"Who can you rely on when the chips are down? Call on Mumfie when you need defending, Braver than a bulldog, brighter than a clown, Here comes Mumfie with a happy ending! With his faithful friend, the Scarecrow, He's got dreams enough to share, So, if you want adventure, this is where to start, If you need a hero, who can play the part? The little pachyderm with a great big heart!"
Magic Adventures of Mumfie is a 1990's animated series/movie created by Britt Allcroft of Thomas the Tank Engine fame. It centers around Mumfie, a special elephant who lives alone in a cottage in the woods. Every morning he would run to his letter box hoping for an adventure tied up in a parcel. One day, Mumfie realizes that this is not possible and sets off to find one. Along the way, Mumfie meets a lot of friends, such as Scarecrow, Pinkey the Flying Pig, and a whale with a whole room for visitors inside his body.
This series contains examples of:
A Day in the Limelight: "The Perils of Pearl" for Eel, "Bristle's Blues" for Bristle, "Scarecrowella" for Scarecrow.
Be Careful What You Wish For: In "If Wishes Were Pancakes", Mumfie wishes to have mashed banana pancakes all day long. He gets tired of eating them, and after having not had food for a whole day, he becomes sick and weak. The spell is reversed, though.
Creator Avatar: Britt Allcroft's Creator Avatar is the Queen of Night.
Cue the Flying Pigs: One of the main characters, Pinkey, is a flying pig, and ironically, Mumfie and friends are lucky many times on their journeys. There's also a musical number named "Pigs Can Fly", which is a "you're special just the way you are" duet with Scarecrow and Pinkey. (However, in Mumfie's White Christmas, Napoleon and Mumfie also sing some verses.)
Cut Song: The song "I Must Have My Night" was made for the film, but a sequence was never animated for it.
Don't Go in the Woods: The moral of "Pinkey's Mysterious Island", also known as the forest scene in the Mumfie's Quest movie.
Early-Bird Cameo: A rare example done with music for a show-all the songs after Ocean of Sleep came out on CD and cassette before they aired on TV!
Early-Installment Weirdness: The animators of Mumfie's Quest do not know how to draw Bristle correctly, and Mumfie's sneeze is represented by a squeaking noise rather than the fart-esque sound we hear in later episodes.
Fairy Godmother: "Scarecrowella" has the Electric Eel as Scarecrow's Fair-Eel Godmother.
Five-Episode Pilot: The series started with thirteen 10-minute episodes (5 20-minute episodes in America) of how Mumfie met many of the primary characters from the series. Afterwards, the episodes were combined into a Pilot Movie.
Whenever Mumfie says "Sssh..." to someone, it sometimes sounds like he's swearing. Bristle even did this a few times in the episode "A Fishy Tale".
In the episode "Bristle's Blues", one of the clothes Mrs. Admiral gives Bristle is a barrel, and it appears that Bristle has no clothes on underneath from what we can see (or maybe just his underwear).
In Pinkey's First Winter, Scarecrow says he want to spend winter under the covers after Mumfie tells him that winter came.
In "French Lessons", when Mumfie and Scarecrow try to say cat in French, it sounds like the same swear word it sounds like Mumfie is saying when he shushes someone.
Going Commando: A few episodes, like "Sea of Surprises", "Mumfie's White Christmas" (though you'd only find it in these two if you pause it when Mumfie is going to bed), "Cabin Fever" (another hidden frame when Mumfie climbs on top of a chest) and "Upside-Down Magic" reveal that Mumfie doesn't wear underwear.
Gratuitous French: Napoleon Jones often speaks French. There's an episode where he even teaches Mumfie and Scarecrow French.
Heel-Face Turn: Bristle turns good at the end of the movie/episode "A Treasure Beyond Price", but in the series, he still likes rules and is sometimes strict.
Davy Jones also reformed himself towards the end of the movie
Honorable Elephant: Mumfie's the main character, and according to the theme song, he's brave as well.
