The Devil and Daniel Mouse

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The Devil and Daniel Mouse
The Daniel Mouse LP A Nelvana Story Album.jpg
Album cover
Directed by Clive A. Smith
Produced by Michael Hirsh
Patrick Loubert
Screenplay by Ken Sobol
Story by Stephen Vincent Benet
Patrick Loubert
Starring Jim Henshaw
Annabel Kershaw
Chris Wiggins
John Sebastian
Music by John Sebastian
Patricia Cullen
Laurel Runn
Reggie Knighton
Production
  company
Nelvana
Distributed by CBC
Unearthed Films
Release date(s) October 5, 1978
Running time 25 min
Country Canada
Language English

The Devil and Daniel Mouse is a 1978 animated Halloween television special, from Canada's Nelvana animation studio. It is based on the story of The Devil and Daniel Webster.

The Nelvana logo made its first appearance at the end of the film.

Plot[edit]

The story is about two struggling mouse musicians, Daniel and Jan. When they are fired from their latest gig (their music is deemed too old-fashioned and not with the times), Daniel goes to pawn his guitar in order to buy groceries. Jan wanders off on her own and encounters a shifty reptilian character in a white suit who introduces himself as "B.L. Zebubb", a record producer.

He and his weasel assistant, Weez Weezel, offer her fame and fortune in exchange for signing a contract in blood. Jan does not read the fine print and trusts B.L., signing herself over to his record production company. Little does she suspect that B.L. is none other than the Devil himself, and at the height of her fame he will return to collect her soul. To assist her, Weez conjures three band members from thin air, a rabbit (Rabbit Delight), a beaver (Boom Boom Beaver), and a praying mantis (Pray Mantis).

As "Funky Jan", Jan is soon the most popular rock star on the planet while the oblivious Daniel is left out in the cold. But when B.L. comes for her soul and she realizes what she has done, a distraught Jan goes to Daniel for help. A trial is held in the woods at night over Jan's soul, with Weez as the judge and Daniel acting as Jan's attorney. As an additional stipend, the Devil states that should Daniel lose the trial, his soul as well as Jan's will be taken as payment. At first, the trial seems hopeless, considering Daniel has no education as a lawyer and cannot present even the beginnings of a reasonable argument to release Jan.

Having nothing else to offer, Daniel begins to sing a heartfelt song. Jan joins in, as do her three heretofore unhelpful band members. The other animals watching the trial begin to sing and clap along to the tune and so do the jury of lost souls. An enraged Devil attempts to summon forth demons to stop the heroes, but the spirits he conjures also fall prey to the sway of Daniel's music.

A frustrated Devil finally leaves, returning to Hell and taking Weez and all his other minions with him. The two mice embrace one another as the film ends.

Cast[edit]

Actor Role
Jim Henshaw Daniel Mouse
Annabel Kershaw Jan Mouse
John Sebastian Daniel Mouse (Singing Voice)
Laurel Runn Jan Mouse (Singing Voice)
Chris Wiggins B.L. Zebub
Martin Lavut Weez Weezel

Songs[edit]

  • Look Where the Music Can Take You performed by John Sebastian & Laurel Runn
  • I've Got a Song to Sing performed by Laurel Runn
  • Roxy Marathon Concert Medley performed by Laurel Runn
  • Can You Help Me Find My Song? performed by Laurel Runn
  • Look Where the Music Can Take You performed by John Sebastian & Laurel Runn
  • Look Where the Music Can Take You (Finale) performed by John Sebastian & Laurel Runn

Merchandising[edit]

Nelvana story album[edit]

A tie-in story LP record was released by Nelvana Records in 1978.'[1] Narrated by John Sebastian, the album features dialog lifted straight from the film's soundtrack as well as songs performed by Sebastian, Laurel Runn and the Reggie Knighton Band. As in the film, the dialog is interspersed with several of the songs.

Full-color storybook[edit]

First published by Avon/Camelot in 1979, the storybook was written by screenwriter Ken Sobol and features music and lyrics for three John Sebastian penned songs (I've Got a Song, Can You Help Me Find My Song? and Look Where the Music an Take You). Simplified for younger readers, many of the visual gags and a few scenes were omitted from the book.

Home video[edit]

The Devil and Daniel Mouse was simultaneously issued as a stand-alone title on Betamax and VHS as well as featured on several compilations of Nelvana's TV specials.'[2] The stand-alone version can be cheaply obtained on eBay and amazon.com from time to time; the compilations generally sell for a heftier price tag.

Nelvanamation[edit]

The first and more widely available compilation to feature the film was Nelvanamation. Also featured on this video are Romie-0 and Julie-8, Intergalactic Thanksgiving and A Cosmic Christmas.[3]

The Devil and Daniel Mouse and Tales of Fantasy and Science Fiction[edit]

Headlining a collection similar to Nelvanamation, this CED Videodisc also includes Romie-0 and Julie-8, Easter Fever, Intergalactic Thanksgiving and A Cosmic Christmas.[4]

Rock & Rule[edit]

Daniel Mouse became the inspiration for Nelvana's first feature film, Rock & Rule. The film and How We Made the Devil and Daniel Mouse, a vintage "making of" documentary, were both included on the two-DVD[5] and Blu-Ray[6] versions of that film in a slightly edited form of 22 minutes from its original 25 minute running time.[7]

Bauhaus song[edit]

Dialogue from this cartoon was used by the rock band Bauhaus in the song "Party of the First Part", found on some versions of The Sky's Gone Out.

References[edit]

External links[edit]