|Index||3 reviews in total|
This short, produced by UPA in 1956, won an Oscar, beating out two other UPA productions to do so. UPA used very limited animation and compensated for the limitations in movement with good scripts, careful selection of voices and by making the best use of animation by making it count. The premise of this short is so outlandish, it will remain in your memory for a long while afterwards. The title is a bit of a pun, actually. Most Recommended.
Revisiting the Mr. Magoo character as part of my ongoing Oscar season, I cannot help but marvel at how such an obviously politically incorrect figure was ever not only conceived and executed but accepted so wholeheartedly by both critics and the public at large as to make him a multiple Academy Award winner and an animation icon! This Oscar-winning short sees the near-sighted perennial optimist catching up with the times and purchasing an electric car; accompanied by his hick nephew, he naturally falls foul of a traffic cop and escapes his pursuit by running his car off a bridge into the sea all the while mistaking the specimen of marine life he encounters as the newest model in various rival (and inferior) automobile brands! Incidentally, the other two cartoon shorts competing against it at the Oscars also emanated from Columbia, including GERALD McBOING! BOING! ON PLANET MOO.
I am sure I will ruffle a few feathers, but here is my rant about
MAGOO'S PUDDLE JUMPER. This film received the Academy Award for 1957 in
the category of Best Animated Short. It was a great year for producer
Stephen Bosustow from UPA, as his studio received the only three
nominations that year. So, if Magoo didn't win, Gerald McBoing-Boing or
one of the studios other "quality products" would win.
So this brings me to the important question: "Was the Academy out of its mind?!". In short, the answer is 'yes'. They had to be, as the UPA films were great examples of very, very cheap animation--with low cel counts, terrible backgrounds (made simple for one reason alone--economy) and characters who weren't fit to be on the same screen as the Looney Tunes or Disney products of the day. Surely Magoo and Gerald McBoing-Boing are NOT in the same league as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck or Goofy!! What were they thinking?!? And before you think I am just a crank, understand that films like BARBARY-COAST BUNNY, A STAR IS BORED and GREEDY FOR TWEETY (all from Looney Tunes in 1956) didn't even get nominated--nor did HOOKED BEAR (Disney).
As for this Magoo film, the animation quality is abysmal and the story about a legally blind man driving about town and into the ocean is just sad...sad because it is so bad. The only positive is Jim Backus' voice talents--they were pretty clever.
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