Humiliation Conga: After the song "The Chase" in "Mumfie's Quest", the pirates are captured by Whale. They then are told by Napoleon Jones that they have to sail the seven seas for 7 years and have to look after the royal boating pond.
Jesus Taboo: In the song "Just A Waste of Your Time", Napoleon calls himself "just a Jonah", referencing the bible story where Jonah was in the belly of a whale. Also, Mrs. Admiral's catchphrase is "Lo' love you!", a shortened form of "Lord love you!".
Ladyella: "Scarecrowella"'s episode title is this.
This was lampshaded in "Scarecrowella". Mumfie said he was going to wear his special pink jacket to the Queen's ball, and Scarecrow said that all of his jackets were pink, but Mumfie said the special pink one was for special occasion.
Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Most of the cast are animals, but there's an inanimate object that acts like a human, a whale cruiseliner, a lighthouse keeper, a bald man who lives in a well, pirates, an old couple who lives underwater, a starduster, a flying vaccum pet, a painter, two beautiful queens...and a midget obsessed with rules.
Little People Are Surreal: Bristle is described as a "tiny man", and is only a few inches taller than Mumfie. He works for the main villain as well.
MacGuffin: Two actually in the film! The first was The Queen of Night's jewel , which Mumfie uses for the sick tree by his cottage and The Queen of Night's magic Cloak of Dreams, which is used to defeat The Big Bad.
Mad Libs Catch Phrase: Scarecrow has "What if (insert bad event that might happen here)?", usually done with 3 different scenarios at a time.
Magic Music: The episode "The Music Of Spring" is about how there's a magic instrument a deer uses that helps bring spring to the forest near where the Queen of Night lives.
Mathematician's Answer: In "Friend Or Foe?", Mumfie gives "Yes!" as an answer to the Secretary of Night when he asks for his name.
Nobody Poops: "Upside Down Magic" has Mumfie falling into rose bush when Pinkey scared him. When he gets up and rips his pants, there is no underwear on underneath, unlike other cartoons where this happens, meaning he isn't potty trained. However, fabric covers his private areas later in the same episode. We can also see no underwear when he wears his nightgown.
Nobody needs the bathroom after eating or drinking too much, and instead get nightmares.
In "Bristle's Blues", we can assume that the Black Cat pooped out Bristle's rule book, since the same pillow Napoleon Jones lifts on Bristle's bed to find the rule book is the same one the Black Cat sat on before disappearing.
Shout-Out: A lot of elements in this story are quite similar to The Wizard of Oz. Both have someone who is bored of their everyday life going on an adventure (Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, although it was All Just a Dream, the titular character of Mumfie) a scarecrow, a character who wants to go home (Dorothy in Wizard Of Oz, Pinkey in Mumfie), scary villains trying to prevent the protagonists from reaching their goal (The Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz, The Secretary in Mumfie), and the characters journeying to a fantastical land ruled by a powerful person (Emerald City who is run by The Wizard Of Oz in the titular novel/movie, and the palace owned by The Queen of Night in Mumfie).
In some episodes, Scarecrow looses straw like the Oz Scarecrow, but the only difference is it coming from his behind. On one instance, he accidentally pulled his hair and put it in his shirt!
The title of the episode "Reindeers Keep Dropping On My Head" alludes to that popular song by B. J. Thomas, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" from the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
A Running Gag has Pinkey being called "Porky" by Davy Jones, with her responding "I'm Pinkey!" each time. This could be because at the time, Looney Tunes and Mumfie both aired on the same network in the show's home country of the United Kingdom.
Another joke involving a show that aired on CiTV: one episode involved a weasel who stole plants and sounded exactly like the one from the U.S. Acres segments of Garfield and Friends.
There are also two references to H.M.S. Pinafore in the movie. First, Whale says "Oh, joy! Oh, rapture!" when he is freed, referencing the song "Oh Joy, Oh Rapture Unforeseen", and Mumfie whistles "Never Mind the Why and Wherefore" before he gets taken to the holding cell.
