Mighty Max (TV Series 1993–1995) Poster


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Excellent cartoon
waitandhope14 January 2018
Aside from this being a show I grew up watching it's also really a fun one. I'd love to see this get rebooted by Netflix or Amazon, possibly as live action or even a new cartoon series. Definitely amazing and entertaining, the entire concept is still fresh. Hopefully one day whoever owns it will release a Bluray collection.
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Rock on Mighty Max!!!
Warning: Spoilers
As a little kid I never had all that much, but my parents knew how much I loved the Mighty Max toys and usually always managed to get me every one that came out, and I played with them like crazy and they captured my young imagination more than any other toy or game ever did, and when this show eventually came along it was just awesome getting to see them come to life in such a cool and fun way. And part of what I like about the show now is that it never at all feels like something that was needlessly made just to attract children who already knew about the toys, but was actually sort of its own story with its own unique feel and world to it. They took what was originally basically Polly Pockets for boys and propelled it to greatness by making it into a series about destiny, heroism, sacrifice, evil, horror and mythology in a way that I've never seen done the same way in any other animated series ever. The characterisation was incredibly well done, and the dialogue was deftly written and frequently laugh out loud funny, especially from Rob Paulson who did a fantastic job of portraying his endlessly witty character in such a way that he was never annoying or cutesy, but genuinely funny and likable, and who mostly solved his own problems rather than standing around and waiting to be saved, and who had a real little conflict to him in that he was sometimes torn between his desire to be a normal kid and knowing how important it was to live up to his destiny. The sadly departed Tony Jay was such a pleasure to hear as the oh-so wise and pompous but by no means infallible stuffy old fowl Virgil. And Richard Moll just oozed dry charm and pure underplayed badassary as the barbarian warrior bodyguard Norman. I believe the best animated series have main villains that are on-par with and just as compelling as the heroic characters, and Skullmaster was just *the* devil among devils! Much more than a mere Skeletor clone, the difference between the two was that Skullmaster was never incompetent and would unquestionably make good on his gruesome threats, no doubt about that! The magnificent rich voice-work of Tim Curry was simply inspired, you can really tell he put a lot of passion and soul into the role, and he never hammed it up or made it theatrical, and I thank him for that. Every single last episode to feature the dark ruler was greatly heightened by his commanding and wicked presence. There was also a really great gallery of colourful bad guys that appeared, several of whom were completely out of their minds! And not just by the standards of the era this show is quite dark, I mean people died in it all the time, and despite the lack of blood and gore you always got the dead-seriousness of that. It wasn't a totally perfect show, there were numerous minor errors and continuity blips and inconsistencies of logic, but overall most of it was fun and highly satisfying. And with only forty episodes to its name the show wasn't large, and they go by fast, but I think that works in its favour because it feels very compact, there's a definite arc to it, and you grow to care for the characters a lot. And while the animation is far from ideal and rough around the edges, it still retains a great deal of visual flair and style to it. Mighty Max was a treasure of an animation that still holds up and always will. The entire run of the show is a thrill ride and a half, and for me most of the magic and fun came from the interesting and strongly-realised heroes and villains alike, the humour, and the dangerous-edged yet fun and adventurous tone. For child or adult, this was one adventure to get lost in, and if you're a fan of retro animation and haven't ever seen this one before give it a chance, I guarantee you won't be disappointed. "Curse you Cap-Bearer!"
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Wonderful and very underrated show
TheLittleSongbird17 September 2011
Even as a 19 year old I love animation. I grew up on it and apart from some bad ones have been impressed by those with beautiful animation, great memorable music, writing that amuses and touches you, likable characters and stories that thrill you. I have had several favourites over the years, but there were also some I shamefully forgot. Mighty Max was one such show.

Thank goodness for YouTube, who are so good usually with finding or re-discovering new gems. Mighty Max is a wonderful and very underrated show that is quite unique and kept me thrilled right until the end. As for the ending of the show, I have seen some controversy. I personally loved it not just for its dark tone but also how truly thrilling it was.

The animation does have some limited spots with some episodes lacking fluidity in the backgrounds or with the odd static movement, but I always noticed some impressive visuals in the action, the characters in general look great especially Skullmaster and there are some lively, ethereal colours.

