|Developed by||Mark Zaslove|
|Voices of||Rob Paulsen|
|Theme music composer||John D'Andrea & Cory Lerios|
|Country of origin||France|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||40 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers||Phil Roman|
|Running time||21 minutes|
|Production companies||Bluebird Toys|
|Original network||Syndication (Amazin' Adventures)|
|Original release||1 September 1993 –|
2 December 1994
Mighty Max is an American animated action/horror television series that aired from 1 September 1993, to 2 December 1994, based upon the British Mighty Max toys, an outgrowth of the Polly Pocket line, created by Bluebird Toys in 1992. It ran for two seasons, with a total of 40 episodes airing during the show's run.
The series follows Max, an adventurous teenage boy who receives in the mail a small statue of a fowl, inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs whereof the translation states: "You have been chosen to be the cap-bearer. Go to the mini-mart and wait for a sign, Mighty Max". Shocked by the message, Max drops the statue, shattering it and revealing a red baseball cap emblazoned with a yellow "M", which he dons. The cap is capable of projecting wormhole-like "portals" through which Max can teleport across space and time.
Upon arriving at the mini-mart, Max is chased by a lava-monster sent by antagonist 'Skullmaster'. As Max flees, the cap teleports them to the Mongolian desert, where he befriends Virgil, a nearly omniscient Lemurian whose appearance is that of an anthropomorphic "fowl" (a running gag in the series is that Max refers to Virgil as a "chicken" to which the Lemurian replies "Fowl, actually"), who explains that Max's reception of the cap was prophesied c. 3000 B.C. Thereafter Max, Virgil, and Norman, his Viking bodyguard, travel together around the world, defending Earth against the minions of Skullmaster, who is responsible for the downfall of the Lemurians. Norman is supposedly immortal and identified as or with Sir Lancelot, Thor, Samson, and Hercules. Most plot-driving episodes involve Skullmaster or one of his monstrous followers; but in many episodes, Max is required to stop an independent villain. While all episodes involve travel across Earth, one involves time travel, and the portal can even extend into the astral plane (as seen in the episode "Souls of Talon").
While generally lighthearted and comical, the show's violence and descriptions of violent acts were considered excessive by some viewers. Many episodes began with a depiction of the story's principal monster killing a victim, whereas the series finale featured Max, Norman, and Virgil pitted against Skullmaster and their previously defeated foes. Both Norman and Virgil are killed, leaving Max to defeat Skullmaster. Unable to do so, Max uses the cap in order to time travel to the events of the first episode, creating a time paradox. At first, he experiences déjà vu, but after he reads Virgil's modified letter, he recalls everything, and decides to use the knowledge he gained from the initial timeline to set it right in order to defeat Skullmaster once and for all.
Main article: List of Mighty Max episodes
Select episodes of the show were released on VHS in NTSC and PAL formats.
The series has never been available on DVD or any digital service.
In all episodes, a short ending scene preludes the credits, wherein Max is shown at his desk in his room, where he discusses with the audience some aspect of the episode in an educational way (similar to other children's cartoon series, including The Magic School Bus), usually the location where the events took place, the type of monster that was fought, etc. Occasionally, Max is shown in another setting such as a library or museum, or is simply heard recorded on an answering machine (such as "Armageddon Outta Here", the series finale); but these sequences were not broadcast on some channels, such as the British terrestrial airings on BBC1 (though included on the Nickelodeon airings). Generally, the educational messages at the end of each shows were of scientific, historical, or cultural significance (for example, the mythology of another culture; new astronomical theories of the time; the biology of a giant squid; or the fact that Native Americans were first believed to be Indians by European explorers).
In addition to the epilogue, facts are unobtrusively given in show, often by Virgil's comment.
Main article: Mighty Max (toyline)
The merchandising was far more popular than the show itself. Mighty Max toys were sold as play-sets of varying sizes with very small (usually non-articulated) figurines inside. Each play-set contained a Mighty Max figure as well as one or more villains and sometimes Virgil, Norman, or both. There were a small series of larger, more expensive play-sets with various mechanical and electronic features such as opening jaws (on an island play-set shaped as a dragon's head) and lights. Almost all episodes of the TV series were based at least loosely on one of the Mighty Max play-sets.
In 1994, due to the popularity of the play-sets at the time, the McDonald's Happy Meal offered a toy play-set featuring Mighty Max.
In February 1995, a video game, The Adventures of Mighty Max, was released for the SNES and Sega Genesis/Mega Drive (which were packaged with a VHS copy of Day of the Cyclops and Let Sleeping Dragons Lie, respectively.) A handheld game was also released by Tiger Electronics and Systema.
The show generated other merchandise such as a comic book (10 issues), a sticker album, at least one puzzle, and board games. In some countries, replicas of Max's cap were sold, although not all are officially licensed merchandise.