After last December’s successful hi-def screening of Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol and book signing at the Paley Center for Media in New York, Classic Media decided to re-master and re-package the special for a new Blu-ray collector's edition (a standard-def disc will also be included in the set). As part of that process, I was asked to suggest bonus features for the upcoming release; following is a list of material I produced for the DVD:
Full length audio commentary-Interviews with Gerard Baldwin (sequence director), Bob Singer (layout), Marie Matthews (young Scrooge), Jane Kean (Belle), Laura Olsher (Mrs. Cratchit, Cratchit children) and Lea Orgel (wife of producer Lee Orgel). Left, is a character from the sequence in which Scrooge visits the village of his youth; she was designed by Lee Mishkin but cut from the final film. Scrooge refers to a Mrs. Doolittle when greeting villagers but the script also refers to a Mrs. Halsey so she could be either one. In the commentary, I refer to this character and identify her as Mrs. Doolittle.
From Pencil to Paint: Production Art Montage-Character and background layouts compared to the final color art or screen images and set to the long lost Overture by Walter Scharf, presumably written for a never released soundtrack album. This montage shows just how crucial the layout artists were to both the design and performances in the film.
Styne & Merrill Song Demo-A very rare recording of Jule Styne and Bob Merrill playing and singing their own material as a demo for producer Lee Orgel. The featured song is “Ringle, Ringle” and synced to picture with Styne and Merrill voicing the characters during the song.
Storyboard Sequences-A peek into the process with storyboard thumbnails for two sequences (Lord’s Bright Blessing and Fezziwig’s) by production designer Lee Mishkin, synced to the existing soundtrack and compared against final picture.
Pamphlet-16 pages of text and images excerpted from the book to provide a broad overview of the film’s genesis and production.
Reprint of Jim Backus signed publicity photo from Christmas Carol
The remastered DVD is scheduled to be released Nov. 16, 2010 and you can pre-order it here.