and Tut-Tut, intending to use them as insurance to guarantee that he will win the title of World's Greatest Magician. Song: "Catch Me If You Can"
3"Dissonia"September 22, 1973 (1973-09-22)
The Adventurers Club visit a land where three music-hating villains have created a music eliminator to wipe out all the music in the world. Miss Tickle tries using her magic to destroy the machine, only to realize that it is indestructible. Can Rick and Tickle restore music to the world? Song: "Love Is the Key"
4"Land of Hyde and Go Seek"September 29, 1973 (1973-09-29)
The group visits a land where Colonel Kadiddle is threatened by invaders who only want the substance that can change their hairstyles. Miss Tickle uses her magic to make peace between the warring factions. Song: "If We Help One Another"
5"The City Inside the Earth"October 6, 1973 (1973-10-06)
While visiting the Carlsbad Caverns, the Adventurers Club is summoned by Rick to a city beneath the Earth's surface. There, they run into Professor Fahrenheit, who seeks to claim the underground city for himself.
6"2600 A.D."October 13, 1973 (1973-10-13)
Miss Tickle and the students travel into the distant future. They discover that in 2600 A.D., Omni the robot is the ruler of humans. Omni turns out not to be so evil when a meteor heads for Earth. In desperation, he asks Miss Tickle and Rick to help him. Song: "You Can't Judge a Book"
7"Something Fishy"October 20, 1973 (1973-10-20)
The team finds danger in an underwater city. Dr. Manta is using his power over the water to dominate the subjects. In addition, he has captured Socks and Vinnie. Can Miss Tickle end the villain's threat before innocent people end up in a watery grave? Song: "Free and Easy"
8"Giant Steppes"October 27, 1973 (1973-10-27)
When Rick and his friend Billy are captured by the female giant Madame Mammoth, Miss Tickle has to come to their rescue. The Adventurers Club's mission this time is to restore the miniaturized Billy to his rightful place as ruler of the land. Song: "You Can Really Do It (If You Try)"
9"Statue of Limitations"November 3, 1973 (1973-11-03)
The club goes to modern day Paris to investigate the theft of a statue called "The Contemplator". Female stage magician Trix Le Grande is a suspect, as are Pierre La Hoax and the Artful Codger. Further complicating matters are the fact that each of the three has his or her own Contemplator. Song: "I Want You"
10"Will the Real Rick Springfield Please Stand Up?"November 10, 1973 (1973-11-10)
Miss Tickle cannot figure out why Rick is being so hard on Ptolemy. It soon turns out that "Rick" and "Ptolemy" are actually the Chameleon and Arlo, a pair of crooks who can change their appearances to be anyone they want. They have entered our world through the magic door. Eventually both men pose as Rick, creating further chaos. Song: "It's Driving Me Crazy"
11"Doctor Astro"November 17, 1973 (1973-11-17)
Miss Tickle and her students go after Dr. Astro, who has stolen the Golden Horns and uses their power to bring Zodiac signs to life. Song: "We're Gonna Have a Good Time"
12"Doctor Daguerreotype"November 24, 1973 (1973-11-24)
Dr. Daguerreotype has invented a camera that can turn people and objects into photographs. He and his accomplices Rex and Ina use it to photograph the magic door so that they can steal famous landmarks. When the Adventurers Club pursues them, the villains turn all but Miss Tickle and Rick into photographs. The villains' plan to photograph the adults backfires, and they end up on film themselves. Miss Tickle restores her friends and the magic door to normal so that they can return safely. Song: "On the Other Side"
13"Nephren"December 1, 1973 (1973-12-01)
While on a mission to restore the City of Antiquity, Miss Tickle contends with Nephren, an ancient Egyptian queen who has come back to life. This queen's magic proves so powerful that Miss Tickle ends up exhausted. But both women have to join forces to rescue Nephren's lackeys, who are trapped inside a pyramid. Song: "I Know That It's Magic"
14"Modran Returns"December 8, 1973 (1973-12-08)
Modran lures Miss Tickle and her students into his world by using Rick as bait. This time, the sorcerer's scheme is to steal Tut-Tut, who turns out to be the key to the magic door. The Adventurers Club must get Tut-Tut back so they can return to their world. Song: "Just Gotta Sing"
15"Horse Feathers"December 15, 1973 (1973-12-15)
The Adventurers Club attends a rodeo in a land beyond the magic door. When the rodeo's prize money suddenly vanishes, The Adventurers Club investigates the three most likely suspects. Songs: "Welcome to the Rodeo", "Sing Me a Song" (sung by Miss Tickle)
16"A Light Mystery"December 22, 1973 (1973-12-22)
After Franklin delivers his speech about being named Science Student of the Year, he and the others discover that a generator has been stolen. The Adventurers Club goes to the Land of Lights to get it back. There are three suspects: Count Celesta, Madame Marquee, and Baron Borealis. Each one rules a different province, but one seeks to become the ruler of the entire land. Song: "Starlight, Starbright"

