Western Animation: The Magic Adventures Of Mumfie

From left to right: Scarecrow, Pinkey and Mumfie

"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.

The films Mumfie's White Christmas and Mumfie's Quest: The Movie were issued for the first time on DVD in 2013 and 2014 respectively, to general acclaim.

This series contains examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: "The Perils of Pearl" for Eel, "Bristle's Blues" for Bristle, "Scarecrowella" for Scarecrow.
  • A Dog Named Dog: Scarecrow, Whale and Mole fall under this trope.
  • Ageless Birthday Episode: Averted with "Scarecrow's Birthday Surprise" where he turns one (according to Mumfie in the episode "The Album").
    • We also had "It Won't Be Alright On The Night", which was about the cast preforming a talent show for The Queen of Night. Her age isn't revealed. Three years earlier, there was a story in the Mumfie annual called "A Present For The Queen" about The Queen's birthday.
  • All Just a Dream: "Mumfie's Lost Button", "Scarecrowella".
  • Anti-Christmas Song: "Let Off Steam" in "Mumfie's White Christmas".
  • 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.
  • Berserk Button: Bristle will wake up when anyone says his name.
  • Bowel Breaking Bricks: Whenever Scarecrow falls from a high distance, he "poops" straw.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Scarecrow does this multiple times:
    • In "Scarecrow's Birthday Surprise", he told the audience that he and Mumfie always had tea together every morning.
    • In "Isle of Lost Things", he tells them that he wished that he would have studied geography in the farmer's field.
    • In "Scarecrowella", he turns to the audience to tell them about how great the night he had was.
    • Scarecrow sometimes unintentionally does this, like when he told himself "Mumfie says we'll be fine!" in "The Black Cat Dissapears" and a majority of "A Foggy Day".
    • In the episode "Making A Stand", Mumfie turns to the audience and tells them that he thinks Scarecrow doesn't want to play with him anymore.
  • Canada, Eh?: Canada Goose.
  • Catch Phrase: A few characters have these:
    • Mrs. Admiral: "Lo' love you!"
    • Napoleon: "Au reviour!"
    • You-Are: "Did someone say taxi?"
  • Character Of The Day: This show has quite a few:
    • Fluffy from "The Lonely Cloud"
    • Mumfie's pet goldfish from "A Fishy Tale"
    • Imogene from "A Foggy Day"
    • Spike the dog from "Reigning Cats and Dogs"
    • The Pack-Rats from "The Sock Snatchers"
    • Vincent Van Brushes from "Sunrise, Sunset"
    • The Starduster from the episode of the same name.
    • The gooseberry imp from "It Won't Be Alright On The Night".
    • Scarecrowella note  from the episode of the same name.
    • Kingsley from "The Amazing Scarecrow".
  • Christmas Episode: "Mumfie's White Christmas"
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Mumfie is told to dust The Secretary's bottle collection after disturbing Bristle.
  • 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.
  • Dances and Balls: "Scarecrowella"
  • Denied Food as Punishment: When the Secretary of Night has Mumfie imprisoned, he orders this punishment for him, but Mumfie escapes almost right away.
  • 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.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Many episodes have a happy ending-the theme song even states this.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: The pirate song has the pirates mention that they put on a shirt and tie before visiting their mother.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: Quite a few episodes end with this.
  • Expository Theme Tune: Quoted above.
  • 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.
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: Mumfie.
  • Funny Animal: Mumfie.
  • Freudian Slip: "Mumfie Can't Say No" is all about this trope.
    • Also, in "Scarecrowella": "Can you really do that, Eel-um, I mean Fair-Eel Godmother?"
  • Gasshole: Canada Goose burps in "The Goose and I" after eating Pinkey's dessert.
  • Gentle Giant: Whale.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Whenever someone tells Scarecrow to come inside, Scarecrow says that he'd rather not.
    • 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 "If Wishes Were Pancakes", when Mumfie covers his face from pancakes, it looks sort of...akward.
    • Bristle cuts his finger and we can see what's implied to be blood in "Mind Over Manners".
    • 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. Word of God says that the animators didn't feel like drawing it on because it would be considered as not doing anything notable to the plot.
  • 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
  • Hitchhiker Heroes: Characteristic 1 applies to this show.
  • 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.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Whale's character in its entirety. His mother warned him as a baby, no matter how friendly he is, all the land and sea creatures would fear him because of his immense size. His mother informed him he'll always find welcoming companions with his own kind. Whale deliberately misinterpreted her advice that there'd always be a welcome inside him. Thus he converts his vast interior into a hotel so he can travel alongside land-dwellers.
