One of my favorite Christmas traditions is citing “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol” in threads on favorite xmas movies, favorite Scrooges, etc.
For those of you who don’t own it on DVD – NBC is airing it tonight at 8 PM (7 Central), in what is apparently a restored version.
Wonderful music and a nice snappy retelling of the classic tale.
No, thanks. I hate all Mr. Magoo cartoons with the heat of a thousand suns. And I’ve already watched the Alistair Sim version this afternoon while starting to put up my Christmas tree lights.
They cut the opening number!
They cut a TON of stuff! Including the whole framing device of this being a play. And a verse of the bandits’ song. And the damn CLOSING NUMBER!
Oh, the remastering is nice, and the colors bright and beautiful, but if they’re making such a big deal out of “fiftieth anniversary” and “first network prime-time showing in twenty-some years” shouldn’t they be showing the uncut version?
I must say that I was never bonkers about Mr. Magoo shorts myself, but this (and the later Magoo’s Adventures series, which cast him in classic works of literature) doesn’t go overboard at all with the nearsightedness schtick. Only at the beginning and end, in the framing device, and at a few small inconspicuous moments in the story itself (greeting a horse as if it’s a human, mistaking a painting for his reflection, having Christmas Present call him “too tight with a penny to buy spectacles”).
This holds a special place in my heart because it was the very first exposure to A Christmas Carol that I ever had–at the age of six, the afternoon of Christmas Eve, shortly before we went to my grandmother’s house. (If I remember correctly, that night I also got an oversized Christmas Carol coloring book.)
Of course, as a musical theater geek, I also give it points for being composed by Jule Styne!
Maybe what I ought to do is go to Walgreens and get that DVD that had eight “classic” holiday specials. One was the Magoo Christmas Carol. Perhaps it had all the music.
And in that scene with the undertaker and the other thieves, with the thief taker, wasnt the song longer before? And the one line from the old woman “all I got was his sheets!” I heard it twice, I thought, way back when, and tonight only once.
But I still liked it. I’d forgotten how much of the dialogue was actually from the book. And the boy saying “Walk-er!” to Scrooge telling him to go buy the turkey, straight out of the original.
Yeah, they chopped the hell out of it. Brighter colors are all very well and good, but I’m seriously p-oed that they needed that desperately to sell a few more ads. Why not use a 90-minute slot for it, then? (The DVD runs 52 minutes.)
Even chopped up it was great. Wonderful somgs
We watched this on Netflix a couple of weeks ago. It was the first time I had seen it, but from your descriptions, I think it was uncut.
I guess I should be grateful for small favors. Some years back, Cartoon Network aired it…and they cut “Winter Was Warm.”
The best song in the thing. The HEART of the score. The one that kept getting quoted in the underscoring and that was reprised over the credits at the end.
Except…in this airing it wasn’t. To cover up the song’s absence, they clumsily dubbed “The Lord’s Bright Blessing” over the end credits!
Yhe Netflix version is 1 hour, 9 minutes and 41 seconds, so it’s probably intact.
If they cut it, I’m happy I missed it. I remember looking forward to seeing it each year on TV, and I used to show it to my class in school. Wonderful songs!
Ghost of Christmas Future was one of the scariest things I ever saw as a kid.
Always loved the thieves’ song. “La! La! Lalalalala!”
I noted that it was going to be on and then forgot to watch it. Based on the comments, I’m glad I did. We watched it last year on Netflix and will do so again this year.
For anyone wondering about the time difference, the Netflix rental includes the Rip Van Winkle episode of The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo for some reason. A Christmas Carol appears to be uncut (it runs to about 52 minutes), and the stream continues with the Rip Van Winkle story (about 25 minutes).
We’re Despicable (Plunderer’s March)
We’re just blankety-blank-blank