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November 18, 2007

There Are None So Blind…


Just a random thought here… Ever notice how cartoonists use eyeglasses as a shorthand for “not being able to see well” — when in fact eyeglasses, you know, tend to correct that problem? You never saw Mister Magoo wearing eyeglasses, after all.

Which brings to mind, especially since the season approaches… Has there ever been a better version of A Christmas Carol than Mister Magoo’s? I mean seriously. Okay, sure, Alastair Sim… but consider the achievement of remaining true to Dickens’ book, being entertaining, scary and family-friendly all at once, and doing it all in low-budget cartoon.

This movie was, of course, the peak of Magoo’s career. I don’t think either of my kids know who he is, though they did both see this movie many years ago.



  1. Mr. Magoo as Gungda Din made me cry as a kid. It was the one thing I downloaded from movielink EVER, and it STILL teared me up 20+ years later. I showed it to my mom, who refuses to watch the Seymour episode of Futurama again, and she has the gall to ask me what the big deal was… go fig.

    Comment by Rasheed — November 18, 2007 @ 1:24 am

  2. Maybe the bear is just laughing at that near-sighted bee – he’s not wearing glasses, as far as I can tell.

    Comment by brien — November 18, 2007 @ 1:59 am

  3. I’ve not seen Magoo’s Christmas Carol, but I would have to say that Mickey’s Christmas Carol is probably the best I’ve seen, although it cuts a lot out because of time constraints.

    Jim Carrey has a version coming out next year, I think.

    Comment by Powers — November 18, 2007 @ 8:57 am

  4. One of the ironic things about this is that naturally-occurring beehives don’t look like that at all. What the woman’s hairdo looks like is a stereotypical human-constructed hive. And AFAIK, most modern beekeepers use rectangular hives instead.

    Comment by Morris Keesan — November 18, 2007 @ 11:48 am

  5. Bill, I’m with you about Magoo’s version being the best. The two things that stand out from my memory (and I’m sure its been 20 years since I’ve seen it) are that it was the first thing I ever say to use the “show within a show” concept (If I’m remembering correctly, Magoo was playing Scrooge in a Broadway show) and the fact that, even as a little one I was amazed at how much emotion could be conveyed by a cartoon.

    Comment by Rob — November 18, 2007 @ 11:59 am

  6. I know people are complaining about the sidebar (maybe try a different theme again?), but what bugs me about your site is that I type PERFECTLY and somehow errors always appear in my comments. Obviously it should say “first thing I ever SAW,” and obviously I would have noticed the that before I hit submit if it was MY ERROR 😉

    Comment by Rob — November 18, 2007 @ 12:02 pm

  7. OK, so how DOES she get into the tent with her Marge Simpson do? And why is she camping in a dress?! I think the bear is just horrified at her get up. That’s because, as we all know, if one of the senses is limited, the others are heightened to take up the slack….in this case, it’s the bear’s fashion sense. Actually, the bear looks as though he wishes he were wearing a blind fold.

    Alternate scenario….bear had read a comic book, including the ads at the back, placed an order, it just arrived and now he’s horrified to experience how perfectly well those X-ray glasses do work.

    Comment by Lola — November 18, 2007 @ 12:12 pm

  8. I agree about Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol. Best ever adaptation! And it’s a MUSICAL, to boot! Where else will you hear these immortal lyrics: “We’re de-spic-able! We’ll steal your pen…and pen-si-ble!” Everybody, now!

    Comment by Jim M. — November 18, 2007 @ 12:44 pm

  9. Rob, what I especially liked about the show-within-a-show technique is how, right after the scariest scene with Christmas Future, the “camera” pulled back to show the audience and stage to keep kids from being quite so freaked out by it.

    And Lola, I suspect the woman’s hairdo can fold down to the side, like Marge’s does.

    Comment by Cidu Bill — November 18, 2007 @ 1:09 pm

  10. Still, she is possibly the least likely camper imaginable, but then it IS a comic, eh? BTW, every time I see Marge’s hair do that I find it somewhat disturbingly phalllic. And when she takes off her nightcap? Well, talk about sneaking one past the censors.

    Comment by Lola — November 18, 2007 @ 2:45 pm

  11. IMHO, “The Muppet Christmas Carol” is the best adaptation I’ve seen.

    Comment by eeyore19 — November 18, 2007 @ 9:16 pm

  12. I wasn’t a fan of the Muppets Christmas, mostly because the Co. was in complete disarray following the deaths of Jim Henson and Richard Hunt. Michael Caine turned in the best performance ever for a Muppet production however.

    Also, a heads up that Christmas Carol is being remade AGAIN, with Jim Carrey playing all the ghosts. Feel how you will.

    Comment by Rasheed — November 19, 2007 @ 7:27 am

  13. I think describing JHC as in complete disarray is an exaggeration. The loss of Jim, then Richard, was certainly devastating, but productions continued apace without much delay.

    Comment by Powers — November 19, 2007 @ 8:52 am

  14. I have to second the vote by Eeyore19 for the Muppet Christmas Carole. Michael Caine did a superb job as Scrooge and the use of the Muppets was inventive. The scene with Scrooge and Belle always brings a tear to my eye.

    Comment by Mark — November 19, 2007 @ 10:29 am

  15. Jim M. – gotta correct you, but just cause it makes your point even better. They lyric is “We’re rep-re-hensible…we’ll steal your pen and pen-sible.” Great rhyme! The first line is “We’re dispicable…we make ourselves plain sickable.” 🙂

    Another shout out for Muppet Christmas Carol. The lump in my throat always comes with the “Christmas future” scene where they’re seeing Bob Cratchitt’s house after Tiny Tim’s death. Kermit (as Bob C.) is talking to his family about Tiny Tim’s death and says something like, “It’s alright, children. Life is a series of meetings and partings. That is the way of it.” In light of the loss of both Jim Henson and Richard Hunt just prior to the film’s release, I can’t help but feel that must have been a moving scene to create as much as it is now to view.

    Oh, and you want great lyrics? “Old Scrooge he loves his money cause he thinks it gives him power…if he became a flavor you can be it would be sour.” This is sung by the produce on a vendor’s wagon, and a passerby comments, “Even the vegetables don’t like him!”

    Comment by Molly — November 19, 2007 @ 11:57 pm

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