This made-for-TV "Carol" has endured
Douglas A. Greenberg | Berkeley, CA USA | 12/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I thoroughly enjoyed "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" when it first was broadcast on television back in 1962. Not only did it feature the then well-known lovable bumbler Magoo, as played by the great Jim Backus, but the musical score was absolutely wonderful. All of the songs in this "Broadway"-style rendition are catchy, and some of them are truly touching and memorable.Since this brief animated production was created nearly forty years ago, there have been countless new "Christmas Carol" productions featuring everyone from George C. Scott to the Muppets to Fred Flintstone (really!) And yet the VHS release of the Magoo version, still apparently as appealing now as it was decades ago, is my own children's favorite version of Dickens' classic yuletide tale. In fact, my younger son at age three used to beg me to play this video again and again at Christmastime, calling it "Back, Back, Back," based upon the opening song in which Magoo sings about how it's "great to be back, back, back on Broadway." This cartoon is reasonably true to the details of the original story, and yet adds its own bits of humor and whimsy. There also is a generous dose of Magoo "nearsightedness" humor associated with the premise that Magoo is playing the role of Scrooge in a Broadway production.As other reviewers have indicated, the casting overall is first-rate and the production is superb throughout. This is truly a gem of a Christmas video and I cannot recommend it highly enough."
Perfect For Kids
Tom S. | New York City | 11/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like so many other reviewers here, I grew up with this annual treat, and the DVD renews fond memories. But this particular TV special did something much more important for me in the long run--it got me interested in reading. I read the Dickens story as a result of watching it, and that led to a lifelong love of the written word. I'm a novelist now, and I owe it all to Mr. Magoo!
PARENTS, TAKE NOTE: The story is terrific, the songs are delightful, and every kid loves Mr. Magoo. And it manages to get the positive love-thy-neighbor message across in 52 animated minutes, with every famous moment and famous line intact--a lot easier on smaller children than the many 2-hour movie versions with live actors. Try parking your kids in front of this. Maybe they will do what I did and reach for the book. And watch it with them--it really is beautiful, and you'll enjoy it, too."
Thank you, THANK YOU!
Tom S. | 01/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I humbly wish to thank Good Times Video for re-releasing this holiday treasure--and I write these words well into January. I ordered this DVD in a fit of nostalgia, and as I watched it for the first time since I was a child, I felt tears streaming down my face. I soon realized I hadn't seen this wonderful program since I believed in Santa Claus! I couldn't have been more than 7 or 8 since that last time I saw it, yet it has stuck in my mind and heart ever since--the INCREDIBLE Stine/Merrill score, the wonderfully "early 60s" animation style, the faithful retelling of the Dickens classic, the adorable Tiny Tim, the terrific voice performances by Jim Backus, Jack Cassidy, and many others. "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" might not have been the most sophistically animated Christmas special ever broadcast, but its warm heart and passionate script make it one of the most truly unforgetable (and beautiful) TV experiences of my lifetime. If you have a family with small children, perhaps ages 5 and up, order this program and enjoy it with them. Perhaps they too will have a holiday memory that will last as strongly as mine. Thank you, Good Times Video and Amazon--no make that an uppercase THANK YOU--for blessing me with this cartoon classic that I feared was lost forever. And those songs..........those wonderful,loving, memorable songs!"
Great Musical Score!
Thomas Bumbera | Maplewood, NJ USA | 12/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To say Amazon's editorial review of this perennial holiday favorite is off-base would be a gross understatement. "Minimally animated"? Yes, but limited animation can be rewarding when the design work (for which the UPA studio was famous) is as beautifully executed as the work done here - the graveyard scenes and the changing visual landscapes that accompany the song "Winter Was Warm" (more about that below) are particularly striking and memorable. "...forgettable songs by Jules Styne and Bob Merrill"?!! First off, the man's name is JULE Styne - a "professional" critic might at least get the composer's name right. Secondly, the score is the most wonderful part of this thoroughly entertaining film, as noted by every single Amazon customer that has lovingly recommended it. JULE Styne and Bob Merrill ("Funny Girl") were at the peak of their creative powers when they wrote these songs, many of which have resonated with viewers through the years. "All Alone In The World," sung by the neglected child Scrooge, beautifully and poignantly expresses the emotions of many a left-behind child. Particularly gorgeous is "Winter Was Warm," a ballad of loss and heartbreak wistfully sung by Jane Kean, and long overdue for rediscovery by the cabaret set. One could buy this JUST for the score! The story has of course been edited to fit a one-hour tv time slot, but the dialogue is surprisingly faithful to Dickens, and the voice work (including of course Jim Backus, Jack Cassidy and June Foray) is top-notch. This little gem will still be watched and rediscovered for years to come."