Western Animation: Mummies Alive!
Ja-Kal's brother is apparently more important than that fourth guy...
"A little boy named Presley found a secret out this year. That he was once a pharaoh when Egyptians ruled the world. Now a sorcerer named Scarab tries to get him day and night. But Presley has four guardians to protect his very life."
is an animated series from DIC Entertainment
that ran for one season with forty two episodes.
Presley Carnavon, a boy from San Francisco
, finds himself the reincarnation of Prince Rapses and as such inherits four mummy bodyguards who "With the Strength of Ra!" defend him from the evil sorcerer Scarab - who is constantly trying to use the boy's soul to become immortal, and failing, as his snake familiar Heka
is quick to point out.
The mummies also have to contend with many gods and spirits from Egyptian myth summoned to the modern world, including Anubis, Set, Apep, Bastet, Sekhmet, and many others
usually as part of one of Scarab's schemes.
- Aborted Arc: Season one ended with the implication that Scarab and Heka were still on the loose and that something important would have to happen in the far future to defeat him for good, things that were never resolved due to the series cancellation.
- Adaptational Villainy: Various gods, such as Anubis and Bastet, are portrayed as malicious, while they were benevolent figures in Egyptian Mythology. Even Ammut was originally a neutral force who was harmless to people who were good in life.
- A Day in the Limelight: Joe the police officer is the star of the series finale, which is actually a Clip Show.
- Affably Evil: Anubis, Nuhn, Geb, Bes, the list goes on.
- All Animals Are Dogs: Ammut, Devourer Of Souls! Lion + hippo + crocodile averages out to dog. Who knew?
- Considering Scarab emphasized the "mut" part of its name, it was probably Just for Pun.
- Ambiguously Brown: Presley, which actually makes a certain amount of sense if he's supposed to be descended from Egyptian immigrants; the country's population has always been a mix of Arabic and African ethnicities, with a number of Caucasians after it ended up becoming part of the British Empire.
- And I Must Scream: Before the start of the series. Scarab was sealed in a tomb for thousands of years, he was immortal at the time...
- Animation Bump: The transformation sequence is notably better animated than the rest of the series, probably because the creators knew you'd be seeing it at least once an episode.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: See Animal Motifs below.
- Ancient Egypt: Featured once in Presley's vision of the past, as well as some flashbacks.
- Ancient Egyptians Speaking English: It's amazing how four people from another country, who have been dead for thousands of years, manage to speak perfect English the moment they wake up in modern day America.
- Ancient Tomb: Mentioned in flashback.
- Animal Motifs: The mummies' transformed forms. Ja-Kal the falcon, Armon the ram, Rath the snake and Nefer-Tina the cat. Also Scarab...the scarab.
- Another Dimension: The Western Gate leads to one.
- Arc Number: 3500 - years, usually.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "The Face In The Mirror", Anubis gets possessed by the Eye of Darkness and gains immense knowledge, but he has other things concerning his mind...
Anubis: Hey, I know everything. Dead languages, subatomic things... The origin of mayonnaise.
- Artistic License – History: This show takes a few liberties with the history and mythology of Egypt.
- Also Astronomy. Neither solar eclipses nor planetary alignments actually occur in a 3500-year cycle.
- Religion: Many Egyptian gods were different from their Real Life counterparts. Here are a few examples:
- Seth and Anubis are companions. This didn't happen in the actual myths as Anubis opposed Seth for killing Osiris and helped Isis in resurrecting him. Seth's appearance is also a little different. Here he's a full-blown dog, while the real one was more a mishmash.
- Bastet was by all means a benevolent, if a relatively minor goddess compared to the more popular gods like Ra and Isis. Here she's a narcissistic jerk who think she's the grandest goddess in all of mankind and wants everyone to worship her.
- Sekhmet was a lioness-headed war goddess who was also involved with pestilence. Here is diseases her main aspect and she morphs into a vulture-like creature.
- Back from the Dead: There's quite a bit of this, understandably of course.
- Bandage Babe: Nefertina
- Beast Man: Apep, though he's more snake than man. Bastet, the Cat Lady.
- Big Bad: Scarab.
