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Western Animation / Mina and The Count

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The series' title card.

Created in 1995 by Rob Renzetti as one of many shorts for Cartoon Network's What A Cartoon! Show, Mina and the Count tells the story of, well, Mina and the Count.

The original short, Interlude With a Vampire, features the titular Count accidentally stumbling into the bedroom of one Mina Harper, age 7, when looking for his next vampiric meal (he was looking for Nina Parker, age 17). Mina quickly proves to be a formidable opponent when she decides he'll make the perfect playmate, gleefully turning herself into his brand-new leg accessory. And despite being dragged into every manner of childish game by Mina, the Count quickly finds himself enjoying the experience and becomes her friend. The following shorts detailed their various goofy and spooky adventures.

Among the other shorts on the various Frederator Studios anthology shows, Mina and The Count is an interesting case. For one, it aired on two of them; while the original 'toon was made for What a Cartoon!, it ended up airing on Nickelodeon's Oh Yeah! Cartoons as well, where it proceed to become a mini series (airing five additional shorts from 1998 to 1999). Secondly, much like every Oh Yeah! Cartoons entry that got multiple shorts aside from ChalkZone and The Fairly OddParents!, Mina and the Count was never greenlit as a full series. Despite this, Mina managed to built up a small fanbase throughout the years that persists to this day. Don't expect a full-length series to ever happen, however, and good luck finding the shorts on DVD.

In 2016, Renzetti released "My Best Friend", the 1992 CalArts student film which served as the basis for the series.

Compare and contrast with Beetlejuice and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, which both have similar premises, but one leaned more towards being a Grossout Show, and the other turns it into a cynical, over-the-top Sadist Show.

