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Western Animation / Magic Adventures of Mumfie

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Counter-clockwise from the bottom left: Scarecrow, Mumfie and Pinkey

"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 & Friends fame. It centers around Mumfie, a special elephant who lives alone in a cottage in the woods. Every morning he runs 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 who doubles as a passenger cruise ship.

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

An upcoming reboot, just called Mumfie, is currently in the works, with the pilot having won an award at the Cartoons On The Bay ceremony.

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, Eel 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".
  • Animesque: When the series returned to Hulu and Netflix in The New '10s, many people unfamiliar with the series called it an anime when it was actually British. And it's not hard to see why they would say the characters look like they've come from a Studio Ghibli film, there are lots of Ridiculously Cute Critters in the show, Mumfie's winking using the 0_< style, the characters having Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises when they are shocked in "The Amazing Scarecrow", a villain in the style of (though predating) the likes of the Grim Reaper from Yume no Crayon Oukoku and Futari wa Pretty Cure's Zakkena, and Scarecrow occasionally using a ]_[ style of eyes when smiling or sleeping. The first and second seasons were actually animated in Canada, and the most anime-esque season, the third, was animated in Spain.
  • Anti-Christmas Song: "Let Off Steam" in "Mumfie's White Christmas".
  • Artistic License – Law: Napoleon sentences the pirates to sail the seven seas for seven years immediately after they have been captured in a net, without them actually being arrested or taken to court.
  • Author Avatar: Britt Allcroft's Creator Avatar is the Queen of Night.
  • Bald of Evil: Bristle is balding, with his hair long in the back but totally bare on top.
  • 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.
    • At the end of "Mumfie's White Christmas", the unseen narrator tells the viewers "Happy Christmas, everyone!". Also, at the end of Mumfie's Quest's original televised version, he asks viewers "But what happened then, what do you think?"
  • Bring My Brown Pants: When Scarecrow runs away from a shark in "A Grouper's Tooth", you'll see a blink-and-you-miss-it puddle underneath him while he's running that is not the same color as the sand he ran across.
  • Canada, Eh?: Canada Goose.
  • Cartoon Whale: Whale is a grey-blue whale who is square-shaped.
  • Catchphrase: A few characters have these:
    • Mrs. Admiral: "Lo' love you!"
    • Napoleon: "Au revoir!"
    • 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"
  • Cinderella Plot: "Scarecrowella" has Scarecrow dream about being in a Cinderella-like story after drinking too much hot chocolate. In the story, the Queen of Night has a royal ball and all of Scarecrow's friends have clothes for the ball except for him. That is when his Fair-Eel Godmother comes and transforms him into a handsome prince. He quickly grabs the attention of the Queen of Night, but when it strikes midnight, he leaves his hat behind. Upon Bristle finding out the next day that the hat that was left behind fits Scarecrow, he is allowed to become king, but there are many strict rules he has to follow, making him upset.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Mumfie is told to dust The Secretary's bottle collection after disturbing Bristle.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Mumfie whistles the theme song in the episode "Cabin Fever" while reading a book, much to Scarecrow's annoyance.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: This happened in "It Won't Be Alright On The Night" when Mumfie did not know why the others were laughing after he misheard "acts" as "ax", so he laughed along without them explaining his mistake.
  • 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 animation of Mumfie's Quest is markedly different from the rest of the series, especially in how rubbery the characters can appear sometimes. Bristle in particular has much more exaggerated face animation and lip sync. Also, 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.
  • The Faceless: The Secretary of Night. His red eyes in the shadows, his blue hand, quick glimpses of his cloaked silhouette or his shadow are only showned.
  • 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.
  • Foreshadowing: In the song "The Chase", one of the lyrics is "The Admiral and chums will soon be safely locked inside a cell!" Many minutes later, Mumfie gets trapped inside a holding cell on The Secretary of Night's island.
  • Friendly Pirate: Davy Jones is this, being a good friend to the main characters and even leading them on some adventures.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Gorgeous Garment Generation: "Scarecrowella", being a spoof of Cinderella, has this.
  • 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.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: The show is often listed or billed officially as Britt Allcroft's Magic Adventures of Mumfie.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: The Queen Of Night bears a striking resemblance to Britt Allcroft, and is even voiced by her!
  • It's the Journey That Counts: Mumfie believes in and lives out this trope. What do you expect from a show with "Magic Adventures" in it's title?
  • 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!".
  • Knight of Cerebus: The Secretary of Night, full-stop.
