‘Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol’ gives heartwarming twist on old tale

Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol gives heartwarming twist on old tale

John Flanegin

1962’s Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol is an animated, magical, musical version of Charles Dicken’s timeless classic “A Christmas Carol.” Having appeared in over 130 successful episodes of his own cartoons during the 1950s and early 1960s, the nearsighted family favorite Magoo was deemed ready to star in his own animated Christmas special debuting on the NBC network on December 18th, 1962.
Magoo, who is voiced by Jim Backus, begins the film with a musical number entitled “Back on Broadway” as he travels to the theater at which he will perform as the decrepit greedy Ebenezer Scrooge. It is a bit confusing at first when you are introduced to Magoo, who immediately becomes Scrooge after reaching his destination and stays in the role for the entirety of the special.
The film stays on par with Dickens’s original version as the money hungry, rude, lonely Christmas loathing Scrooge is warned by his posthumous partner, Jacob Marley, of the three ghosts who will come to his manor to present Ebenezer of his past, present, and future. Along the way Scrooge learns of his many errors while visiting fellow townsfolk and gets a brief view of the future he is bound to endure if he does not change his greedy actions.
Scrooge transforms before our very eyes and quickly becomes a new man. One who is willing to give rather than receive and is no longer afraid to help those in need. Scrooge develops a special bond with a handicapped boy named Tiny Tim, who is the son of Ebenezer’s co-worker Bob Cratchit, and increases Cratchit’s salary to help pay for his struggling family.
Although the special is over 50 years old, Backus brings Magoo to life with his many different expressions ranging from malicious to overjoyed. The art style is very much reminiscent of the Charlie Brown series and the musical numbers were grand in scale, with my personal favorite being “Razzleberry Dressing” performed by Cratchit and his family.
The 52-minute running time is perfect, with the show never dragging on or seeming to move too quickly, although there were some funky transitions as the ghosts were introduced and when they exited. I highly recommend Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol to any who are looking for a bit of Christmas cheer and a heartwarming story this holiday season.
This the the sixth installment of a 12  part series. Various staff writers have picked their favorite Christmas movies and reviewed them. Check out the other movies of Christmas here!  
[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKsGCCU4erY”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93ASUImTedo[/youtube] By John Flanegin