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Alvin and the Chipmunks aren't the only Boomer-era animated rodents getting a big-screen facelift these days. The recent cineplex successes of the singing squeakers have apparently inspired Paramount to press on with its efforts to make a 'Mighty Mouse' movie.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Paramount and sister outlet Nickelodeon Movies are in the market for a new writer and director for the long-gestating project. The new scripter would be following in the footsteps of Brian and Mark Gunn ('Bring It On Again'), the last prominent screenwriters Paramount hired to try to build a better 'Mouse'-trap. Alvin and the Chipmunks aren't the only Boomer-era animated rodents getting a big-screen facelift these days. The recent cineplex successes of the singing squeakers have apparently inspired Paramount to press on with its efforts to make a 'Mighty Mouse' movie.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Paramount and sister outlet Nickelodeon Movies are in the market for a new writer and director for the long-gestating project. The new scripter would be following in the footsteps of Brian and Mark Gunn ('Bring It On Again'), the last prominent screenwriters Paramount hired to try to build a better 'Mouse'-trap.

Mighty Mouse in 'Frankenstein's Cat' (1942)

It's not clear yet whether the movie would be all-CGI or part-CGI/part live-action, like the 'Chipmunk' movies. Paramount, which has raked in cash distributing DreamWorks Animation features (including the current 'How to Train Your Dragon') had a noteworthy success with its own 'toon, the Paramount/Nick 'SpongeBob SquarePants Movie' six years ago, but it's not expected to emulate that movie's mostly hand-drawn style for 'Mighty Mouse.'

It's also not clear whether 'Mighty Mouse' has enough kid recognition to become a successful film franchise. The tiny Terrytoons superhero, who first hit the movie screen in the 1940s, was a staple of Saturday morning TV from the 1950s to the 1980s. Viewers old enough to remember Andy Kaufman on 'Saturday Night Live' in the 1970s may recall the comic's strange but wonderful bit in which he lip-synched the operatic-voiced rodent's refrain ("Here I come to save the day") from the 'Mighty Mouse' theme song, while remaining silent for all the other lyrics. (Guess you had to be there.)

Andy Kaufman's 'Mighty Mouse' on 'Saturday Night Live'


Younger viewers might remember the controversy in 1988 over CBS' 'Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures,' whose animators included such iconoclasts as Ralph Bakshi and John Kricfalusi. The American Family Association raised a stink when a scene of Mighty Mouse sniffing some crushed flower petals seemed to make the wee role model look like he was snorting cocaine. Bakshi denied the accusation but cut the shot from subsequent airings of the episode.

Can 'Mighty Mouse' summon awe and wonder for an entire generation that grew up unaware of his miniature heroics? Who knows, but if the Chipmunks can come back, surely Mighty Mouse deserves a shot.