This miniseries features examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: In the episode "FrankenFrog", we see that Mina has a doll that looks a lot like Bubbles, another character voiced by Tara Strong.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Everyone (except The Count) seems to want to hit on Mrs. Frankenstein.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: Seems to be the usual monster mindset. "It's monsters like you who give us all a GOOD NAME!"
  • Blood Lust: Well, the count is a vampire, after all. However, in one short, he's also shown eating other, "weirder" things. Just so long as it's not "mortal" food.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Mina's older sister Lucy is definitely not as nice as she is.
  • Breaking and Bloodsucking: How the Count meets Mina. He entered her house to try and suck her blood.
  • The Bully: Nick, complete with his two nearly-identical henchmen, picks on Mina.
  • The Cameo: One of the shorts that aired on Oh Yeah! Cartoons has the Count read a comic book featuring Thatta Boy, the titular protagonist of another Oh Yeah! Cartoons short.
  • Characterization Marches On: In the first short, Mina barely said anything and Igor was fairly dumb. Mina started speaking more consistently in the second short, while Igor is shown to be somewhat more intelligent in the third.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The titular Count (one of two people of the title) has blue skin, wears black and is a vampire. He's also a very good individual.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Igor isn't afraid to make remarks near his master. The Count has his moments, too.
  • Delayed "Oh, Crap!": The Count does this in “The Vampire Who Came to Dinner” upon meeting Mina’s family.
    Vlad: It is a pleasure to be invited to dine with Mina, her older sister, and her father. …OLDER SISTER?!
  • Dinner and a Show: The aptly named episode "The Vampire Who Came to Dinner", where the Count comes to dinner at Mina's house. And her sister Lucy becomes his Instant Fan Club.
  • The Dividual: Nick's twin cronies, who look identically, dress identically, and even move directly in-step at all times.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Count's first attempt to... ahem... "seduce" Mina. To be fair, he thought she was 17 years old at first.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the student film, the Count was explicitly Dracula, whereas in the series proper only the first name "Vlad" is given, leaving one to assume he is merely an Expy.
  • Everyone Has Standards: The Count may be a vampire who feeds off of young women, but he draws the line at children.
  • Free the Frogs: Done in quite possibly the weirdest fashion ever in "FrankenFrog". The frog's already dead; Mina just brings it back with Mad Science!
  • Frankenstein's Monster: A Frankenstein monster and his bride are among Vlad's circle of monster friends. Frank's most prominent role is in "Frankenfrog", where he ends up adopting the frog Mina brought back to life as his pet.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: The Count appears to take on the role of being a benign vampire after becoming friends with Mina the first episode.
  • Genki Girl: Mina is shown to be very cheerful and excitable.
  • Hartman Hips: Lucy, who is meant to be an older teen, sports a pair of large hips.
  • Here We Go Again!: The Oh Yeah episode "My Best Friend" starts with Mina being made fun of by the other kids in school for admitting her friendship with Vlad. The short ends with the situation reversed where Vlad talks about his friendship with Mina to the other monsters and they laugh at Vlad.
  • Heroic Mime: Mina very nearly was one in the first short; her only line was "He's my best friend!" She got more talkative in the later shorts, though.
  • Hulking Out: The judge Doc Freckle in "The Ghoul's Tribunal", who turns into a yellow-skinned brute named Mr. Snyde when he gets enraged.
  • Hypno Fool: One of the Count's vampire powers is to hypnotize people into obeying him.
  • The Igor: The Count's assistant matches this trope in terms of role and outward appearance. Surprise! His name's Igor.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Mina is 7, while the Count is about 700.
  • Irony: Igor is the one most against the Count’s friendship with Mina, but it was because of him messing up the Count’s feeding schedule that they two of them even met in the first place!
  • Lethal Chef: Mina's culinary prowess in "The Vampire Who Came to Dinner" is surprising for a little girl, but still, garlic souffle is probably not one of her better ideas.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: It can bring a dead frog to life as well as Mina's doll.
  • The Masquerade: The Count does his best to stay out of the limelight. When he has to, he parades as Mina's violin teacher.
  • Meaningful Name: The Count is obviously an Expy of Count Dracula. But Mina Harper is named after Mina Harker of the original Dracula novel and her bratty older sister, Lucy, is no doubt named after Lucy Westenra who ironically was Mina's best friend in the novel and in most adaptions of the tale.
  • Mini Series: A cartoon one, but it still kind of fits as an intentionally short-lived series.
  • Missing Mom: Mina's mom is apparently absent. In the first episode, a picture on her wall seems to suggest she does have a mom, but in a later short, it's revealed that that might just be her older sister.
  • Monster Mash: In "The Ghoul's Tribunal", The Count's monster buddies — which more or less include Kharis, the Gill-man, and the Creature and the Missus — come over for their monthly card night.
  • Morality Pet: Mina for the Count. She clearly brings out the Count's soft side and he's very nice to her.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In "The Ghoul's Tribunal", Igor is shown to feel guilty when his exposure of the Count being chummy with Mina is taken to court.
    Mina: Did I do something wrong?
    Igor: No, Mina. I think I did...
  • Oh, Crap!: The Count has a pretty fantastic moment of realizing he's in trouble in "The Vampire Who Came to Dinner."
    Count: (thinking) "Well, Vlad, it looks as if you'll actually have to eat some mortal food. Ah well, it is disgusting, but as long as it's not-"
    (Mina reveals her dish)
    Mina: "Garlic Souffle!"
    • Earlier in the same episode, he had a Delayed "Oh, Crap!" upon discovering that Mina has an older sister.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Mina's game of peekaboo in "The Ghoul's Tribunal" has her disappear and reappear in improbable ways.
  • Only One Name: In later episodes, the Count's name is revealed to be Vlad.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The Count more-or-less hits most of the Classical Movie Vampire traits spot-on.
  • Papa Wolf: The Count is very protective towards Mina.
  • Recycled Title: One of the Oh Yeah! Cartoons-era shorts, "My Best Friend", shares its title with Rob Renzetti's original CalArts student film that serves as the precursor to this series.
  • Servile Snarker: Igor comes off as kind of a dunce in the first episode, but in the later shorts, it becomes more questionable as to just who's in charge in that castle...
  • Shout-Out: Mina and Lucy's names are shout-outs to Mina Harker and Lucy Westenra from the original Dracula novel.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Mina and Lucy are sisters who don't get along well.
  • So Proud of You: The Count says this verbatim to Mina in “FrankenFrog”, after learning she was able to put back together and resurrect a dissected frog from her science class.
  • Spiritual Successor: According to The Other Wiki, these shorts inspired The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. It shows.
  • Vampires Hate Garlic: Played for humor in "The Vampire Who Came to Dinner", where the Count decides to eat normal food in spite of finding it disgusting and learns to his horror that Mina has prepared garlic souffle.
  • Vampire Vords: The trope of vampires pronouncing W's like V's is played straight with the way the Count speaks.
  • Vein-o-Vision: The Count sees Lucy's circulatory system in "The Vampire Who Came to Dinner".
  • Would Not Hurt A Child: The Count's got no issue with feeding on young women, but refuses to feed on an actual child. In that first short, no matter how exasperated or hungry the Count was he never once considered the idea of draining Mina (even before they became friends).