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Mr. Magoo's Chistmas Carol

Published Sunday, December 19, 2010 @ 5:14 AM EST
Dec 19 2010

Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol, a musical adaptation of the Dickens story, was the first animated holiday special produced specifically for American network television. Commissioned and sponsored by Timex, it aired on NBC on December 18, 1962; two years before Rankin-Bass' Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and three years prior to the generally acknowledged masterpiece of the genre, the Emmy and Peabody award-winning A Charlie Brown Christmas.

While Rudolph, Charlie Brown, Frosty the Snowman (1969), and How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) have aired annually since their debuts, Magoo exited network television in the 1980s, popped up in syndication for the next decade or so, then shuffled off to home video and the Internet.

While Magoo features the relatively cheap limited animation most television cartoons employ, it had something the others didn't- a score written by Broadway heavy hitters Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, whose next effort would be the hit show Funny Girl.

A remastered Blue-Ray DVD of the show was released this year, and the soundtrack and show itself are available on Amazon and iTunes (should the YouTube link above become unavailable).

For a lot of mid-50s boomers, Magoo was our introduction to Dickens' classic story. And, as the first real Christmas special, it left a major impression.

It's good to see it available again.

Categories: Classic, Mr. Magoo's Chistmas Carol, Music, Video

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