HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Chasing the Dragon
Into the Forest
Limehouse Golem, The
Frankenstein '80
Good Time
Bucket of Blood, A
Detroit
Hide and Seek
What Happened to Monday
River Wild, The
Veteran
Slumber Party '57
Juliette, or Key of Dreams
Summertime Killer
Sweet Virginia
Ben & Arthur
Your Name
Red Hot Shot, The
New World
Trick Baby
Weapons of Death
Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World, The
Kills on Wheels
Strait-Jacket
This Man is Dangerous
Burning Paradise
Away
Mistress of the Apes
Incredible Paris Incident
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
   
 
Newest Articles
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agn├Ęs: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
   
 
  Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol And Goodwill To All MenBuy this film here.
Year: 1962
Director: Abe Levitow
Stars: Jim Backus, Morey Amsterdam, Jack Cassidy, Royal Dano, Paul Frees, Joan Gardner, John Hart, Jane Keen, Marie Matthews, Laura Olsher, Les Tremayne
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Animated, Fantasy, TV Movie
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mr Magoo (voiced by Jim Backus) is now a star on Broadway! He is beside himself with joy as his celebrity is all down to his work in a stage adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, here he plays its central character Ebenezer Scrooge, and he is on his way to appear in the lead tonight, though thanks to his short-sightedness, he is half an hour late and the director is at his wits' end. To compound matters, Magoo mistakes the restaurant next to the theatre for the theatre itself, and is escorted from the premises still believing he had it right, not wrong, but soon he has been frogmarched to the wings and is ready to take his role in his moment of triumph.

Mr Magoo was one of the stars in animation house U.P.A.'s crown, probably the most famous of their characters, though he fell out of favour in more recent years when his central gimmick of not being able to see very well was accused of being insensitive, especially when he was featured in a Leslie Nielsen-starring live action movie which was a resounding flop and seemed to put paid to any further revivals of any kind of enthusiasm. However, one artefact of that once global popularity remained a feature of the Yuletide television schedules, and that was this version of Dickens which he had appeared in, back when the Scrooge story was not as well-trodden as it is today.

Every major, recurring, cartoon character has a Christmas special in them, or so it would seem, but Magoo got in their first, showing up before Charlie Brown made the definitive variation and Rankin-Bass flooded the market with their festive shorts, so he could correctly be observed to have started the trend. Certainly, if you saw this at the right age it would be among your favourites, even finding it scary or sad if you were young enough, though the question remained: would you find it funny? Magoo was a comical character, yet for almost the entire feature he doesn't get any amusing lines or so much as a sniff at a comedy set-up, as the tale is related with surprisingly straight faces all round.

Arguably it took till 1983 and Disney's casting of Scrooge McDuck in in the lead for Mickey's Christmas Carol for one of the big cartoons to get this right, but Mr Magoo retained the pleasingly stylised look of his other productions, and had songs by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill though Backus did not possess one of the most pleasant singing voices you'll ever hear, and when he was doing the Magoo voice it was not much better, though good on him for trying. Another U.P.A. fixture was Gerald McBoing-Boing, and he showed up as Tiny Tim, even if the thought of little Gerald (who speaks normally here) dying thanks to the bone-chilling winter cold was perhaps grimmer than the programme makers would have intended - good thing about that happy ending, huh?

As it was, this was pretty faithful to Dickens, though the Ghosts of Christmas Present and Past were switched for reasons that nobody seems entirely clear on. But while there have been funny variants of the tale since, this one was assuredly not that as it may have been bookended with humorous passages (though how funny the crushing to death of the stage director was is something for your conscience to decide), the central portion did not even make much play of Magoo's central conceit, that he could not see very well. Indeed, he had no trouble in seeing everything set before him, and did not need spectacles to do so, making the notion of Magoo as Scrooge both an ingenious method of getting the audience to know the tale yet also purely coasting on his name recognition to get the audiences tuning in for the message about peace and goodwill and God bless us, everyone (and keep watching the commercial breaks, thanks). This was actually released into cinemas after it was such a hit, but it really was a case of needing to see it young to have it connect with you; everyone else may wonder what the fuss was about.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 108 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Shrimpton
  Rachel Franke
Jason Cook
Darren Jones
Keith Rockmael
   

 

Last Updated: