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Encyclopedia > Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol
Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol

DVD Cover for Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol
Directed by Abe Levitow
Produced by Lee Orgel, executive producer Henry G. Saperstein
Written by Freely Adapted from Charles Dickens, by Barbara Chain and Joan Janis
Starring Jim Backus
Morey Amsterdam
Jack Cassidy
Royal Dano
Paul Frees
Music by Walter Scharf, songs by Jule Styne, Bob Merrill
Distributed by Classic Media, Inc.
Release date(s) December 18, 1962
Running time 53 min
Language English
IMDb profile

Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol (first aired December 18, 1962 on NBC television), is a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' famous short story A Christmas Carol. It was the first animated holiday special ever produced specifically for television,[1] and later became the first episode of a TV series entitled The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo, in which the Mr. Magoo character became an actor in dramatizations of various well-known stories. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (750x1076, 375 KB) // Source: From DVD cover artwork. ... James Gilmore Backus (February 25, 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio - July 3, 1989 In Los Angeles, California) was a radio, television, film actor, character actor, and voice actor. ... Morey Amsterdam (December 14, 1908 – October 27, 1996) was a veteran American television actor and comedian, renowned for his large, ready supply of jokes. ... Jack Cassidy (March 5, 1927 – December 12, 1976) was an American actor, who achieved success in theater, cinema and television. ... Royal Dano (born November 16, 1922; died May 15, 1994) was an American film and television character actor. ... Paul Frees (June 22, 1920 - November 2, 1986) was a voice actor born in Chicago. ... Walter Scharf (1 August 1910 - 24 February 2003) was an American film composer. ... Jule Styne (December 31, 1905 – September 20, 1994) was a British-born American songwriter, especially famous for a series of Broadway Musicals, which included several very well known and frequently revived shows. ... Bob (Robert) Merrill (born Henry Levan May 17, 1921 - February 17, 1998) was an American composer and lyricist. ... // Events Dr. No launches the James Bond film series, the longest-running motion picture franchise of all time, running more than 40 years. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... is the 352nd day of the year (353rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... // Events Dr. No launches the James Bond film series, the longest-running motion picture franchise of all time, running more than 40 years. ... The National Broadcasting Company or NBC is an American television broadcasting company based in New York Citys Rockefeller Center. ... Dickens redirects here. ... For other uses, see A Christmas Carol (disambiguation). ... Animation refers to the process in which each frame of a film or movie is produced individually, whether generated as a computer graphic, or by photographing a drawn image, or by repeatedly making small changes to a model (see claymation and stop motion), and then photographing the result. ... Mr. ... Mr. ...

Contents

Overview

Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol was produced by the UPA animation studio in its declining days. Although the special led to the Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo television series, the studio ultimately found it could not adapt to the rigors of mass-producing cartoons for television. United Productions of America, better known as UPA, was an animation studio of the 1940s through 1970s, and a distributor of Japanese films from Toho Studios from the 1970s onward. ... For other uses, see Cartoon (disambiguation). ...


Audiences and critics consider this program to be a holiday classic, due in part to the original songs of the Broadway team of Jule Styne (music) and Bob Merrill (lyrics), who collaborated on the musical (Funny Girl) soon after their work on the special.[1] Jule Styne (December 31, 1905 – September 20, 1994) was a British-born American songwriter, especially famous for a series of Broadway Musicals, which included several very well known and frequently revived shows. ... Bob (Robert) Merrill (born Henry Levan May 17, 1921 - February 17, 1998) was an American composer and lyricist. ... For the film of the same name, see Funny Girl (film). ...


This program was broadcast as a TV special many times during the Christmas season from the 1960s through the 1980s, before being released on VHS in 1994 and on DVD in 2001. As recently as December 25, 2006, many listeners told the National Public Radio program Talk of the Nation that Mister Magoo was their favorite Ebenezer Scrooge.[2] A Television Special is a television program that is essentially a television movie or a short film usually intended to be broadcast sporadically, typically once a year at most. ... For other uses, see Christmas (disambiguation). ... Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed Top view of VHS cassette with front casing removed The Video Home System, better known by its abbreviation VHS, is a recording and playing standard. ... DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is a popular optical disc storage media format. ... is the 359th day of the year (360th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... NPR redirects here. ... Talk of the Nation is a talk radio program based in the United States, produced by National Public Radio, and is broadcasted nationally on weekday afternoons (Eastern Standard Time). ... Ebenezer Scrooge encounters Ignorance and Want in Dickenss novel, A Christmas Carol Ebenezer Scrooge is the main character in Charles Dickens 1843 novel, A Christmas Carol. ...