I love the music too. The opening for Mighty Max sets the tone for each episode wonderfully, and the incidental music never feels out of place. The writing is one of the strongest assets of Mighty Max, it is funny, scary, moving, thoughtful and what's more quite educational too. Top hats also for some very well-thought out and engaging story lines.

The characters are delightful. Max is not bland or obnoxious, he has real steel and is very brave such as when he says "I'll die trying!", something I don't hear many animated kids saying now. Virgil is noble and wise, Norman makes me smile with his understated simplicity and Skullmaster is a terrific villain, smooth yet very malevolent.

Other than the writing and characters, I also have to highly praise the voice acting. Rob Paulsen is wonderful as Max, and never feels like he's overdoing it. Tony Jay matches him in every way as Virgil, while Tim Curry's menacing and distinctive intonation as Skullmaster is pitch perfect.

All in all, a wonderful show. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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This cap was made for bearing.
alanrayford20 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"Mighty Max" is truly a lost show. It aired its forty episodes between 1993 and 1995, ran in syndication until 1998 and was utterly forgotten by 2000. Only a handful of episodes were released on VHS, and the show had gone the way of the dodo well before DVD's took over. Thankfully, the show has managed to survive online and is every bit as good as I remember.

This is basically about the adventures of Max (Rob Paulsen). He's a prototypical American teen who likes hanging with his buds, extreme sports, is a bit of a smart-aleck and, despite never cracking a book, is remarkably intelligent. Then one day he receives a red ball-cap, and his life is turned upside down. This is because it turns out he's the latest in a long line of "mighty" cap-bearers and is destined to save the world…a lot. Thankfully, he isn't alone.

Aiding him are Virgil (Tony Jay) and Norman (Richard Moll). Virgil is a 10,000 year old, anthromorphic owl from Lemuria. Max's mentor and guide, he is every bit as intelligent and stuffy as you'd expect from a 10,000 year old owl—even if he does insist on being a fowl "actually". Norman is a 10,000 year old Viking warrior fit to make all the immortals in Highlander pee their pants. The guardian, he's overly tense and laconic in nature, and lets Max and Virgil do most of the talking while letting his blade speak for him.

Together the three face off against numerous threats to world. These include mad scientists, aliens, demons, ghosts, werewolves, vampires, mutants and many more. However, the chief baddie and the one Max is prophesized to destroy is Skull Master (Tim Curry). Yes, he's inspired by Skeletor and would rip Skeletor's heart out and crush it under his feet. Another 10,000 year old, he oozes menace and definitely makes the cut for an arch-villain. The guy is basically a big, skull faced demon who's trapped in Hell; has a limitless army of lava men, golems and zombies at his disposal; and is bent on not just world domination, but on the utter annihilation of Max and company.

However, no matter where Max and crew ended up, and no matter whom they fought, the high quality of "Mighty Max" raised things well beyond the mundane. Despite claims the animation wasn't that good, I beg to differ. Never once were frames repeated, and there was never any scene that felt still or stiff. If anything, the animation style was in line with that of Batman: TAS. The character designs were streamlined, and much of the detail was provided by shading. But the real star was the scripting.

"Mighty Max" was funny without being corny; action packed without being far-fetched; educational without being boring; and violent without ever once being graphic. This may sound middle of the road, but it's not. It actually pushed the boundaries of what could be shown and said in children's programming circa the mid nineties. By today's stricter standards, however, "Mighty Max" could only exist on Adult Swim.

Most episodes featured at least one, horrific death. "The Werewolves of Dunneglen" is one example. It's night on the Scottish Highlands, and a lone man is investigating a series of strange noises. He hears growling from just behind him, and turns in time to let out a bloodcurdling scream before the scene transitions to Max chilling out half a world away. In "the Magnificent Seven" the four champions who accompanied Max, Virgil and Norman to Skullmaster's realm were all killed. In "The Axeman Cometh" Norman enters a darkened cabin and grimaces at what can only be slaughtered bodies strewn every which way. In every instance of death and dismemberment, nothing was ever shown or explicitly stated. But things were implied more than strongly enough to make the impression that something horrible just happened—albeit off camera.

