Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The classic holiday tale A Christmas Carol is given a different spin here, thanks to the almost blind Mr. Magoo and his friends. As we all know, one Ebenezer Scrooge (as played by Mr. Magoo) is a tightwad and a slavemaster, who works his men hard and pays them little, never thinking a second thought about his actions. Even when his employee Bob Cratchit needs some extra cash to help his young son’s disability, Scrooge refuses and balks at the idea that his worker would even dream of asking for such a gesture. But soon enough, Scrooge will learn that the holidays are times to be kind and generous, not mean, bitter, and selfish. He is visited by a trio of ghostly spirits, each of whom has a different vision for Scrooge to endure, none of which are the kind of thing he wishes to see, to say the least. But if anyone can ignore the warnings of three ghostly visitors, it would be Scrooge, so they’ll need to make their points well taken. Will Scrooge be shown the true value of kindness, or will he stay cruel forever?

That lovable old codger Mr. Magoo is back and this time, he’s here to deck the halls and spread all kinds of holiday cheer. This television special was first broadcast back in 1962, but it remains just as entertaining, since Magoo hasn’t left pop culture’s viewpoint. Magoo might not be as popular as he used to be, but there’s still a substantial market for his materials and of course, fans will love this holiday themed feature. All things considered, this is much better than you might assume and while it is tried & tested material, the Magoo angle adds some freshness. In terms of animation however, Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol leaves a lot to be desired, with flat character designs, simplistic visuals, and lifeless, overly basic animation. But then again, this was made in 1962 to be shown on television, so I suppose we shouldn’t expect a visual masterpiece. Aside from the antics of Magoo himself, perhaps the most memorable aspect of this project is the music, which features songs by Jule Styne and Bob Merill, who also worked on Funny Girl’s musical content. I don’t think this tops the list of animated holiday releases, but if you’re a fan of Magoo and love the classic story, then by all means, settle in and watch Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol with your loved ones. Classic Media’s disc is very good and worth the cash, so its more than recommended.

Video: How does it look?

Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol is presented in a full frame transfer, as intended. I had the older laserdisc release and it looked solid, but this new disc improves on it all respects. The first thing I noticed was a sharper, more refined overall image, even for a 1962 animated television production, this looks very sharp on the whole. The print has some light specks here and there, but looks better than you might expect, given its age and such. The colors have faded a touch and contrast is a shade light, but all in all, this is a good looking visual presentation.

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio is clean and acceptable, but this is a 1962 television project, so keep that in mind as you listen. I heard little in the way of hiss, distortion, or other age related issues, which is good news, given the material’s age. The dialogue is never shrill or harsh, but instead is clean and well presented, so all the dialogue is just right. The music sounds good too, which is a good thing, as fans love this musical soundtrack. Not a superb audio presentation, but with this material, I can’t imagine a much better overall effort.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes a history of Magoo’s antics, a look at the composers, talent files on the voice actors, and a bonus short film, Mr. Magoo Meets Gerald McBoing Boing.

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