The story is the familiar Dickens tale with Mr. Magoo (voiced by Jim Backus) cast as Scrooge, and Gerald McBoing-Boing (in a rare speaking role) as Tiny Tim. The cartoon is written as a Broadway theatre play, divided into acts with an actual stage curtain. In an often-cut opening and closing, the near-sighted Mr. Magoo arrives at the theatre, takes his bows with the other actors, and accidentally demolishes the stage scenery at the end. The 19th century English characters Ebeneezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, etc., are thus not seen directly, but instead are portrayed by fictional American actors playing their parts. They generally have no British accents. The comic song "We're Despicable" is set at the grimmest part of the drama, and self-consciously breaks into the story. James Gilmore Backus (February 25, 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio - July 3, 1989 In Los Angeles, California) was a radio, television, film actor, character actor, and voice actor. ... A scene from UPA/Columbias Gerald McBoing-Boing. ... Tiny Tim is a fictional character in the classic story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. ... For other uses of Broadway, see Broadway. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Ebenezer Scrooge is the main character in Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol. ... Bob Cratchit is a very thin and short fictional character in the classic story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. ...


Comparison with the book

The credits for the cartoon state that it is "freely adapted" from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. This adaptation mostly serves to shorten the story to fit the television special's one-hour time slot. The Ghost of Christmas Present appears before the Ghost of Christmas Past, and no reference is made to Scrooge's nephew Fred or the metaphorical children Ignorance and Want.[3] Nor is Scrooge's sister Fan seen in the Christmas Past sequence. Two of the post-redemption scenes from the book are rewritten and combined, so that Scrooge visits the Cratchits instead of Fred, and threatens Bob (as a self-mocking prelude to raising his salary) at home rather than waiting to do so at work the following day. At the same time, however, the remaining scenes are remarkably faithful to the original, with characters often speaking the lines as Dickens wrote them, and little or no simplification of the language to suit a younger audience living over a century later.[1] A number of references to Scrooge's (more accurately Magoo's) poor vision are sprinkled through the story, a nod to the Magoo character, but except for the beginning and ending pieces which occur outside the framework of the Dickens story, there are none of the usual Magoo catastrophes. Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) is a technology for shared medium (usually radio) networks. ...


Cast of voices

Actor Role
Jim Backus Ebenezer Scrooge
Mr. Magoo
Morey Amsterdam Brady
James
Jack Cassidy Bob Cratchit
Royal Dano Marley's Ghost
Paul Frees Charity Man
Fezziwig
Eyepatch Man
Tall Tophat Man
Joan Gardner Tiny Tim
June Foray Ghost of Christmas Past
John Hart Billings
Stage Manager
Milkman
Jane Kean Belle
Marie Matthews Young Scrooge
Laura Olsher Mrs. Cratchit
Les Tremayne Ghost of Christmas Present

James Gilmore Backus (February 25, 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio - July 3, 1989 In Los Angeles, California) was a radio, television, film actor, character actor, and voice actor. ... Morey Amsterdam (December 14, 1908 – October 27, 1996) was a veteran American television actor and comedian, renowned for his large, ready supply of jokes. ... Jack Cassidy (March 5, 1927 – December 12, 1976) was an American actor, who achieved success in theater, cinema and television. ... Royal Dano (born November 16, 1922; died May 15, 1994) was an American film and television character actor. ... Paul Frees (June 22, 1920 - November 2, 1986) was a voice actor born in Chicago. ... Mr. ... June Foray (born September 18, 1917) is an extremely versatile voice actor who has worked for most of the studios which produced animated films since the 1940s. ... Jane Kean (b. ... Les Tremayne was renowned on the radio. ...

Songs

The cartoon's framing device consists almost entirely of Jim Backus as Quincy Magoo singing "It's Great To Be Back On Broadway", thus explaining in song that the character Magoo is portraying a character in a Broadway theatre production.[1] For other uses of Broadway, see Broadway. ...


"Ringle, Ringle", Scrooge's theme song about "coins when they mingle", is half-sung by Jim Backus as Magoo, and serves to delineate the character's change of heart. Initially he appreciates the coins aesthetically and for the wealth they represent, while Jack Cassidy as Bob Cratchit sings in counterpoint that "it's cold, it's frightfully cold", and musically begs Scrooge to spare the expense of "just one piece of coal" to warm him. Later, in a musical reprise, Scrooge sings that the coins are "meant for passing around" as he spends the coins to help the Cratchit family. For other uses, see Counterpoint (disambiguation). ...


Joan Gardner as Tiny Tim ("played" by the animated character Gerald McBoing-Boing) sings of "razzleberry dressing" and "woofle jelly cake." in "The Lord's Bright Blessing". The Cratchit children's requests for better food, a tree and presents are countered by Jack Cassidy as Bob Cratchit singing of what the family has, in his view: "the Lord's bright blessing, and knowing we're together" - a togetherness that Scrooge lacks.[1] Razzleberry is not a real berry, but the term is used to describe a pie made with raspberries and blackberries. ...