There were a few problems with Mighty Max though. At first Max felt more like the product of a focus group than a true character. Over time this changed, most notably after the "Magnificent Seven". But it was still a fly in the ointment. Also, the cap he wore didn't feel all that special. All it could do was use portals to teleport, and anyone could use it. Only Virgil knew where most of the portals were, and he had to consult a map that, once again, anyone could use. When it came to dealing with the bad guys, the cap really wasn't good for much, save a hasty retreat. When searching for a portal, Max would often disappear in plain view of a freaked out public—yet no one ever once followed up on this upon his return. I get how, after living 10,000 years, Norman would possess enough skill to be the greatest warrior to have ever lived. Yet, his occasional feats of superhuman strength were never explained and, I felt, this diminished him.

So I can't say Mighty Max is the best animated-action show I've seen. But I can say it is of extraordinarily high quality and is dangerously watchable. You'll check one episode and then want to see another and another and another, until you're trying to rationalize how you can get to work and do your job on less than two hours sleep.

Lastly, I want to give a shout out to Arsenal1508, at YouTube, for helping to keep this gem alive. Whoever you are, I just want to say thanks. Were it not for fans like you, "Mighty Max" would really be nothing more than a memory from the nineties. It's so much better than that—even if Film Roman has carelessly allowed it to languish.
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the deep end of the comic/cartoon pool
jamvaru21 February 2011
Most shows don't go very deep in explaining themselves or the world about. This show is the opposite, they go to great lengths to bring the knowledge of the world to kids in pajamas. They go to the ends of the earth to dig up the true evil in the world. In fact, there ain't much not happening here, including space battles. The only problem is it got canceled. Just too good to live on.

Richard Moll is fantastic, as are all the voice actors. I didn't know Tim Curry was the Skullmaster's voice.

Creative, interesting, challenging, and full of action and energy. Always uplifting.
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Too young for Ninja Turtles, Too old for Yu-gi-oh. THIS. IS. MINE.
radloffr7 November 2007
The title of my summary pretty much covers my review.

This is to me what Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was to someone 5 years older. While I missed out on that little pop-culture wave, I embraced the toy line and t.v. series that was Mighty Max with both arms.

You wanna know how into this I was? I went as Mighty Max for Halloween.

Thank God for the internet. Thanks to Demonoid, last week I was able to watch this great show from my childhood for the first time in over a decade.

I'm watching this right now, having just been blown away by recognizing Rob Paulson of Animaniacs, and am also loving the celebrity humor in "Tar Wars". 4 minutes in, and they have already mentioned, By NAME: Clint Eastwood, Governor Arnold, Dustin Hoffman, John Wayne, AND Ace Ventura. Hells yeah.

Damn, it is only upon writing this that I realize there is NO WAY IN HELL I can give this series anything less than a perfect score. Any imperfections have been lost in the fog of time.

This Is My Childhood. This Is Awesomeness. This Is The Mighty One.
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Mighty Max is one of the funniest cartoons
joecho518 July 2006
All the characters in this cartoon were hilarious. Norman the Viking guardian had some memorable phrases and the skull master, the bad guy, would always be vowing to kill Max with some insane cackling. The writing is the best.

I was glued to the set when this would come on when I was younger. If they came out with a DVD of all the episodes they made I would be forced to buy it. This and a Conan the Barbarian cartoon are the ones I miss the most from childhood. I think these cartoons are the most unappreciated out of all the great cartoons. I used to watch these cartoons on channel 13 in the Los Angeles Area.

I remember the owl was always afraid, warning Max that he was in trouble and that he was the chosen one. Max didn't believe that he was the chosen one and always gave the owl trouble. Norman was less talkative but his simplicity was funny. He would say things like "I eat monsters for breakfast" when he was battling them. And then when he was battling zombies he would say "I eat zombies for...nevermind." Classic cartoon comedy and action.

