|Also known as||¡Mucha Lucha!: Gigante (season 3)|
|Created by||Eddie Mort|
|Developed by||Michael Ryan|
|Directed by||Alfred Gimeno (season 1)|
Ken Kessel (seasons 2 and 3)
|Voices of||Carlos Alazraqui|
Jason Marsden (S3)
|Theme music composer||Chicos de Barrio|
|Opening theme||¡Mucha Lucha! performed by Chicos de Barrio|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||52 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer||Sander Schwartz|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production companies||Fwak! Animation|
Warner Bros. Animation
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original network||Kids' WB|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
|Audio format||Dolby Surround (2002–03)|
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (2003–05)
|Original release||August 17, 2002 –|
February 26, 2005
¡Mucha Lucha! (subtitled Gigante during its third and final season) is an American animated television series that premiered on Kids' WB, Teletoon, and Canal 5 from August 17, 2002, to February 26, 2005. It was created by Eddie Mort and Lili Chin and produced by Warner Bros. Animation. It is the first animated television series intended for children created with Adobe Flash, a program which became widely used as a medium for animation in the years.
On January 4, 2005, the direct-to-video feature film ¡Mucha Lucha!: The Return of El Maléfico was based on the series.
The show is set in Luchaville, a fictional town in Southern California centered on lucha libre where nearly everyone in that town wears a mask (which they are never seen without) and costume and has a well-known move. The series mainly centers on three friends, Rikochet, Buena Girl, and the Flea, as they struggle through the Foremost World-Renowned International School of Lucha, where they study.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||August 17, 2002||February 8, 2003|
|2||26||September 13, 2003||January 21, 2005|
|Gigante||13||September 11, 2004||February 26, 2005|
|Movie||October 5, 2004|
¡Mucha Lucha! was the brainchild of Eddie Mort and Lili Chin for Kids' WB. Mort began his animation career working for Disney Television Animation in Sydney before leaving to work at Nickelodeon in Australia, where he animated several shorts for the network, including the Adventures of Hot Chunks and Snout. Lili Chin worked as an assistant animator on The Silver Brumby, and as a clean-up artist for Skippy: Adventures in Bushtown. Chin and Mort launched Fwak! Animation, a Sydney-based animation studio, in 2000. Through Fwak!, Mort and Chin made the short Lucha School in 2001, which featured a fourth character that never made it into the series "Psiclone". Lucha School would then be pitched to Warner Bros. Animation and Bardel Entertainment in the early 2000s. Bardel Entertainment would later produce the animation for shows like Teen Titans Go! and Rick and Morty. The pitch was a success, and Kids' WB gave the show the green light afterwards.
It was often regarded as one of the first fully-made flash cartoons produced for television. However, it is not the first flash animated television series in general; as that honor went to the 2001 short-lived television series John Callahan's Quads!, which was exclusive to Teletoon and the Special Broadcasting Service. The second flash television series was Max & Ruby, another Canadian animated series. However, ¡Mucha Lucha! was still considered the first fully-made flash animated series for American television, and was also the first truly successful flash television series. During production, the entire series was produced in widescreen. However, it was aired with an SD format. The widescreen version was never released to the public until it became available for streaming.
Several show creators did end up working on the show before moving on to other projects, including Ciro Nieli, who would later create Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), as well as Julie McNally-Cahill and Timothy Cahill, who later created My Gym Partner's a Monkey and Littlest Pet Shop (2012), as well as Sandra Equihua and Jorge R. Gutierrez, who later created El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera. By season 2, the series marked Peter Hastings' return to Warner Bros.
During the first season, ¡Mucha Lucha! would provide morals at the beginning of episodes through title cards. Rikochet, Buena Girl, and the Flea would give viewers statements on what a true luchador would do. For example, Rikochet gives a true luchador statement in the first episode "Back to School", and the statement goes like this: "A True Luchador knows the only thing to fear is fear itself. Oh, and bullies." These statements were not shown in the following seasons.
The theme song was performed by Chicos de Barrio, with a remixed version done by Mambotron for season 3.
During its first two seasons, the show also features music by Michael Tavera, who previously made music for Cartoon Network's Time Squad, and would later make music for shows such as Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Yin Yang Yo!, and The Secret Saturdays.
By season 3, under Gigante, Tavera would not have any involvement, as he was replaced with Mambotron for the music, consisting of Nicolas Barry, Tomas Jacobi, Rene Garza Aldape, and Chuy Flores.
The show also featured some licensed songs. All of which, along with the show's theme song. would be released as part of the show's official soundtrack.
The show was also seen on Kids' WB in the United States, Teletoon in Canada, Kix in the United Kingdom, and Canal 5 in Mexico from August 17, 2002, until February 26, 2005. It also premiered on Cartoon Network internationally in 2003, and in U.S in 2004. In March 2007, the show began its first rerun on Miguzi, and was later replaced with Ben 10 for the last slot before Miguzi was shut down in the same year. The final rerun of the show lasted from 2008 to 2009, and it was removed from the lineup in 2010.
In Region 1, Warner Home Video has released one compilation on DVD and VHS that contained the first six segment-episodes from season one, titled Heart of Lucha, on August 23, 2003. The direct-to-video movie The Return of El Maléfico, was released on October 5, 2004, exclusively at Walmart, while other retailers released it on January 4, 2005, during the third and final season.
In 2019, ¡Mucha Lucha! was available remastered for the first time in High Definition for home viewers and became available on demand through Amazon Prime.
In 2022, The show became available for streaming on HBO Max in Latin American countries, also using the High Definition remasters.
A toy line based on the show was released by Jakks Pacific in 2004. In this toy line included "Mix-a-Lot" action figures; these had removable body parts that could be placed on the bodies of other action figures in the series. "Signature Move" action figures were also put out, along with a toy wrestling ring. However, the second series of the toy line was canceled.
During the summer of 2003, DC Comics published a three-issue mini-series of comic books based on ¡Mucha Lucha! All three of the stories featured in these comic books were written by Eddie Mort, and have even been occasionally referenced in the TV series.
The show was licensed for a Game Boy Advance video game, Mascaritas of the Lost Code, in late 2003, and also a Sony PlayStation 2 video game, Mysterioso Grande, was slated for release, but was cancelled around 2004 as the creators could not find a publisher.