(special thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy!)
Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol was the first animated Christmas special to be produced. It predates pretty much any other Christmas special you can think of, really, and it is…surprisingly good.
You know the basic story, I should hope. A miserly man is visited by three spirits on Christmas Eve night (well, technically four, and it’s more like Christmas morning in the very, very wee hours), these spirits remind him of what his past was, show him the present and give him a glimpse of the future. This has a salutary effect on the man, who vows to be a better person and is soon beloved by all.
Now, then. This is an animated version of this classic Dickens tale and features Mr. Magoo (voiced by Jim Backus), in the Scrooge role. Beyond that, it is a surprisingly straightforward and faithful adaptation of the story. We don’t have (many) scenes of Scrooge bumping into things and apologizing to them (which wouldn’t work for his character anyhow), and while there are songs, there aren’t that many, though one of them did remind me that I probably saw this as a little kid back in the 1970s.
In addition to the show, you get a raft of bonus features, including a bit on the making of and a bit of audio commentary. Not bad for a TV program that could predate the birth of the grandparents of some of the children likely to view this.
Overall I found this a charming, entertaining program. It was far better than I expected, and I really think it’s worth picking up if you want a friendly, sweet, good adaptation of the Dickens story.
What did you think of this review?