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Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol Blu Ray

The classic Dickens tale in a classic animated special

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Music and Myopic Mayhem with Mr. Magoo at Christmastime

  • Dec 7, 2013
Even though I was familiar with Mr. Magoo, unlike many people, I had never seen MR. MAGOO'S CHRISTMAS CAROL on television. Therefore, I don't quite have the same affection for it that many people seem to.

In terms of story, MR. MAGOO'S CHRISTMAS CAROL is a show-within-a-show: Mr. Magoo is starring as Scrooge in a Broadway adaptation of Dicken's A Christmas Carol. He plays the role well and the story is fairly close to the original story. However, things are enlivened a bit by the typical sight gags that always accompany Mr. Magoo. The Broadway show is bookend by segments of Mr. Magoo's journey to the theatre and his destruction of the set pieces after the show has ended. The special features the vocal talent of the delightful Jim Backus as Mr. Magoo as well as several other famous voice actors of the time (the show originally aired in December 1962).

Although the story follows Dicken's basic outline, there are some major differences. The biggest difference is the music because this isn't just a cartoon that's about a show on Broadway: it's a musical, too. The music was written by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill. Besides Mr. Magoo, it is the songs and music that people seem to remember most about this special.

Other changes in the story include the appearance of the Ghost of Christmas Present before the Ghost of Christmas Past, the elimination of Scrooge's nephew Fred, and the eradication of the metaphorical children Ignorance and Want. Personally, I found the switching of the ghosts of Christmas Past and Present to be confusing and I didn't like that Scrooge's nephew Fred doesn't exist in this version of the story because I've always found Fred to be a character that made Scrooge seem more human and feel even more like a real person; Fred's the only family he has and the only thing in his life before the ghosts appear that really attaches himself to the man he once was. The animation was fairly top-of-the line for the time it was made. However, there are moments (such as what the Ghost of Christmas Present is and how it appears) that seem rather crude nowadays.

Overall, MR. MAGOO'S CHRISTMAS CAROL is an entertaining, musical Christmas cartoon. It has more appeal for those who grew up watching it and those who are fans of Mr. Magoo, but there are elements that have a special appeal for modern audiences who have no attachment to or nostalgia for Mr. Magoo.

The Blu-ray of the special includes a slipcase with an illustrated booklet about the making of the special and a DVD copy of the special. Special features on the Blu-ray include a commentary.

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More Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol Bl... reviews
review by . November 24, 2012
posted in Pass The Remote!
Surprisingly good with razzleberry dressing!
(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 …
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