Spell My Name with an S: Fans sometimes write Pinkey the Flying Pig's name down as Pinky, and Hulu's subtitles on some episodes spell it as Pinkie. An official Fox Kids magazine spelled it this way as well. According to the official website, the former spelling is correct.
Mumfie's name is also spelled sometimes by fans as "Mumfie", "Mumphy", "Mumfi", or "Mamfie".
Spoiler Opening: The opening contains the line "Here comes Mumfie with a happy ending", spoiling the fact that most episodes in this show will have happy endings.
Spot of Tea: A lot of episodes have tea in them, due to the show being from the UK.
Stock Animal Diet: In a crossover story in an old Fox Kids magazine, Mumfie gives the other Fox Cubhouse characters peanuts to give to Rimba. Mumfie never ate peanuts in the real series.
As mentioned on the page for this trope, elephants also love sugar. In the actual series, Mumfie likes cake.
Stock Scream: Scarecrow has one done by his voice actor, as well as a stock yawn heard in episodes such as "The Guest" and "Scarecrowella", and a gasp he does in quite a few episodes.
Taken for Granite: The Secretary of Night turns into a stone inkwell at the end of the episode "A Treasure Beyond Price".
Theme Tune Cameo: There's a piece of commonly played background music that's an instrumental of the theme song.
Mumfie whistles the theme song in the episode "Cabin Fever" while reading a book, much to Scarecrow's annoyance.
Too Dumb to Live: Because Mumfie is (probably) a child and has no family, this trope sometimes applies to him, usually when he meets someone. For example, he thought Whale was a mountain and Eel was a fish. The latter character responded by shining her light in Mumfie's eyes. Examples:
Mumfie thinking adventures come in parcels. He soon realizes this mistake.
In the part where the characters first visit the island Pinkey lives on, Mumfie dances and sings in a cave on the island, when signs are everywhere that say it's not allowed. However, he does wind up finding Pinkey's mother as a result of this. Seconds later, he ignores a "Do Not Disturb" sign.
Mumfie thought it was a good idea to put his handkerchief in the same pocket as The Queen's Jewel and looses it when he takes out his handkerchief to wave to Whale.
After he and Mumfie fall down rocks in the Pirate Cave, Scarecrow says he can't keep himself respectable, and Mumfie responds to this by pulling out a handkerchief from his pocket. Scarecrow shakes his head and Mumfie puts the handkerchief back.
This conversation from "Friend or Foe":
Secretary: What do you mean, "Yes"?
Mumfie: Yes, I've got one!
Secretary of Night: Then what is it?
After this line of dialogue, the Secretary thought Mumfie was a spy for stealing the Queen's magical jewel. Mumfie said he wasn't, and the Secretary thought he was lying, and Mumfie then said he never lied, and the Secretary arrested him for this.note It should be noted that Mumfie stealing the gem was purely an accident, and he only broke the formula bottle by sneezing and hitting a shelf with said bottle.
In "Captain Jellybean's Treasure", Mumfie and Pinkey misheard "doubloon" as "balloon". This later leads to something similar to the "Occupation?" "Elephant!" example of this trope in that episode.
In "It Won't Be Alright On The Night", Mumfie mistook the word "acts" for "ax" and thought a silhouette meant "a silly hat".
In "French Lessons", Napoleon Jones didn't stop Mumfie when he ran upstairs to stop the Black Cat's niece from attacking a mouse. Earlier, when Mumfie heard something upstairs, he asked Napoleon if he can go upstairs to see what was wrong. He also doesn't know the difference between the French words for "cauliflower" and "butterfly".
Not even Scarecrow, the series' Smart Guy, is safe from this. In "The Lost Cloud", Scarecrow thought sheep were clouds. And then there's this line from "Island of Lost Things":
"I'm not all that well traveled. I should have studied geography while I was stuck in my field!"
The aspect of Mumfie calling someone what they aren't was even done in a Fox Kids magazine crossover. When Mumfie meets Diesel from Johnson And Friends, he calls him Mr. Truck.