|12 Oz. Mouse|
|Genre:||Animated, Surrealist Comedy, Mystery, Thriller|
|Created by:||Matt Maiellaro|
|Episodes||31 (2 specials and 1 webisode)|
12 Oz. Mouse was a television show that originally hosted on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. Each episode was along 11 - 12 minutes long, and ran for two seasons on television, with the third season exclusive for the adult swim website. The show was composed of crude drawings using limited animation, and consisting mostly of random use of gun violence, or alcohol.
The plot revolves a bizarre conspiracy that seems to take nonsensical turns or twists. Although the show can become non-linear, each episode hints that it contributes to a bigger story. The show is serialized, with each episode continuing from the last.
The series originally started on June 2005, with the first episode "Hired" being a special summer presentation, with the rest of the season airing in October 2005 to January 2006. The second season started on September 2006, and the show concluded on December 2006. The show's plot unresolved, the third season premiered on May 2007 exclusive to adult swim network. So far, only one episode has been released.
On October 14th, 2018, Adult Swim aired a newly produced 12 oz. Mouse special titled "INVICTUS". The plot of the special follows Fitz living in the new world, as his friends are still trapped in Q109. He gets help from an Exterminator to save his friends from the simulation. After the special aired, an editor for Adult Swim confirmed that the series would be greenlighted for 10 more episodes in 2020.
The third season premiered unexpectedly on March 31, 2020 as part of that year's Adult Swim's Annual April Fools Prank stunt. The first 10 episodes from the third season premiered nightly (except weekends) from July 20 to July 31, 2020. The ending credits of both "Invictus" and the season 3 episodes feature a song by Amaranthe.
In February 2021, it was revealed that the show would not be picked up for a fourth season.
According to Maiellaro, the series was pitched as a table read to the network. He jokingly stated that they accepted it after claiming that production costs would total "five dollars and will take some of the paper sitting in the copier." Maiellaro borrowed inspiration from surrealism and the films of David Lynch.He intended for the series to lack continuity starting from the pilot, but established a serial format after starting to work on the second episode. He had constructed an ending for the series as well as a detailed map of characters; however, the series finale concluded differently from planned. In November 2006, Maiellaro mentioned the possibility of continuing the series with webisodes, and he wrote five additional scripts for ending the series, but finally, he only produced one webisode, entitled "Enter the Sandmouse".
Radical Axis provided animation for the series using Final Cut Pro. Described as "lo-fi animation", Maiellaro crudely designed the characters as a cost-cutting measure, with the exception of Amalockh, a many-armed monster summoned in the season two episode "Corndog Chronicles", which was drawn and animated by Todd Redner at the studio, and Shark, which was borrowed from the Space Ghost Coast to Coast episode "Kentucky Nightmare". In a behind-the-scenes clip of the show, Maiellaro explained that to animate the series, he would first grab a nearby sheet of copy paper, draw something, and then scan it, followed by him sending the file to an animator. Rhoda, a character from the series, was drawn on the back of a script page for Perfect Hair Forever. A scan of the paper revealed the textual contents behind it, which Maiellaro decided to leave in.
Maiellaro cast people around his office to voice the characters. He provides the voice of the protagonist, Mouse Fitzgerald. He originally only gave the scratch dialogue for the character during production of the pilot episode, but chose himself to voice Mouse regularly after hearing his lines assembled in the final cut. Kurt Soccolich was chosen by Maiellaro to voice Rectangular Businessman, who "already had that sort of smooth arrogance in his voice", making him a "perfect" fit for him. Matt Harrigan was selected to voice Liquor, who is "always looking to make light of a situation", according to Maiellaro.
Nick Weidenfeld provides the voice of Peanut Cop; Melissa Warrenburg portrays an annoying woman in a green sweater, who Maiellaro dubs "Robogirl". Bonnie Rosmarin voices Man/Woman, picked for what Maiellaro stated is a "pouty, stand-offish quality" in her delivery. Nick Ingkatanuwat voices The Eye and Adam Reed plays Shark. Vocalist of Nine Pound Hammer Scott Luallen voices Roostre; the band also composed the opening theme song for the series. Golden Joe is voiced by Vishal Roney; after hearing his first take on the character, Maiellaro explained that he was left unable to write any of his lines. He proceeded to only provide the basic structure of his lines in the script, instructing him to retroscript the rest.
Title sequence and music
Maiellaro spent three weeks working with Ingkatanuwat on putting together the set for the opening title sequence. The set was filmed with a motion control camera, and was inserted with miniature explosives and smoke bombs for special effect. Nine Pound Hammer composed the opening theme song; Maiellaro sought for a song representing the "carefree" lifestyle of Mouse who "does things like drive drunk, film porno and shoot guns". Maiellaro, who plays the electric guitar in his free time, also composed the song "F-Off", featured in both the first episode and in "Auraphull", which he wrote while working on Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Swedish heavy metal band, Amaranthe performed the credits theme song for the 2018 special, "Invictus" and episodes 2-11 of season 3.
New Years Marathon (2005)
A marathon aired on the night of New Year's Eve 2005 on Adult Swim, consisting of the first six episodes of season 1, and concluding with then unfinished season finale, "Adventure Mouse."
The bumps aired during the marathon featured new scenes, such as:
- Fitz and Skillet surfing.
- Fitz and Skillet shooting at a skeleton.
- Fitz & Skillet continue shooting at the skeleton to pieces.
- Peanut Cop getting blown up by a bomb at Rhoda's Bar.
- Peanut Cop gets blown up on streets by a another bomb.
- Peanut Cop in a crudely drawn Jail Cell gets blown up by a bomb.
- Green Sweater Woman talking to Liquor in his liquor store.
- Green Sweater Woman complaining to the Producer Man with flowers.
- Eye tap dancing on an island.
- In "Eighteen", Eye claims that this 'eyeland' is his home.
- Fitz playing his guitar at the Music Void.
- Golden Joe reading an excerpt from The Great Gatsby.
Audience reception was generally mixed. Animated tv praised the uncomplicated story line, while commonsense media panned saying that it's a "bizarre, booze-steeped cartoon for adults." Some viewers have praised the comedic value of the show, while most have panned it for it's use of limited animation.
A DVD release of the complete series was released February 29, 2008 (leap year), exclusively on the Williams Street shop. The DVD cover depicts Leonardo's The Last Supper with the series' characters replacing Christ and the twelve apostles. However, under a black light, the cover depicts the skeletons of the characters, as well as letters and symbols which make out an email address. The series is presented as a single, continuous movie, with newly produced footage bridging the gaps between episodes. It also features production footage, new music, the episode "Auraphull" in its entirety and collected fan art. The show's first two seasons were officially added to HBO Max on December 31st, 2020. The third season was added to HBO Max later on in 2021.
- The hip hop duo Danger Doom has produced a song inspired by 12 oz. Mouse entitled "Korn Dogz" from their EP Occult Hymn. The song uses audio clips from the episode "Rooster", with the line "Corn dogs for the picking" being recited by Danger Doom's MC MF Doom and Mouse Fitzgerald.
- A scene from the episode "Spharktasm" is visible on Space Ghost's monitor on the movie adaption of Matt Maiellaro's other Adult Swim show, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters.
- Matt Maiellaro's Interviews on the 12 Oz. Mouse, here's the link.
- Two websites called "Corndog Central", and "12 oz. Mouse Central" decided to the show are available to check out. Here's the links, also the latter website hasn't been updated since May 2nd, 2010.