I vote that they re-air Mighty Max.
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A surprisingly great cartoon in the same league as Batman:TAS and its ilk
Professor Chaos7 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A surprisingly great cartoon in the same league as Batman:TAS and its ilk, I enjoyed it in my youth and recently had been able to watch them all again, great voice acting from Tim Curry, Richard Moll, Tony Jay, and Maurice LaMarche in various roles. The only qualm I had was Rob Paulsons voice seemed a little too old for the title character, but that wasn't a big deal as the stories were great, and the fact that the whole thing has a great time loop twist ending. Some people say it was a cop-out, but I found it refreshing compared to many series that just leave things hanging. Hopefully one day they put this series out on DVD, unfortunately it came out at a time when DVD's weren't yet prevalent and the cartoon probably only served to sell a particular type of toy, which I never found appealing despite the entertaining cartoon.
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I miss Mighty Max
gracielmae31 March 2006
My b/f and I were reminiscing and we were talking about how cartoons were so much better when we were younger (about 10 years ago when we were about 9-10 years old or so). I loved this show..it reminds me so much of my elementary years. It was actually worth waking up on time on Saturday to watch this cartoon. It is sort of a faint memory, but all i can remember is how much i loved this show. I really liked Max and the chicken..or owl? (Virgil). We also remembered captain planet, the bugs bunny back then, smurfs,....so much more. I do wish they would show re-runs of this i think fans would appreciate it. anyways, i'll end it at this.
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One of the highlights of the 90's cartoon world
alpha-4829 April 2005
Mighty Max is a cartoon that both adults and kids alike can enjoy. The show is about Max, a pre-teen kid who suddenly finds himself in the role of a hero. The show has healthy doses of action, humor, and morality in every episode. Not only that, but it makes a great educational aide for geography, science, and mythology. All of the monsters and locations in the show are based on real civilizations or legends, and Max & crew travel all over the world to fight evil.

In fact, I liked the show so much, I created my own website covering all things Mighty Max. It's called the Mighty Max Portal - feel free to look it up if you'd like to know more about this show and its characters.
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My favorite show ....
pleiam45-112 January 2005
Mighty Max was my favorite show when I was in junior high. I think I first saw the show around '94 or '95. Good old memories they were. Max was a kids hero for his social skills, Norman for his cool wit and fast courageous strength, and Virgil for his wisdom. If this show comes out on DVD I will probably rent it, since acquiring material wealth is vain. Why should we acquire stuff since we are going to die? I think it has to do with the greatest and obviously the first lie ever conceived of, "Ye shall not surely die". This deception has been passed down generation to generation. And people live like death is a myth and then suddenly death comes upon them and then they feel betrayed (by themselves). Anyway, I see an abundance everyday of the vanity of humans and that their is only one person who can save them, but if they would only open their eyes to first see themselves for who they really are and where they are going and what needs to be done to correct the problem. Governments are the same way. What do they hope to gain by greed, envy, hate, murder, and lies. I say that they have the greater damnation seeing that it is better to do good than evil but choosing evil instead, and to gain what but death only. Every problem has a solution but to get the solution to the problem is indeed a supernatural act.
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I Miss The Max
Ginger8722 August 2004
I remember watching "Mighty Max" a few years ago on UPN weekday mornings before I went to school. I really enjoyed "Mighty Max" and was upset after UPN canceled it. One thing that attracted me to this show was the animation which I really liked. I also thought Max was cute for a cartoon character. I also liked the idea of a talking owl. That was cool. Max's friend Bea was cool, too.

My favorite "Mighty Max" episode is "A Bellwether in One's Cap", the first episode that started it all. I really enjoyed this episode and didn't want it to end. I also liked the episode "Max vs. Max".

I miss this show and hope I see it again one day. I give this show 9/10 stars.
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Bad animation, wedded to unique, quality writing
Judexdot120 March 2004
I discovered this as an adult, but, amongst the wasteland of cheesy toy commercials, it shone like a supernova. It was the usual limited animation, but there were was actual intelligence on display in the writing. (Quality writing appears to be less expensive than quality animation, in regards to this show, and many others. Too bad there isn't more of it around.) I really fell in love with it, when an episode showed up, that incorporated aspects of the Cthulhu mythos, only the 2nd cartoon I've ever seen do so. (the other was "The Real Ghostbusters", where Peter Venkman and crew, faced off against Cthulhu itself!). I always appreciate Lovecraft overtones, but this had so much more, even touching on the Arthurian mythology. A good blend of ideas and action. Put my vote in for a revival on "Cartoon Network", "Boomerang", or anybody that could show it. We Want Max!

