Mouse on the Mayflower

The Mouse on the Mayflower
Written by Romeo Muller
Directed by Jules Bass
Arthur Rankin, Jr.
Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford
John Gary
Eddie Albert
Joanie Sommers
Paul Frees
June Foray
Music by Maury Laws (music)
Jules Bass (lyrics)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Jules Bass
Arthur Rankin, Jr.
Running time 45 minutes
Production company(s) Rankin/Bass Productions
Toei Animation (animation)
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network NBC
Original release
  • November 23, 1968 (1968-11-23)

The Mouse on the Mayflower is a 1968 animated Thanksgiving television special created by Rankin/Bass and animated by Japanese studio Toei Animation. It was the first official special under the Rankin/Bass moniker after changing its name from Videocraft the previous year. It debuted on NBC on November 23, 1968.[1] The special is about a church mouse named Willum, who is discovered on the Mayflower. Tennessee Ernie Ford voices Willum and narrates.[2]


The famous ship called Mayflower is trapped amidst a huge storm. The entire story is narrated by a church-mouse called Willum, from his viewpoint. The tale begins with the pilgrim preachers deciding to move to America and getting aboard the Mayflower. However, because of the huge storm, the ship gets on the verge of sinking. Then, Willum, the pilgrim mouse, comes up with an idea to save the ship.

When the pilgrims land safely, they write the Mayflower Compact and start constructing their new church and colony. However, it is already the autumn season and they do not have much food stored for the winter. The pilgrims then learn to plant crops during the spring season and celebrate a big feast toward the onset of the autumn season or fall. This is their first Thanksgiving celebration.


Additional voices


Home media

The Mouse on the Mayflower was first released on VHS by Family Home Entertainment in 1989 and 1993. Sony Wonder and Golden Books Family Entertainment also released the special on VHS in the Holiday Classics Collection line in 1998.


  1. Lowry, Cynthia (26 November 1968). "Critic liked ice show by Miss Fleming". Retrieved 4 December 2010.
  2. "Mayflower mouse returns". Sumter Daily Item. 21 November 1970. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
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