Mischief City is a Canadian animated children's show based on the 1986 picture book of the same name by English–Canadian author children's author Tim Wynne-Jones. It was produced by the Canadian television company, Shaftesbury Films, who are better known for their live-action shows like Life with Derek and Murdoch Mysteries.
The series follows Winchell Adams (voiced by Austin Di Iulio, best known for Timothy Goes to School), an eight-year-old boy who is often whisked away to the fantastical world of Mischief City where he has misadventures with a girl named Maxine (Annick Obonsawin) and her two pet monsters, Hey Hey (Adrian Truss) and Mr. Cube (John Stocker). However, the four often run into conflict with Maxine’s nasty older brother Duane (Peter Oldring) and his pet monster/sidekick Mr. Square (Frank Welker).
The show ran on YTV and lasted for a total of two seasons of twenty-six episodes from January 4 to December 22, 2005.
- Advanced Tech 2000: All of the devices Winchell brings out end in a number in the thousands. One episode has Duane creating a device and putting ten million at the end of the name to emphasize its greatness.
- Ambiguous Situation: It’s unclear whether Winchell actually physically travels to Mischief City or if it is all just in his imagination. The fact that he often knows more about the setting than the inhabitants, how he just pulls impossible inventions seemingly out of nowhere and some of his actions near the end of the episode in his world implies that it might be the latter.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Winchell’s baby sister Cleo. She’s usually the cause of a lot of Winchell’s problems back in his world.
- Big Brother Bully: Duane. The guy has no problems with making his sister's life hell and often causes problems because of his extreme selfishness and gigantic ego.
- Big Eater:
- Hey Hey and Mr. Cube are capable of consuming mountains of food without breaking a sweat. Duane steals this trait from them in one episode so he can win an eating contest, but he ends up mutating into an insatiably hungry monster within a matter of hours.
- One episode has Cleo consuming Winchell’s huge bag of Halloween candy all in one night, although she suffers from a huge stomach ache by the end of it.
- The Ditz: Hey Hey and Mr. Cube, which is putting it rather mildly.
- The Everyman: Winchell. While he normally isn't capable of performing the same squash and stretch Toon Physics as Maxine, Hey Hey, and Mr. Cube, he's more than able to keep up with them using his extensive knowledge of the setting.
- Extreme Omnivore: The appetites of Hey Hey and Mr. Cube aren't limited to just food, they're capable of eating just about anything.
- "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: One episode has Winchell and Maxine shrinking down and going inside Mr. Cube after the latter accidentally eats Maxine’s glasses in his sleep.
- Gag Nose: Hey Hey sports a large bulbous nose in contrast to the noseless Mr. Cube.
- Girlish Pigtails: Maxine sports these, which she can use to fly in the air.
- Helicopter Hair: Maxine can fly in the air using her pigtails as propellers.
- Little Miss Snarker: Maxine has no shortage of sarcastic quips prepared for whenever Duane appears.
- The Noseless: Mr. Cube in contrast to Hey Hey. Becomes a plot point in one episode when he becomes the one to deal with getting rid of a pair of Duane’s extremely smelly socks.
- Pet Contest Episode: One episode has Hey Hey and Mr. Cube secretly entering each other in the annual pet monster show, but become so insistent on letting each other win that they work to get the lowest scores possible while sabotaging each other into getting the highest. Too confused by the situation to figure out who it is they're supposed to be rooting for and worried that they might destroy their friendship, Winchell and Maxine decide to enter in disguises, although they themselves end up becoming a little too competitive with each other while trying to win.
- Shout-Out: The first episode of the series is titled "Fairly Odd Monsters."
- Strictly Formula: The episodes usually go like this: Winchell is confronted with a real-world problem, but before he can solve it, he is whisked away to the fantasy world of Mischief City. There he is immediately greeted by Maxine, Hey Hey and Mr. Cube. Maxine usually informs Winchell of some trouble or event occurring in Mischief City which the group attends to, resulting in an adventure. When the adventure concludes, Winchell returns to the real world and is able to deal with the initial problem.
- Toon Physics: Mischief City and its inhabitants run on this, with Maxine being a frequent user of it. Winchell is also capable of it, but only when he is his superhero alter-ego Captain Kookamunga.
- Vote Early, Vote Often: One episode has Duane becoming the new mayor of Mischief City by voting for himself a million times (despite doing so being illegal as Maxine points out) with Winchell stroking Duane's ego to manipulate him into making the city more fun for everyone. The end of the episode has Winchell and Maxine tricking Duane into signing a document that will make him officially step down and hand the position to Hey Hey and Mr. Cube.