NOTE: All the main songs appearing in the series were written and performed by Rick Springfield. Each song runs about 90 seconds, edited or faded from the versions later released on the 1974 soundtrack album.[4]

Soundtrack Album

Mission: Magic!
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 15, 1974
Recorded1973
GenrePop rock
Length40:20
LabelWizard Records (Australia)
Rick Springfield chronology
Comic Book Heroes
(1973)
Mission: Magic!
(1974)
Wait for Night
(1976)

Mission: Magic! is the third solo studio album by Australian musician Rick Springfield, and is an almost complete song soundtrack to the 1973 cartoon series. Only about 90 seconds of each song was used in the TV show, but the album contains the full-length versions of every song from the series, except for episode 5's song and episode 15's second song which was the only one in the series sung by Miss Tickle, not Springfield. None of the show's score, incidental music or Miss Tickle's brief melodic incantations were included. The album was released in 1974 several months after the TV series' initial run had finished, and only in Australia, even though the cartoon was produced in the USA. Possibly because of rights issues, no song from Mission: Magic! has ever appeared on any of the many official Rick Springfield compilation albums.

All songs on the album were written by Rick Springfield.

  1. "We're Gonna Have a Good Time" (2:39)
  2. "It's Driving Me Crazy" (2:55)
  3. "Free and Easy" (2:38)
  4. "You Can Do It (If You Try)" (2:57)
  5. "On the Other Side" (2:22)
  6. "You Can't Judge a Book" (2:37)
  7. "Love Is the Key" (2:29)
  8. "You'd Better Think Twice" (2:13)
  9. "Welcome to the Rodeo" (2:49)
  10. "I Want You" (2:39)
  11. "Just Gotta Sing" (2:30)
  12. "If We Help One Another" (2:33)
  13. "Starlight, Starbright" (2:03)
  14. "Catch Me If You Can" (2:17)
  15. "I Know That It's Magic" (2:17)
  16. "Theme from Mission: Magic!" (2:22)

Total Running Time: 40:20

Re-releases

The Mission: Magic! album has been re-released in various years and territories under the following titles:

  • Just Gotta Sing (K-Tel) - only 13 tracks
  • Big Hits (Premore) - only 10 tracks
  • Backtracks (Renaissance Records; 1999) - all 16 tracks
  • Speak to the Sky (Laserlight; 2001) - only 9 tracks plus "Speak to the Sky" (1972)
  • Catch Me If You Can (Renaissance Records; 2006) - all 16 tracks plus "Take a Hand" (1976) and "Speak to the Sky"
  • Fan-Tastic Rick Springfield (Ba-ba; 2009) - all 16 tracks
  • Rick Springfield (Suite 201; 2009) - all 16 tracks

Home media

BCI Eclipse LLC (under its Ink & Paint classic animation entertainment label), under license from Entertainment Rights, released Mission: Magic! - The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1 on May 8, 2007. The 2-disc set includes all 16 episodes, uncut and digitally remastered for optimum audio and video quality, and presented in its original broadcast presentation and original production order. The 2-Disc set also includes many special features.

DVD name Ep No. Release date Additional information
Mission: Magic! - The Complete Series 16 May 8, 2007
  • Mission: Magic! Spotlight Interview with Producer Lou Scheimer
  • Mission: Magic! Spotlight Interview with Voice Actor Erika Scheimer
  • "The Magic of Filmation" Documentary
  • Mission: Magic! Image Galleries
  • Booklet with Episode Guide and Trivia
  • DVD-ROM Features
  • Trailers from Ink & Paint

References

  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 399. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. p. 553. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  3. ^ Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981, Part 1: Animated Cartoon Series. Scarecrow Press. pp. 189–190. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuI2trzZILltyWd8nR7v80gFnBxUMAJkW

External links

This page was last edited on 5 July 2021, at 19:55
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