Sunday, October 25, 2015

Danger Mouse 2.0 E5: Pink Dawn

Have you been wondering what it would be like if Barbie ruled the world and DM and co. dressed in drag? Well this is YOUR episode, you lucky devil!

You just know Super Fan there has been waiting for this opportunity for weeks.

Danger Mouse and Penfold are able multi-taskers, as this episode's opening shows. Not only can they test Squawkencluck's new rocket boots, they can ensure that all of London (and thanks to the internet, the world) knows exactly where their "top secret" headquarters is. Good job, fellas. Squawks is understandably perturbed. Not only are the boys messing with her stuff (AGAIN), but they're making a mess and she's trying to keep things neat for their special guest.

No surprise that they'd get along, since modern DM's whole deal seems to be having fun.

Dawn the poodle won some sort of competition, and is getting to spend the day in the lab. Exactly what this contest was or why the Royal Secret Service held it (we can no longer blame DM and Penfold for blowing the "secret HQ" thing, can we?) is never explained. It apparently involved buying entries, though. Dawn seems like a sweet (if a bit spoiled and lonely) little girl, and DM is glad to humor her. Squawks is in a frenzy, though, running around and trying to prevent dangerous items from maiming anyone. She's a real killjoy.

However, her attempts to get Squawkencluck to play end up causing some damage and even opens up a black hole above the group. Penfold is being sucked in, but thanks to Squawks' quick thinking, her favorite pen (oh, and Penfold, I suppose) is saved.

Dawn then spots a rather ominous vat of something glowy, and decides she and Mr. Snuggles the bear will go for a swim. DM grabs the rocket boots and manages a daring midair rescue in the nick of time to save Dawn, but Mr. Snuggles and Dawn's tiara end up in the drink. Danger Mouse retrieves the items with a robot arm, which seems to placate the distressed girl enough to try and get Penfold and Squawkencluck to play "shinsies" with her. Squawks has had enough, however, and tells Dawn that their visit has concluded. Dawn is incensed and vows revenge for the failure to play. Penfold is anxious about the implications, but DM is not worried. "That's the last we'll see of her," he replies, just before the trio stare at the camera.

Yeah, they're genre-savvy. 

That evening at Dawn's home (tellingly, the only light on is hers), Dawn discusses her disappointment in the day's trip with Mr. Snuggles in her blindingly pink, princessy bedroom. Deciding to do something to feel better, she throws herself a girly dress up party.

Throwing on a few items and her tiara, Dawn takes a look in the mirror. Something strange is happening, however. The lights sputter, and Dawn begins to emit a startling pink glow. Even her eyes take on an unearthly rose-sparkle-shiney quality. Dawn begins to giggle with sinister delight, and an explosion of pink light erupts from the house.

The next day, Britain's favorite spies are getting their morning workout in. Danger Mouse is taking it easy with a few one-fingered push ups while holding up Penfold, and Penfold is trying to work out what to fix for breakfast. Their routine is interrupted, however, with an emergency call.

An irate (and slightly fabulous) Colonel K has called to demand that something be done about the way Dawn has gone "Extreme Makeover: Sparkle Pink Princess Edition" on London. Penfold is mightily amused. K is decidedly not.

Flying into action in the Mark IV, the boys survey the Barbiefied city. This sequence ought to be proof enough that glitter must NEVER be weaponized. DM supposes that "it's cheerful at least, like some kind of Pink Dawn." Penfold loves it when they get the title in the episode dialogue.

Arriving at Buckingham Palace, Danger Mouse attempts to make contact. Dawn declares that she is "The Princess" and attempts to use her newfound powers of "Care Bear Stare" on them. The only thing she manages to do is nick Penfold's hair, however. He's quite taken with it.

Squawks calls, having determined that the tiara is the culprit, having taken a dive into the vat of "Personality Amplifying Mind Gel" back in the lab. Penfold quite sensibly asks how that works, exactly. He's told to shush for his trouble. But no matter, we've got a plan: seize that tiara! The only problem is how to get close enough to Dawn to do it. This problem is revealed to be bigger than they thought when Dawn reveals that she can FLY.

Having taken her pink glitter conquest worldwide, she pauses at the White House (now the Magenta Mansion) and uses her new powers to turn a reporter and his crew into dolls! Why? So that she'll have someone to play with. Back at HQ, Squawks determines that Dawn is getting more and more powerful, and that they must act fast to put a stop to this reign of pink terror. Noting that they need to get close without arousing Dawn's suspicions, DM suggests they need invisibility cloaks (he REALLY wants those and I'm frankly loving the running gag) or something. Squawks has a better idea...

Why do we HAVE that as a preset for the lab, again?

"We turn you into PRINCESSES!"

DM is shocked, Penfold is delighted to spot sequins. Danger Mouse is adamant that this is just her trying to get him back for all the broken inventions, but Squawks insists that this is the only way. And that making them look stupid is just a bonus. K calls, and puts his foot down. They MUST put a stop to Dawn, and if that means playing pretty princess dress up, then SO BE IT. Let the montage begin! And be sure it includes a reference to Jem and the Holograms!

