Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol

A blog dedicated to the making of the first animated Christmas special, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol soundtrack

As part of the 50th anniversary edition of the book, I had proposed including a soundtrack which was to have featured the film’s song score, Styne & Merrill’s demo recordings of their tunes and Walter Scharf’s underscore.  The idea was well received and Classic Media was on board so I  built the book around this proposal.  The songs had been released on iTunes back in 2010 and the long lost Overture had been discovered, too, so it seemed like the project would fall into place and finally, the long awaited original film soundtrack would be released, 50 years after the film had made its debut.  

Unfortunately, when the digging really began in earnest, it was discovered that the only musical material that existed in the vaults were the previously released songs and Overture.  For those with an attuned ear, it’s clear that the iTunes-released songs are from the original recording session; the final standalone versions of the songs cannot be located.  Equally disappointing, the score didn’t exist in any form whatsoever; not the original scoring session takes, not as a standalone score, not even as a mixed music and sound effects track commonly used for foreign language dubbing.

It was, and is, a major disappointment.  What seems likely is that the elements are mislabeled or filed incorrectly in the vault.  According to a former executive at UPA, the elements were delivered when the assets were purchased.  At some point in the future, when the missing elements are located, the intent is to still release an original soundtrack.  Until that day, we’ll have to content ourselves with the track that currently exists on the DVD releases.

11 comments:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

I hope they'll get found someday.

Anthony D. said...

To be honest, I thought if a CD was released to tie-in with the 50th anniversary, I was kinda thinking the listing would be the material that was released on iTunes in addition to the Overture, the main title music (it's used on the CE DVD and Blu-ray main menu), Winter Was Warm reprise (from the end credits), and the Ringle Ringle demo. Basically the only material that could be located. 'Tis a shame though that a project such as you mentioned Darrell didn't come to fruition and I kinda hope this year would be the year. Well, someday then.

Bryan said...

All of us really appreciate the work you are doing. I have a copy of your book and am delighted with it.

Darrell said...

Thank you, Bryan! I still hope that a soundtrack will see the light of day and the 50th anniversary may help draw more attention to it.

Rudy Agresta said...

Hi Darrell,

First, I want to say that I received your 50th Anniversary edition yesterday and am so delighted with the brilliant update! Second, as a composer, I would be very much interested in any music-related stuff from Magoo's Christmas Carol - especially the underscore. I have an extensive collection of soundtracks, mostly from the 30's, 40's, and 50's. Listening to them is a great learning experience for me. I agree, most likely the tracks are mislabeled and resting in the vaults, merely waiting to be discovered.

Again, wonderful job on the 50th update!

Rudy

Fleischer Fan said...

If the complete soundtrack sees the light of day, I will certainly obtain a copy.

However, I must confess to being completely satisfied with the "song score" release from iTunes. Quite frankly, I never expected to get that, so anything more would just be frosting on the cake. (Or would that be razzleberry dressing?)

Greg Ehrbar said...

I've sent messages to Bruce Kimmel at Kritzerland Music, to do a new stereo re-creation of the score. This sort of thing is done all the time with great scores of film and theater. Jodi Benson has already recorded "Winter Was Warm" for a CD called "A Hollywood Christmas" and it would be great to assemble singers like her and others to make this happen.

Maybe if enough people request it...?

Steve said...

I couldn't find the previously released soundtrack on iTunes or Amazon. Has it gone away?

Darrell said...

Unfortunately, it has temporarily. The word from Classic Media is that they have switched digital distributors and some of their products have fallen out of the pipeline during the transition. It's a shame that they're missing the 50th anniversary for the songs, but I'm told that they will be available again in 2013, although no date has been confirmed.

Anonymous said...

Thought you'd be interested in this little tribute to the show and its anniversary:
http://mediumlarge.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/why-does-ted-forth-love-mr-magoos-christmas-carol/

Greg said...

Now I hear that they are doing a stage version. I cannot wait to see it and someday direct and maybe play Magoo.