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I loved it.
willywants7 December 2003
When I was younger, maybe 9 or 10, I can remember getting up early Saturday morning to watch MIGHTY MAX. It was a really great show. It had some cool monsters in it (Two-headed dragons, aliens, giant crabs, zombies, fish creatures....monster galore!), appealing if not high-tech animation, swift paces and good twists. I so miss you, mighty max. Perhaps some day Mighty Max will be shown on cartoon network, until then.........WE MISS YOU, MAX!!!!!
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ravendark12231 July 2001
Mighty Max, while sounding like another mindless juvenile adventure cartoon akin to Captain Planet or Thundercats, was actually an extremely well written, intelligent series. As a young fantasy geek, it satisfied my hunger for mythological content and was told in a witty yet gripping way. I miss getting up early every Saturday to see the adventures of Mighty Max, Virgil and Norm as they battled with the likes of Skullmaster and Dr Zygote. Many of my current interests I attribute to the Mighty One, and I wish the Cartoon Network would be kind enough to pick it up, along with similar quality animated series such as Conan the Adventurer, and Ghostbusters.
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An underrated and now obscure vision of unique value and quality...
SciBry29 October 2000
'Mighty Max' was a surprisingly well-made and, though based on a quaintly narrow concept, very well written and animated journey. Max, the young 'Cap Bearer' is accidently and unwantedly bestowed with the age-old responsibilities of protecting Earth from the diabolical Skullmaster and his army of minions who try desperately to emerge from the planet's depths [The Skullmaster yearns for the cap so he can gain ultimate control and mobility] while the boy just wants to maintain a normal life. Supporting characters like the ancient, wise retrospectively out-of-date], owl, Virgil and sworn bodyguard, Norman, give Max's naive quest against the Skullmaster both a chance and comedic action as each episode begins with a multitude of interesting ways for summoning Max to his current mission [i.e. Virigil slipping the message into nearby objects and such - unexpectedly interrupting his fun times. I recommend, though I have yet to find it in local syndication, that if this well-done program becomes available again, to give it an unobjective chance and stick around for the finale which makes the whole program complete in a spectacular finish. It's not just another 'kid's show,' but rather another classic example of good sci-fi production subjected to stereotypical myths.
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Op_Prime2 August 2000
This show was not one of those not funny and lame shows, Mighty Max did not have the best animation, but the writing was excellent. Far above that of most children shows. It was great from start to finish. I really like the series finale, taking the show back to the beginning.
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One of the best cartoons ever
Chad K.22 March 2000
I've found that as I've grown older I've become more fond of animation as I've come to appreciate it in my career. As a result, I've found that some cartoons stand out among others as being exceptional. Mighty Max is one of them. The show was intriguing, well told, and ended in such a unique way its inspirationally.

The story was about destiny, and the power of good over evil. It spanned every aspect of adventure and bravery imaginable, and it reaffirmed the strength of the inner heart. No story could have communicated such a complex message so simply. If the show is ever made available to you, I suggest you give it a look. Share it with your children. Listen to the messages. Enjoy the action. This is entertainment at its absolute best.
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Mighty Max was unique and very special to me
morgaine-517 March 2000
I began watching this show when I was in junior high. I taped a few episodes and, watching them now, I still enjoy them as much as ever. "Mighty Max" was one of the best cartoons, if not the best, ever, in my opinion. It was educational, exciting, funny and very well-done. It wasn't just a kiddie show about things getting blown-up. It was about the eternal struggle of good vs. evil, about growing up, about friendship and faith in yourself. I guess Max is, in a way, the part of each of us that is always a carefree kid. A very special kid, however. It was amusing and nice to have the fate of the world so often resting on a kid my age. I love this show, and I wish there was more about it around. I highly recommend it.
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Poor animation, top grade writing and acting.
Whelk-231 July 1999
I loved this series, having caught it on afternoon TV. The pacing was taut, the story lines held together, and the characters were likeable. Also good were the character designs, both for the protagonists and the villains. I only regret that this series only lasted a season. If it comes on the Cartoon Network I highly recommend it.
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One of the most underrated animated series on television
Brad L. Wooldridge17 May 1999
Mighty Max, based primarily upon a micro-sized toy line, was a terrific animated series which died prematurely but will always be remembered. Max, a young pre-teen, is the "Cap Bearer", a mystical warrior who is transported all over the world in order to combat evil in many forms. Along for the ride is Virgil, a Lemurian and a sentient owl, and Norman, a Nordic warrior, voiced excellently by Richard Moll. This series was well-animated and acted, and presented good storylines and memorable villains including Skullmaster, maliciously voiced by Tim Curry. The series ender was very peculiarly made, in that it ends with Max and his comrades beginning their adventures all over again, making the show seem seamless, but nonetheless sad. I was privileged to view Mighty Max on a Canadian satellite wild-feed, and taped much of the series, but true fans should petition channels such as Cartoon Network to present Mighty Max to its fans and potential viewers.
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