The boys are all dressed up, but having trouble getting around in their new looks. Asking Squawks for help in being princessy reveals she has never done this sort of thing. Well, we clearly can't have that, so they nab her and stuff her into a wig and dress of her own and drag her along. After all, DM reasons, it could be FUN!

I'm looking for the button that activates the lights and sounds. My guess? The rooftop flag.

Arriving at Dawn's home, they discover that it has turned into an authentic dolly play house, complete with realistic pop-open action. It's very toyetic. I mean look at that thing!

I find it funny that the boys have done a better job on Squawks than she did on DM. Penfold looks nice, however.
DM coaches his companions to remember that they are supposed to be little girls here for a play date. Also, he has dubbed himself "Princess Cindy" for this mission. And meanwhile I'm sitting here trying to figure out if it's on purpose that Squawkencluck and Penfold resemble Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and Belle (Beauty and the Beast). Since DM bears a passing resemblance to Cinderella and calls himself Princess Cindy, I'm guessing it was absolutely deliberate.

You thought Princess Cindy would be taken out so easily? You FOOL!

Dawn is delighted to have company, and pulls Squawkencluck aside for patty cake and hair brushings. As DM attempts to sneak up on Dawn to grab the tiara, Squawks inadvertently blows his cover. Dawn sends the now giant-size Mr. Snuggles to grab DM in a monstrous bear hug, in preparation for turning him into a toy. Squawkencluck reminds him that he's still wearing the jet boots just in time, and he manages to escape just before Dawn's powers hit Mr. Snuggles and turn him into a plastic doll. Outraged over the loss of Mr. Snuggles, Dawn leaps atop a pony doll she's brought to life with her powers, flying off. Danger Mouse takes off in hot pursuit, but is dismayed to discover that the flying pony farts rainbows. For our benefit, he notes that it's like breathing marshmallows.

Yes, the day was saved on a CLOCK, thanks to Princess Cindy and her special footwear.
Dawn takes up a strategic position atop the Big Ben clock tower, and makes several attempts at blasting her pursuer. Danger Mouse, who's figured out that the girl just wants to play, entices her into a game of hide and seek. Distracted with counting to go seek, Dawn is easily subdued with one of the giant bows adorning the tower. Seizing the tiara, DM tosses it into the Thames, ending the short-lived reign of "the Princess".

Back at HQ, Penfold is still having fun with dress up, and why not? Meanwhile, DM teases Squawks that she enjoyed playing like a kid, but she insists not and calls him Princess Cindy again. As we end the episode with a shot of the tiara and a remarkably pink and sparkly river, the narrator assures us that no matter what dangers await, we are protected by the world's greatest secret agent: PRINCESS CINDY!

"Don't YOU start!"

Episode Rating: 4.5/5

This is another episode with a ridiculous premise that delivers a fun and ridiculous ride. The trope of a powerless character who comes into incredible power and threatens the world may be an old one but having the villain be a lonely little spoiled rich girl gives it a bit of fresh (if pink) paint. Arguably, Dawn is a more horrifying foe than any they've faced so far, what with her ability to turn people into dolls for her own amusement. I have a feeling that we'll probably be seeing a return of the Princess, though. That closing image of the tiara afloat and glowing in the sparkly river just seems ominous.

The house opening up is a really nice shot, and really has me thinking that they should be making a toy line that includes it. Or just a toy line. Let's have some toys!

He'd have made a great blonde.
 DM's princess getup though... Sorry Danger Mouse, but you looked better in the montage as a blonde instead of the medium-auburn/strawberry blonde hair he ended up with. (Although the latter IS more accurate to Cinderella.) Also, I love that they ended up taking absolutely NO pains to hide his signature eyepatch.

Danger Rating: 1

The only "officially named" Danger things other than DM himself in this episode is the Mark IV, but I wonder if the jet boots aren't supposed to be as well? I'm only counting things officially named that I know of, so that brings today's total to one.

Danger Car

Callback Moment

Danger Mouse in drag. I never thought I'd live to see the day, but pretending to be a girl to fool someone is something he's tried before. In Planet of the Cats, he made an attempt at pretending to be a southern belle tourist to throw off a group of feline security officers. It didn't work, but perhaps a wig would have made a difference? Or at least a pretty dress? (Maybe if he'd introduced himself as Princess Cindy?)

 This also isn't the first time that DM has faced a foe in frills and bows. In Crumhorn Strikes Back, Professor Crumhorn disguised himself with some shapeshifting ability pills (And I'm suddenly aware that I don't remember if they ever told us who Agent 57 got his powers...) to take on the appearance of a sweet little girl whose father had been kidnapped  as he tried to knock the two spies off during a visit to America.

It's enough to make you distrust little girls.


  1. Okay, there needs to be a DM version of ALL the princesses now!!! I demand it!!

    *gasp* I forgot about agent 57!

  2. 57 hasn't shown up yet (I hope he does, he was always one of my favorites), but YES! DM ALL THE PRINCESSES!