    • Mumfie could also be this, as this is why he set off on his voyage.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: The Queen Of Night bears a striking resemblance to Britt Allcroft, and is even voiced by her!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Bristle may be bossy, but he does mean well.
  • 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.
  • Limited Wardrobe: All the characters have 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.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Mumfie gets separated from his friends many times as a result of silly mistakes.
  • 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. The creator says that she thinks making characters use the bathroom would be considered not-plot relevant.
    • Nobody needs the bathroom after eating or drinking too much, and instead get nightmares.
    • Averted in "The Lonely Cloud" with the Character Of The Day Fluffy, where said cloud leaks all over Scarecrow's chair.
    • 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.
  • Offered the Crown: Scarecrow is crowned king in "Scarecrowella", but refuses due to the strict rules. It also turned out to be All Just a Dream.
  • Off Model: Four words: "Well! That explains everything!"
    • Speaking of "Mumfie's Quest", pay attention to the scene where Bristle appears at the ceremony in the garden. He looks more adorable than he normally does, and his jacket color is wrong.
    • Another off-model error in the same arc-Scarecrow bobs his head in a bizarre manner when Mumfie meets the pirates.
    • Any far off shot on the show will be like this. For example, the episode "Regining Cats and Dogs" had a scene where Mumfie and Scarecrow are cleaning up a mess and talking to each other. Instead of the camera zooming in on the characters, the camera shows it from an angle where you can see the kitchen and Mumfie and Scarecrow look like they have button eyes.
    • Whenever Scarecrow blows something, like in this screenshot, his cheeks look like those of a chipmunk.
    • The episodes made by D'Ocon Films are the most common victims of this trope. Here are a few examples:
    • When Pinkey sits down and the focus isn't on her in the Phoenix Animation episodes, she looks like a jellybean.
    • For some random reason, Scarecrow opens his mouth two times or more in some episodes such as "Davy Jones' Story" and "Small for a Day" and says nothing.
    • In "Mumfie's White Christmas", Mumfie disappears for no reason during one part of "The Feeling That We Call Christmas", but later reappears.
  • Potty Failure: See Nobody Poops.
  • Prison Episode: There's around 2 minutes of material set in a prison-like setting.
  • Punny Name: You-Are the reindeer, and the Fair-Eel godmother from "Scarecrowella".
  • Rake Take: Poor Scarecrow has this happen to him in "Pop Goes The Weasel".
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Mumfie wears a pink jacket.
  • Saturday Morning Cartoon: "Mumfie's White Christmas" originally aired in America on December 23, 1995, and was the only episode to do so. Nick Jr. UK also aired the episodes on Saturdays at 8:30AM for a while.
  • Scary Scarecrow: Averted with Scarecrow, as his scary faces in the show are Actually Pretty Funny.
  • 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.
    • The beginning of "Bristle's Blues" has Bristle reading rules before bedtime. The only ones he reads out loud reference the songs "Shaking the Blues Away", "Singing In The Rain", and "Dancing in the Dark".
    • Napoleon, the French raven, may have been named after Napoleon Bonaparte.
    • In "Luck Or No Luck", a book was called "The Guide To Elegant Dancing", and it was written by Fred Astaire.
  • Somewhere, a Mammalogist Is Crying: Whale converted the inside of his body into a mobile hotel.
  • 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 mentions of tea in them, due to the show being from the UK. In fact, it's Scarecrow's favorite drink.
  • 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".
    • This also happens in the Mumfie annual story "Mumfie's Magical Rainbow", where The Secretary was revived after Scarecrow broke the inkwell whilst playing ball.
  • 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: Has its own page.
  • The Girl Who Fits This Slipper: "Scarecrowella" did this with a hat.
  • The Smart Guy: Scarecrow is this.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Mumfie loves mashed potatoes and in the D'Ocon series, mashed banana pancakes.
    • Also, Mumfie often brings cake with him to eat, usually in the form of crumbs.
    • Bristle is often seen making chocolate, and usually someone winds up spilling the bowl of chocolate.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Everyone treats the non-human characters like normal everyday occurrences, except for Mumfie.
  • Valley Girl: Irmegard the bat talks like this.
  • Verbal Tic: The Black Cat starts and ends her sentences with purring.
  • Villain Song: "I Must Have My Night".
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Scarecrow acts very much like a human being.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: "Scarecrowella" has Eel's magic lasting until twelve.
  • Wrong Turn At Montreal: "Scarecrow's New Best Friend"
  • You Are Grounded: Irmegard the bat gets grounded at the end of "A Foggy Day" by her mother, who thought she was at the mall.
  • You Know What They Say About X: The Cut Song "I Must Have My Night" always has a "You know what they say..." line in each chorus before "But I must have my night!"