“Do you believe, believe in magic?”
If an association with The Brady Bunch was good enough for Davy Jones, why couldn’t another emerging teen idol use the power of Brady to spark some increased career exposure? In the case of Mission: Magic, Australian singer Rick Springfield lent his likeness, name and music to this animated Saturday morning series, an offshoot of The Brady Kids, to conjure up a little extra name recognition with record-buying youngsters.
The animated version of Springfield, wearing a white pullover sweater adorned with the letter “R,” lived in an alternate universe where trouble was always brewing in one form or another. His contact in the “real world” was a mild-mannered schoolteacher named Miss Tickle. Whenever trouble arose, Rick would summons the teacher through a magic gramophone and Miss Tickle would respond. Drawing a chalk door on her blackboard, she, her pet cat Tut-Tut, and six of her teenage students – Vinnie, Carol, Harvey, Kim, Franklin and Socks – would travel through the portal to lend a hand to Rick and his pet owl, Ptolemy. (The pet cat and owl were a nod to a 19th century children’s poem called The Owl and the Pussycat).
While the school’s principal, Mr. Samuels, didn’t take too kindly to all of these supernatural goings on at his school, the adventures of the group generally proved to be somewhat education, both for the teens on the show and viewers watching from home, as they often traveled into mythical worlds that had their roots in classic children’s literature.
The show served its purpose quite well for Rick Springfield. When the cartoon aired, he was primarily known in his native Australia, with only one small hit record in the U.S. But bigger things were on the horizon, including a role on the soap opera General Hospital, and a mega-hit called “Jesse’s Girl.” The Midas touch of those misfit moppets, The Brady Kids, certainly worked a little magic on his career. Sadly, the same charm just couldn’t be conjured up for poor cousin Oliver.
If you have fond memories of tuning into Mission: Magic every Saturday morning, we’d love to hear your memories in our comments section, as we tip our hats to another classic Saturday morning show from the 70s.