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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Children > TV > The Mr. Magoo Show - The Complete DVD Collection

The Mr. Magoo Show - The Complete DVD Collection


Picture: C+     Sound: C     Extras: C-     Episodes: C+



Made in color before color TV arrived in full force and one of the first big hit cartoon characters for the groundbreaking UPA Studios, Mr. Magoo has become a victim of political correctness, which unfortunately extends to the recent Mr. Magoo Show - The Complete DVD Collection where voiceovers were changed in some episodes to no avail.  But first, the show.


Jim Backus later became part of the immortal original cast of the live action hit Gilligan’s Island, but his voicing of Magoo started in theatrical film shorts, continued in a remarkable telling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and then the TV version in this set.  Already a major voice actor on radio, Backus was also a big supporting actor in hit features and his talent for playing Magoo with such smooth ease made Magoo a legend.


If you are not aware, Magoo is a well-off older man who has some vision problems.  He is a bit nearsighted and farsighted, giving him difficulty reading anything properly or seeing where he is going, only he has no idea how he gets everything he sees wrong.  Besides constantly putting him in mortal danger, he is living it up and going wherever he wants whenever he wants.  That is where the comedy comes from, but because he has a heart of gold and is a good guy deep down, he survives the potential disasters because of his moral center and good will.


However, there are shallow idiots who have watered down the character and his adventures into some gibberish about making fun of the vision impaired, which is moronic beyond belief.  As a result, the show disappeared in the early 1980s from TV and when it came back in 1988, the stereotypically drawn Charlie.  He would have impaired speech calling his employer “Mr. Magloo” ands “bloss” but was never mean or made out to be mean-spirited.


Though we were OK on the first few DVDs, we suddenly have on DVD 3 voice overdubs on Charlie which sound too new to be from the early 1960s and give him an American accent.  Suddenly, he sounds like a radio show host and pronounces everything clearly.  It is a hack job of the worst kind and ruins this set enough to make diehard fans and others think twice about how “complete” it is.  Otherwise, these are all the episodes from the period, despite alterations.


The 1.33 X 1 image has some detail and aliasing troubles, but despite some inconsistency, the colors here are far superior to any TV prints I have seen, especially the muddy copies I grew up on.  It makes me wonder how these would look in HD.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono shows its age, but the 1980s dubbing is a disaster and sounds compressed to boot.  The set has no extras, but the foldout case has a pocket with a foldout about the character and episodes, plus a min-reproduction of one of the Dell Comics on Magoo.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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