Sunday, February 18, 2018

By George, That's A Corker!

To be honest I've been getting a little education on the significance of the mighty Mister Magoo.  Magoo for me was just a rather weird TV cartoon character, one of many, and he stood out because he was an irascible old codger in a universe filled with cute tykes and cute pups and such. That said, his role in the theater and the development of UPA (United Productions of America) as an alternative animation house to the mighty Disney was stuff I knew almost nothing about. Mr. Magoo - The Theatrical Collection 1949-1959 has all of Magoo's theatrical cartoons (including the feature length 1001 Arabian Nights in a separate case). It's a true bargain.

Mister Magoo was something of a powerhouse, an adult cartoon targeted at adults with both barrels. He was a human being in a universe of critters, living in a recognizable world in which his myopic antics seemed bizarre and peculiar and otherworldly but not utterly and completely impossible, though the adventures get broader as the cartoons develop. I learned in watching these vintage cartoons and the extras that Magoo was the barometer of cartoon comedy for the industry, a Magoo cartoon being used to calibrate the humor of test audiences. That's pretty impressive stuff, since that's not about art but money and Hollywood rarely diddles about with the bottom line. Also while at times some of the antics can get a bit repetitive, you can always look forward to the credits on these cartoons which can have their own delightful artistic qualities.

I've developed an appreciation for Magoo and am looking forward to moving into his first TV series, featuring more limited animation. I've been a fan of his Christmas Carol for many years, now I'm a fan through and through. Give me more Magoo.

Here are some fabulous Dell Comic book covers featuring Mr.Magoo and another UPA star, the sound-effects uttering Gerald McBoing Boing.

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  1. Does the Magoo Show DVD set include the Dick Tracy appearance (which was recently-referenced in the newspaper strip?

    1. I've only finished the theatrical cartoons at this point, so I cannot say for certain, but I'll keep an eye out. I'm actually watching those old Dick Tracy cartoons right now. They are rather like potato chips, I find it's hard to consume just one. Weird is a good word for them.

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    2. The collection I have (the one pictured in the link which just has the first series) does not include the Famous Adventures of Mister Magoo. That's in the other one which is now available and includes all kinds of additional material. You've now gone and made it necessary for me to get it too. Thanks a lot.

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