Saturday, February 17, 2018

Magoo's Arabian Nights!

Mister Magoo is a great character -- a near-sighted cantankerous coot who blunders through world in full confidence that he has the complete picture when clearly he doesn't. UPA had a hit on their hands with the myopic animated star and they sought to capitalize not only with well-crafted short films, but a feature-length animation in the manner of Disney. So they took their star Magoo and blended him with the well-trod yarns of 1001 Arabian Nights and give us a diverting film which beautifully done and beautiful to watch.

The story is a simple one really, the handsome youth Aladdin falls in love with the Princess Yasminda who sadly is pledged in marriage to the wicked Wazir so that the kingdom can pay its debts. The Wazir in an attempt to get power learns that Magoo the uncle of Aladdin can lead him to a magic lamp and the jinni inside. Later the Wazir uses Aladdin to find the lamp but loses it and Aladdin himself gets control of the Jinni. It's helter-skelter from there and if I told you it had a happy ending, I'm sure you wouldn't be too surprised.

Aside from the antics of Magoo (my favorite moments are his entanglements with the thread of a flying carpet) we have a standard love story filled with magic. The real allure of this movie though is the animation style, which in the manner of UPA is less rendered than Disney or Warner Brothers and more stylized. The backgrounds are gorgeous pageants of color and line. This is the elegance of the movie which has great movement, but even better composition. Also a curiosity in this one is that the actress who performs the voice of Princess Yasminda was Kathryn Grant (Crosby) who had already portrayed Princess Parisa in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad the year before.

Highly recommended.  Here are some more images.

More Magoo to come tomorrow.

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