(ABC, September 8-December 22, 1973)
Rick Springfield – Himself
Lola Fisher – Miss Tickle
Howard Morris – Socks, Vinnie, Mr. Samuels
Erika Scheimer – Kim, Carol
Lane Scheimer – Harvey, Franklin
ABC had entered into an arrangement to help promote Springfield and felt that the cartoon would be a good showcase for his music. It was decided that while Miss Tickle would be the children’s steward, Springfield would be their guide once they went through the portal with his owl Ptolemy (named for the Greek mathematician and astronomer and playing with Tut-Tut on the nonsensical poem “The Owl and the Pussycat” by Edward Lear); either filling them in on the goings on or actively calling for their help through a magic gramophone in dealing with situations like thieves, despots and disasters. Springfield would go on to write and perform a song in each episode related in some way to the story, albeit in truncated form to accommodate episode runtimes, and the series’ theme. Fisher, an accomplished singer herself, was able to perform a song of her own in an episode—not written by Springfield—as well as some melodic spell casting. According to Scheimer in the book Creating the Filmation Generation, she likely would have had more opportunities had Springfield not been involved. Carol was depicted as having a crush on Rick, not unlike the legion of his young female fans.
Mission: Magic! debuted on ABC on September 8, 1973, airing alongside The Brady Kids. This was one of the few Filmation series to not rely heavily on stock footage, making it one of the more expensive they produced. Outside of the main characters, each new world they visited necessitated new designs for both them and their related characters. It was a way to give the series a different look, compared by Scheimer to a Peter Max painting or the designs for Yellow Submarine, and to make sure each place fit the story being told. Additionally, the musical numbers would be accompanied by their own kind of psychedelic visuals. In typical Filmation fashion, each story contained a pro-social message. Marc Richards wrote the entirety of the series as he did with The Brady Kids, and the rest of the series’ music was composed by Ray Ellis and Norm Prescott as Yvette Blais and Jeff Michael, respectively.