Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol

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

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pink and Blue Blues

In honor of Magoo's upcoming birthday, the next few posts will feature original art from some of his theatrical efforts.  The first is Pink and Blue Blues, written by Bill Scott and directed by Pete Burness, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject.

Originally titled, The Baby Sitter, this 1952 cartoon is one of my favorites of the Magoo canon for several reasons-it’s a strong premise, well executed and features some excellent staging and design work as well as expressive background painting.

Magoo has been called in as an emergency baby sitter by his neighbors and not only has to deal with the baby but a masked burglar as well.  I love the images of Magoo wearing a smoking jacket and fez, something that apparently upset Egypt enough to ban the cartoon, “… having found that it offends the dignity of all Oriental countries.”  The film features layouts by Ted Parmelee who later directed UPA’s classic short, TheTell-Tale Heart and moody backgrounds by Bob McIntosh.  Below are some of Parmelee’s original layouts:

The film was loosely adapted for the 1958 Wonder Book, Mister Magoo, which features Magoo as a nearsighted baby sitter sans the burglar story line:

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