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Ragtime Bear (1949)

At the Hodge Podge Lodge, a crotchety, near-sighted Mister Magoo takes a banjo-playing bear to be his nephew, Waldo.


John Hubley


Millard Kaufman (story)


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Uncredited cast:
Jim Backus ... Mr. Magoo (voice) (uncredited)
Jerry Hausner ... Waldo (voice) (uncredited)


This is the first of a series of cartoons featuring the near sighted Mister Magoo. He and his nephew, Waldo, are en route to a vacation at a lodge in the mountains and Waldo's banjo playing tends to be rather annoying for Magoo but a nearby grizzly bear is really interested in the banjo. When Waldo falls off a mountain ledge, the bear gets hold of the banjo and starts playing. Magoo is so near sighted, he doesn't know Waldo is gone and thinks the bear playing the banjo is Waldo. When they arrive at their lodge, Magoo and the bear get into more misadventures. Written by Matt Yorston <george.y@ns.sympatico.ca>

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Release Date:

29 September 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ragtime Bear See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


First appearance of Mr. Magoo. Also, the first installment of the Jolly Frolics series that UPA created for Columbia to replace that studio's own faltering cartoon series. See more »


[Mr. Magoo mistakenly believes he shot Waldo when he actually shot a bearskin rug in a bed, while the real Waldo comes in and sleeps on the bed, and Magoo pours water on his head, waking him up]
Mr. Magoo: Waldo, you're alive! Oh, I'm so ashamed, Waldo. Oh, here, Waldo, you can have your banjo.
[suddenly aims his shotgun at him]
Mr. Magoo: And if you play one note, I'll blast you!
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return: Yongary (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

Ragtime Bear was an entertaining take on the first appearance of Mr. Magoo
20 March 2009 | by tavmSee all my reviews

Just watched this notable UPA Jolly Frolics cartoon on Cartoon Brew as linked from Daily Motion. It's notable because it introduced the character that was most identified with United Productions of America than any other: Mr. Magoo. In this initial entry, he and his nephew Waldo are going to a ski lodge where the near sighted uncle gets grouchy every time his fur suited nephew plays the banjo. The short's title comes when Waldo falls from a cliff and a bear sitting on a tree gets the banjo which he then plays. Guess who Magoo mistakes him for? Since this was his first appearance, the design of Magoo is a bit rougher than his later cuter form and Jim Backus' voice is also not so charismatic. Still, there are charms aplenty especially when that bear starts playing or when he tries to get guitar out of Magoo's hands while he's sleeping. And Quincy Magoo's nearsightedness doesn't get as annoying as in the later '70s series from DePatie-Freleng. So kudos to creators John Hubley, director, and Millard Kaufman, writer, in whose memory Ragtime Bear was dedicated to from Amid at Cartoon Brew a few days ago.

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