Over view of this PBS Kids Bookworm Bunch Christmas specialEdit
Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol was produced by Henry G. Saperstein and the UPA animation studio in its declining days. Commissioned and sponsored by Timex, it first aired on NBC on December 18, 1962. 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.
The program was broadcast as a TV special many times during the Christmas season from the 1960s through the 1980s—though not always on NBC—before being released on VHS in 1994 and on DVD in 2001. The original 53-minute running time is often cut to make room for additional commercials, primarily by removing the framing device about Magoo himself. For the 2012 holiday season, NBC, which last telecast it in 1969, announced it would return the series to the air for the first time since the 1980s; the special aired on NBC on December 22, 2012 even though it was heavily edited for the addition of more commercials including opening and closing wraparounds scenes, the finale scene of the musical as well as the end credits and other crucial scenes being cut from broadcast.
Comparison with bookEdit
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. 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 or less literate audience living over a century later, as there is in Patrick Stewart's made-for-TV version. 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.
Cast of voicesEdit
|Jim Backus||Ebenezer Scrooge
|Jack Cassidy||Bob Cratchit|
|Royal Dano||Marley's Ghost|
|Paul Frees||Charity Man|
|Joan Gardner||Tiny Tim|
Stage Manager Milkman
|Marie Matthews||Young Scrooge|
|Laura Olsher||Mrs. Cratchit|
|Les Tremayne||Ghost of Christmas Present|