Thursday, September 9, 2021

Daniel Mouse Went Down To Georgia

The Devil and Daniel Mouse was a Halloween special produced by Nelvana and first aired on CBS on October 5th 1978. It's an adaption of the short story 'The Devil and Daniel Webster'. I made a point to be informative at first because it's slightly obscure now. This is the information super highway, right? Daniel and Jan mouse are folk musicians struggling to get by when one night at the peak of their struggles Jan makes a deal with the devil while Daniel is away. She signs her soul away for fame and success and becomes a huge star leaving Daniel behind.

I know, this has never worked out in the past, but to her credit, she doesn't realize it's the devil she's talking too. Somehow. All is going well before she realizes who her new agent is actually when he comes to claim her end of the bargain. She runs away and finds Daniel and begs him to help. Daniel represents her in court and you've probably figured out the rest. It's a retelling of an old story that's been redone a million times. This particular version though is pretty cool. Despite the cute animal characters, the devil and assorted imagery are still pretty scary.

Taking place in the 70's, they change from hippy folk music to hard rock really driving home the thematic change. There's such a change in tone from the folksy innocent Daniel and the newly glam Jan that I can't help to see it as commentary from the production crew. I do suppose it was a pretty stark change from flower power to the gritty and glam. Either way it's a pretty unique little cartoon that may not be specifically pumpkin spicy as a Halloween special, but works tonally.

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