- Body Swap: Happens in the episode "Who's Who".
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Scarab proves himself a match for the Mummies in armed combat, yet on many occasions when confronted, he escapes, though he's not the only villain to fall into this habit.
- Boy Meets Ghoul: In "True Believer", Nefertina goes on a date with a living human.
- Brought Down to Normal: If the mummies don't sleep in their sarcophagi regularly they become depowered; basically amounting to the power source for their amulets running dry.
- Buried Alive: Scarab's punishment for murdering the Pharaoh's son.
- Butt Monkey: Joe and Bob, the cops that often spot the Mummies driving over the speed limit usually end up being scared off.
- By the Power of Grayskull!: "With the Strength of Ra!"
- Cat Girl: Bastet, Nefertina's patron goddess. Also Nefertina herself when Bastet transforms her into one.
- Cats Are Magic: Bastet
- City of Adventure: The city of San Francisco.
- City of Weirdos: Living mummies an army of mooks, often walking among regular people whlie wearing pathetic disguises, and regularly appearing on the news doesn't warrant much comment or outrage from the locals. ...Then again, this is California we're talking about.
- Lampshaded in the second episode "Sleepwalk Like An Egyptian" when the Guardians' Sphinx hideout is about to be demolished and they start a protest as "people wearing mummy costumes".
- Or another episode where Nefer-Tina masquerades as a human and become famous as a fashion model for bringing back "The Egyptian Look."
- Clip Show: The Series Finale.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Nuhn, to an insane degree.
- Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Rath once wore one in the episode "Dead Man Walking".
- Cool Airship: The Jetcycle and the Skycophagus.
- Cool Big Sis: Nefertina to Presley.
- Cool Car: The Hot-Ra.
- Cree Summer: Nefer-Tina
- Catwoman Dating Snakeman: Nefertina and Apep.
- Deadpan Snarker: Mostly Rath, although everyone gets one in every other episode.
- On the villain side, Heka never stops snarking.
- Demon Head: The mummies when extremely angry.
- Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Brains vs. Brawn.
- Dumb Muscle: Armon is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
- Everybody Hates Hades: Anubis is a rather stupid villain in the series, when he was a benevolent deity in charge of protecting the dead in Egyptian mythology. He is associated with Set, who disowned Anubis in the myths for choosing to side with Horus.
- Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: The Mummies know "egyptsu", which appears to be a blend of snake-style kung fu and aikido.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Practically a Running Gag in this series; at several occasions Scarab tries summoning to help him get Raspes' soul, only for that being to escape in control, forcing him to step back and let the mummies clean his mess.
- Expository Theme Tune: The page quote is part of it.
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: Ancient Egypt, San Francisco is not.
- Five-Man Band
- For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: One episode actually had the mummies go to a Halloween party without costumes, though they managed to ruin the party for Presley anyway.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: Averted in episode 26 - the team are struggling to get back to base with their powers depleted, and spot someone trying to get into his car while clearly drunk. Ja'Kal uses his Demon Head to terrify him into running off. Best drunk-driving aesop on a kid's show ever.
- Henshin Hero
- Home Base: The Sphinx.
- Hypnotic Eyes: One of the sorceress Chontra's abilities.
- Idiosyncratic Wipe: Scene-changes were done by having a plate with the series logo... do... stuff.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Scarab's army of Shabti.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: The mummies, and Scarab's armor.
- Incredible Shrinking Mummies: In one episode.
- Interspecies Romance: On a few occasions.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: With a twist. As the leader of the Mummies, Ja-Kal wears blue instead of the usual red.
- Living Statue: Talos
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Magitek: One episode has Rath replace the radio aerial in Presley's science-project radio with an obelisk, which makes it powerful enough to communicate with the beings Beyond the Western Gate.
"I am *trying* to teach you science. Now, do you want to learn how to turn a staff into a serpent or not?"
- Mooks: Scarab has a never-ending supply of clay minions to send at the mummies. Perhaps the most useless ever, they shatter when hit by pretty much anything.
- Meaningful Name: Presley Carnavon - Elvis Presley was associated with Memphis, Tennessee (which was named after the ancient Egyptian capital), while Lord Carnarvon financed the excavation of King Tut's tomb.
