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Christmas Specials Wiki

So I've heard. You're the one who's too tight with a penny to buy himself a pair of spectacles!

The Ghost of Christmas Present, speaking a line unique to this version

Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol is a 1962 Christmas television special starring the UPA cartoon character Mr. Magoo. As suggested by the title, it is a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and also the first animated holiday special ever produced specifically for television. It would notably also inspire the animated television series The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo, in which Mr. Magoo became an actor in dramatizations of various well-known stories.

Synopsis

Scrooge (Mr. Magoo) with Tiny Tim (Gerald McBoing-Boing)

The story is the familiar Dickens tale with Mr. Magoo cast as Ebenezer Scrooge, and Gerald McBoing-Boing (in a rare speaking role) as Tiny Tim. The special is written as a Broadway theatre play, divided into acts with an actual stage curtain. In the 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.

Songs

The special's music was composed by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, with orchestrations and instrumental music by Walter Scharf.

The special's soundtrack was released as a digital download on November 2, 2010. Additionally, "The Lord's Bright Blessing" was made available on the album Nick at Nite: A Classic Cartoon Christmas, Too.

Availability

The special was originally held by United Producers Associates, along with the rest of the Mr. Magoo library. Classic Media, formerly known as Entertainment Rights, held the rights until July of 2012, when the company was sold to Dreamworks Animation SKG, which was later bought by NBC Universal in April 2016.

The 2002 DVD release by Sony Wonder contained a bonus Mr. Magoo short, Mr. Magoo Meets Gerald McBoing-Boing. It was not included on subsequent releases, but the 2010 DVD/Blu-ray combo pack (and its subsequent DVD-only release in 2011) contained an audio commentary, two storyboard sequences, a song demo, and a slide show of the special's production.

"The Making of..." book

The cover to "The Making of..." book

Darrell Van Citters, owner of Renegade Animation, wrote a book, released in 2010, that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the special.

Notes

  • A comic book adaptation of this special was published, which featured "backstage" vignettes in-between acts, such as Magoo mistaking the wardrobe costumes for his castmates, surprise revelations about some of the "actors", and even a real-life recipe for the show's razzleberry dressing. The comic also revealed that Gerald McBoing-Boing's dialogue as Tiny Tim was actually recorded by another actor and played back by a record player when he mouthed words, maintaining the trope that Gerald only speaks in common noise sounds. The book also included some reprints of earlier Mr. Magoo comics.

References in other media

  • The Simpsons episode "'Tis the Fifteenth Season" has a scene where Homer watches a parody version of the special, titled Mr. McGrew's Christmas Carol.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Selling Out" features a musical number, "Cha-Ching", which features the same theme as this special's number, "Ringle, Ringle".
  • Clips from the special appeared on the television screens in the 1988 film Scrooged (another Christmas Carol production).

Cast

Voice actor Character
Jim Backus Ebenezer Scrooge (Quincy Magoo)
Morey Amsterdam Brady
James
Jack Cassidy Bob Cratchit
Royal Dano Jacob Marley
Paul Frees Mr. Fezziwig
Charity Man
Undertaker
Director
Joan Gardner Tiny Tim (Gerald McBoing-Boing)
The Ghost of Christmas Past
John Hart Billings
Stage Manager
Milkman
Jane Kean Belle
Marie Matthews Young Scrooge
Laura Olsher Mrs. Cratchit
Les Tremayne The Ghost of Christmas Present

External links

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