  • 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 vacuum 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.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: In the Mumfie's Quest movie, Mumfie lands in a beautiful meadow after jumping from the Queen of Night's umbrella. However, this is really a trick by the Black Cat, who actually wants to take him to the Secretary of Night so that he could lock him up in the Secretary of Night's holding cell.
  • 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.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Mumfie's reaction in the Mumfie's Quest arc when the Black Cat fools him into being prisoner in the holding cell, as well as when making time reverse in "Time Waits For No Mumfie".
  • Never Say "Die": The Secretary of Night uses "destroyed" instead of "killed" in the Mumfie's Quest arc. Averted in "Days Without Night", when Scarecrow says that plants are turning brown and dying from having too much sunlight.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Mumfie gets separated from his friends many times as a result of silly mistakes.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Eel's voice is a Mae West impression, which seemed to become more overt as the series progressed.
  • 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, and with Scarecrow (see the Bowel Breaking Bricks and Bring My Brown Pants entries for these examples).
    • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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, as well as TVO Kids in Canada, which aired the show at 9:00AM on Saturdays.
  • 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), a character whom the characters have to free from an object (Dorothy had to free Scarecrow from a nailed cross in Oz, and Mumfie and Scarecrow had to get a boat out from underneath Whale's belly), 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 and stuffs it back into his shirt, but the only difference is it coming from his behind and that he does it himself all the time instead of someone stuffing it back in. On one instance, he used the phrase "knocked the stuffing out of me" like in the dark forest scene of Oz, and on another instance, he ripped his hair and stuffed it into 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.
      • The episode title "It Won't Be Alright On The Night" is a play on the title of another show aired on ITV, It'll Be Alright On The Night
    • 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", "Singin' in the Rain", and "Dancing in the Dark".
    • Napoleon, the French raven, may have been named after Napoleon Bonaparte.
    • In "Luck Or No Luck", Mumfie is given a book by Scarecrow to help his posture while he practices skating.
    Mumfie: The Guide To Elegant Dancing by Fred Astaire. Am I supposed to read this, Scarecrow?
    • "Scarecrowella" has many Cinderella shout-outs. The ball is called the Royal Ball, Eel is called the Fair-Eel Godmother, The Queen of Night yells "But I don't even know your name!", and there's a reference to the scrapped scene where Cinderella overhears her sisters talking about the mysterious girl at the ball.
    • A reference to Stephen King, of all things, can be found the end of the episode, when Scarecrow refuses to be king after being Offered the Crown. This scene is a reference to a scene in The Eyes of The Dragon where Thomas does the same thing. Even the wording of their reactions is similar: Thomas says “No, I don't want to be King, I won't be King. I . . . I refuse! I UTTERLY REFUSE!”, while Scarecrow says "No! I don't want to be king! I don't want to be king! I don't want to go to the palace, I-I want to stay here! Don't let him take me! I don't want to live with The Queen!".
  • So Last Season: Sometimes, things from the Mumfie's Quest arc are mentioned in post-movie episodes when they relate to the plot.
  • 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.
  • 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", a gasp he does in quite a few episodes that sounds more like Mumfie did it, and a stock sighing noise.
    • Mumfie has his own stock gasp, and a scream that belonged to Pinkey was also used for fish in another episode.
  • 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 while playing ball.
  • The Girl Who Fits This Slipper: "Scarecrowella" did this with a hat.
  • The Makeover: Happens in "Scarecrowella" to Scarecrow. "Now, hold still while I rev up my batteries to turn you into the brightest star of the ball!"
  • The Medic: In a rare case where it wasn't a character, the Mumfie's Quest movie had the Queen's Jewel as this to revive a sick tree.
  • 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.
    • In the Japanese dub, Eel has "~のよ" (which means "of" in Japanese) as her verbal tic, usually using it every other sentence.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The first few minutes of the movie may make it seem innocent and fluffy...until the gang goes to Pinkey's island. Averted with the post-movie episodes.
  • 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.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: In one episode, it's revealed Fred Astaire is a relative of Mumfie's, and Whale mentions the U.S. constitution in the movie. Add the fact that the North Pole is near Canada and that they know a goose from there, it's safe to say the show is set in either one of the Dakotas or Nebraska.
  • Wrong Turn at Albuquerque: Goose wound up at Mumfie's house in "Scarecrow's New Best Friend" after a wrong turn at Montreal.
  • 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!"

Alternative Title(s): The Magic Adventures Of Mumfie