- Merlin and Nimue: Rath and his student Chantra.
- Motive Decay: Scarab, at first all he was trying to was take the immortal soul of Rapses. By the last episode, he's stolen the youth of homeless people, set Ja-Kal and his brother against each other... and tried to sell overpriced stolen water in a bottle.
- Mummy: Unlike Mummies that appear in many other works of fiction, Presley's four guardians act perfectly friendly towards most everyone.
- My Other Car is a Chariot
- Non-Lethal Warfare
- Oblivious to Love: Presley doesn't seem to take any notice of his classmate Elaine's feelings for him, especially when there's usually someone like Chantra posing as an attractive new student nearby.
- Past-Life Memories: In the second episode, Presley experiences the memories of Rapses just before he died. It turns out, they're being caused by one of Scarab's spells.
- Powered Armor: The Mummies gain armor when they use the phrase "With the Strength of Ra!" to help them fight. Complete with stock transformation sequences.
- Punny Name: When Armon transforms, he puts his arm on.
- Recap Episode: The only noteworthy one being the series finale, which featured a compilation of clips from the entire season.
- Right Hand Versus Left Hand: Sometimes Presley and the Mummies survive only because of bickering and backstabbing on the villains side.
- Samus Is a Girl: The other three didn't actually know Nefertina was a girl at first. Her disguise, judging by her form during her first appearance, consisted of nothing but a hat, and did nothing for her narrow waist and noticeable chest. Then again, she probably dressed differently back when she was, y'know, alive.
- It's kind of funny when her power armor includes...ahem...a noticable "breastplate". Given that Armon mentions his golden arm was a gift from the pharaoh, these were probably made and not due to magic. Somehow Nefertina managed to convince the entire royal court and her tailor that she was a man with assets.
- It seems likely that Rapses (who knew the truth) more or less ordered the higher-ups to "not realize" what Nefer-Tina was trying to pull. Considering what people didn't wear in early Egypt...
- It gets rectified in "Sleepwalk Like An Egyptian", where Presley dreams he's Rapses in ancient Egypt with his living guardians. Nefertina is shown to have an outfit that manages to cover much of her feminine physique as well as flatten her chest.
- Scott McNeil: Rath.
- Subways Suck: On one occasion where the mummies take the subway, Rath takes one look at the subway map and thinks it's the first sign of actual intelligence in the modern world.
- Supernatural Martial Arts: Egyptsu
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Nefertina. In ancient Egypt, she pretended to be a boy so she could drive chariots.
- Teenage Mutant Samurai Wombats: The Mummies run around San Francisco with all sorts of magic, monsters, cool cars and gods completely unnoticed.
- Well it IS San Francisco after all...
- Techno Wizard: Rath.
- Thememobile: All of the Mummies vehicles have an Egyptian theme going on. Especially the Hot-Ra.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Set and Anubis.
- Those Two Guys: Joe and Bob, the cops that often spot the Mummies driving over the speed limit usually end up being scared off.
- Transformation Sequence: Every time the Mummies suit up.
- Trapped in Another World: One episode has Presley's science teacher trapped beyond the Western Gate by a Magitek-enhanced radio.
- Treacherous Advisor: Scarab.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Geb the earth spirit, and his wife Net the air spirit.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Scarab masquerades as a respectable businessman, but it doesn't particularly impede the Mummies. Then again, "Scarab" technically has no publicity whatsoever among civilians since the "respectable businessman" is an alter ego the Mummies have no clue to.
- Villain Team-Up: Happened fairly often.
- Villainous Crush: Strangely enough, the metal giant Talos once fell for a San Francisco's Statue of Victory.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Net, to a certain degree.
- Would Hurt a Child: Scarab was more than willing to kill a child to get him immortality.
- You're Not My Father: During the Father's Day episode "Reunion," Presley says this to Ja'Kal when he offers to take the boy fishing since his real father was in Memphis. It comes off particularly harsh when you take in the fact that Ja'Kal never got to see his own son grow up. Not to mention he has a nephew who was also like a son to him, and his father is Ja'Kal's evil brother.