Don’t scoff at Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol before you hear the conceit of this 1962 animated feature: Magoo is starring on Broadway in a musical version of Dickens’ classic. Three minutes in, the Magoo character vanishes into his portrayal of Scrooge, and you might as well be watching a first-rate Broadway show. There are memorable songs by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill (Funny Girl and other hit shows). And the story, which stays pretty true to Dickens – all the ghosts are there -- is funny and affecting. Magoo plays Scrooge straight, and turns out to be one of the better versions around. The film has its kitschy elements, but what Broadway musical doesn’t? It’s also as cheerful and heart-warming as Christmas is meant to be.
Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol is on DVD and Blu-ray, but you can also catch it streaming on Hulu.com (with a few commercials).