Some fans consider this made-for-TV animated musical version of Charles' Dickens' holiday perennial, which features music and lyrics by Broadway veterans Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, the best of countless adaptations. But even those who take a more temperate view will find much to like in this charming, gentle variation on a theme, which is truly suitable for every member of the family. The story opens with a framing device, as irascible, near-sighted Mr. Quincy Magoo (voice of Jim Backus), a famous actor, drives to the Broadway theater where he'll be starring as Ebenezer Scrooge, miser extraordinaire, and has the inevitable accident that makes him late. Dickens' tale proper begins as the curtain rises, and follows the original text closely (albeit with the order of the ghosts' appearances oddly altered). As always, Scrooge forces loyal employee Bob Cratchit (Jack Cassidy) to work for pitiful wages and only grudgingly allows him time off to spend with his family (including sickly Tiny Tim, "played" by cartoon character Gerald McBoing-Boing) at Christmas. But that night, Christmas Eve, Scrooge is paid a visit by the spirit of his late partner, Jacob Marley (Royal Dano), who warns that Scrooge faces a bleak future unless he changes his ways. The Ghost of Christmas Present (Les Tremayne) arrives first, showing Scrooge how miserable he's made his family and acquaintances, followed by the Ghost of Christmas Past (Joan Gardner), who reminds Scrooge of the choices that made him the cold, unloved man he is. Finally, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come conjures a desolate future in which Scrooge dies alone and unmourned Scrooge sees the error of his ways and scurries off to make amends, bringing the show to its rousing conclusion. The songs are terrific, the voice cast is first rate and while the animation is rudimentary by modern-day standards, it has a quirky, angular charm all its own. This one-hour feature was the first of a series of TV specials that cast Mr. Magoo as a variety of literary and historical figures, from Long John Silver to Robin Hood.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Some fans consider this made-for-TV animated musical version of Charles' Dickens' holiday perennial, which features music and lyrics by Broadway veterans Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, the best of countless adaptations. But even those who take a more temperat… (more)