In the Christmas Past sequence, Backus/Magoo as Scrooge sings in poignant duet with Scrooge's younger self (sung by Marie Matthews)[3], left behind in boarding school after all the other children have gone home for Christmas.[4] "In perhaps the most touching moment... Magoo is transported back to his childhood, where he stands side-by-side with his youthful self. He watches his 'child' sing When You're Alone, Alone in the World, tracing his hand on the blackboard, hoping to find a hand of his own to hold... the quavering elderly voice blending with the clear, sweet youthful one, the invisible Magoo putting a transparent arm around his 'child'." [5]

A hand for each hand was planned for the world
Why don't my fingers reach?
(Lyrics source with screenshot.)

Jane Kean as Belle, once beloved of young Scrooge, sings of the cooling and hardening of his feelings toward her in "Winter Was Warm", a song of lost and yearning love. She is saddened that he has chosen gold over her, and he protests that that is the "way of the world", as he forlornly tries to cling to her.


Veteran voice actors Paul Frees and June Foray sing together in "We're Despicable (Plunderer's March)". The laundress, charwoman, and the undertaker go to Old Joe's rag & bone shop to sell the items that they have taken from the newly-deceased miser "with him lyin' there", and gleefully cackle their way through such lyrics as, "We're rep-re-hens-ible. We'll steal your pen-and-penc-ible". A voice actor (also a voice artist) is a person who provides voices for animated characters (including those in feature films, television series, animated shorts), voice-overs in radio and television commercials, audio dramas, dubbed foreign language films, video games, puppet shows, and amusement rides. ... Paul Frees (June 22, 1920 - November 2, 1986) was a voice actor born in Chicago. ... June Foray (born September 18, 1917) is an extremely versatile voice actor who has worked for most of the studios which produced animated films since the 1940s. ...


For a finale, Scrooge and the Cratchitts sing a reprise (with happier lyrics) of "The Lord's Bright Blessing".


A longstanding story suggests that "People" was originally written for Mr. Magoo,[1] but Theodore Taylor's biography of Styne disputes this.[6]


Releases

All are Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1, Rating G(MPAA), Running time 52 or 53 minutes (exclusive of any extra features).

  • US Television Release Date: December 18, 1962
  • Production Company: United Productions of America (UPA)
  • Available Formats: VHS • Laserdisc • DVD • VHS: Clam Shell • VHS: Slip Sleeve

  • September 28, 1994; VHS, Paramount Home Video, NTSC, ASIN: 6301175239, UPC: 097361269337
  • January 1, 1999; Laserdisc
  • October 23, 2001; VHS, Good Times Video, NTSC, ASIN: B00005OLAZ
UPC: 018713074584 (VHS Clam Shell); UPC: 018713766656 (VHS Slip Sleeve) ISBN 0766208583
  • October 23, 2001; DVD, Good Times Video, Region 1, ASIN: B00005OLB3, UPC: 018713812391
DVD Features: Audio: English, mono Dolby; A history of Mister Magoo in film and TV; Retrospective of composer Jules Styne & lyricist Bob Merrill; Movie poster; Bonus Magoo cartoon short
  • September 24, 2002; VHS, Sony Wonder (Video), NTSC, ASIN: B00006HB09, UPC: 074645433332
  • September 24, 2002; DVD, Sony Wonder (Video), Region 1, ASIN: B00006HAWI, UPC: 074645433394
DVD Features: Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 2.0); A history of Mr. Magoo in film and TV; Career retrospective of the composer and lyricist; Poster; "Mr. Magoo Meets Gerald McBoing Boing" short
  • September 14, 2004; DVD, Sony Wonder (Video), Region 1, ASIN: B0002I82ZA, UPC: 074645864198/073892864104
Format: Color, Dubbed, Original recording remastered, NTSC; Run Time: 60 minutes

Sources: [1]


See also

A Christmas Carol is a novella by Charles Dickens. ... This is a list of animated feature-length films from around the world organised chronologically by year; theatrical releases as well as made-for-TV and direct-to-video movies. ...

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Hill, Jim (November 28, 2006). Scrooge U: Part VI -- Magoo's a musical miser. JimHillMedia.com. Retrieved on 2006 12-25.
  2. ^ Conan, Neil (host) (2006-12-25). Choose Your Favorite Scrooge (audio). Talk of the Nation. National Public Radio. Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
  3. ^ a b Howe, Tom (2002). Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and Scrooge. Featured CED VideoDisc No. 26 - Fall 2002. CED Magic. Retrieved on 2006 12-25.
  4. ^ IMDB commentary
  5. ^ Movie review
  6. ^ Taylor, Theodore (1979). Jule: The Story of Composer Jule Styne. Random House. ISBN 0-394-41296-6. 

Neal Conan (born 1949 in Beirut, Lebanon) is an American radio journalist. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 359th day of the year (360th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Talk of the Nation is a talk radio program based in the United States, produced by National Public Radio, and is broadcasted nationally on weekday afternoons (Eastern Standard Time). ... NPR redirects here. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 3rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Theodore Taylor is the prize-winning author of many books including The Cay, The Weirdo, Ice Drift, Timothy of the Cay, Bomb, Sniper and Rogue Wave. ... // Random House is a publishing house based in New York City. ...

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