Sony Pictures and Shout Factory have announced the release date of a long-delayed DVD collection, Mr. Magoo: The Theatrical Collection (1949-1959). The four-disc boxed set will be available on April 22nd 2014.
The theatrical Magoo cartoons – 53 shorts released to theaters by Columbia Pictures – are some of the most important, and funniest, animated films from the 1950s. Oscar nominated three times – and winning twice (When Magoo Flew, 1954 and Mr. Magoo’s Puddle Jumper, 1956) – the Mr. Magoo cartoons were the bread-and-butter series for UPA (United Productions of America), the renown, influential studio of the time that set the stage for modern graphics and individual style in animation.
Jim Backus made a career giving voice (and sometimes ad-libbing) the cantankerous near sighted senior citizen in dozens of Magoo shorts, TV cartoons, features and commercials. John Hubley, Pete Burness, Bill Hurtz, Rudy Larriva and Robert Cannon were among the directors. Twelve of the cartoons will be presented as originally released in anamorphic wide-screen. This DVD set also includes the 1959 Magoo feature film, 1001 Arabian Knights (directed by Jack Kinney).
This release marks the first time these cartoons have been released on DVD – and they have been meticulously remastered off the original Technicolor negatives by the Sony restoration team, headed by Grover Crisp and Rita Belda.
The set – which will include audio commentary by several UPA historians – retails for $34.93, but will sell below $30. via Shout Factory direct and Amazon.com.