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The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo

The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo is an animated television series, produced by United Productions of America, which aired for one season (1964 –1965) on the NBC network (usually on Sundays from 6:30-7:00PM Eastern). The television series was based on the original cartoon of the same name, with Jim Backus reprising the voice over of the role he did on TV: while doing this show, he continued with the prime time show Gilligan's Island.

The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo
Written byWalter Black
Barbara Chain
Directed byAbe Levitow (supervising)
Bob McKimson
Grant Simmons
Steve Clark (sequence)
Ray Patterson (sequence)
Voices ofJim Backus
Marvin Miller
Paul Frees
Dal McKennon
Joan Gardner
Howard Morris
Shep Menken
Everett Sloane
Julie Bennett
Theme music composerCarl Brandt
Composer(s)Carl Brandt
Country of originUSA
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes26 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Henry G. Saperstein
Editor(s)Sam Horta
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)United Productions of America
DistributorDreamWorks Classics
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original networkNBC
Original release19 September 1964 –
24 April 1965

Unlike the theatrical cartoons, which focused on the extremely nearsighted Quincy Magoo's bumbling, the show featured the Magoo character as an actor in adaptations of such literary classics as Don Quixote and Gunga Din. Each of these roles was played seriously, with few if any references to Magoo's nearsightedness; however, introductory segments in each program featured Magoo backstage stumbling into scenery and talking to props, thus connecting the older cartoons to this series. Some stories were contained in a single half-hour episode, but others ran to two and even four episodes. As UPA did not have its own studio facility the production was farmed out to the Grantray-Lawrence and Format Films studios.

Among the most ambitious adaptations mounted in this format were the four-part Robin Hood, in which he took the role of Friar Tuck; Treasure Island, in which he played the villainous Long John Silver; and a version of Snow White in which he portrayed all seven dwarves (much easier in an animated setting, with no trick photography needed).

The series was inspired by the success of the 1962 television special, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, a serious remake of the Charles Dickens classic with Magoo playing Ebenezer Scrooge.

The series was re-shown in the early 1970s on early Saturday mornings and the early 1980s as part of certain channels' weekday afternoon cartoon blocs. Certain episodes were released on VHS tape, but have since gone out of print.

The series was originally shown in prime time, and not as part of an animated bloc for juvenile viewers, therefore certain more mature elements were present. These included death threats (William Tell, Robin Hood, Don Quixote, The Three Musketeers, Sherlock Holmes), children in danger (Treasure Island, Gunga Din, William Tell), insanity (Don Quixote, Moby Dick), heroic self-sacrifice (Gunga Din), religious themes (Noah's Ark), and realistic (although mostly bloodless) violence including swordplay, shooting, clubbing, drowning, and character deaths (most episodes).



# Title Broadcast date
01 "William Tell" September 19, 1964
02 "Treasure Island"— Part 1 September 26, 1964
03 "Treasure Island"— Part 2 October 3, 1964
04 "Gunga Din" October 10, 1964
05 "Moby Dick" October 17, 1964
06 "The Three Musketeers"— Part 1 October 24, 1964
07 "The Three Musketeers"— Part 2 November 7, 1964
08 "Robin Hood"— Episode 1 November 14, 1964
09 "Robin Hood"— Episode 2 November 21, 1964
10 "Robin Hood"— Episode 3 November 28, 1964
11 "Robin Hood"— Episode 4 December 5, 1964
12 "Don Quixote de la Mancha"— Episode 1 December 19, 1964
13 "Cyrano de Bergerac" December 26, 1964
14 "Snow White"— Episode 1 January 2, 1965
15 "Snow White"— Episode 2 January 9, 1965
16 "Rip Van Winkle" January 16, 1965
17 "Dick Tracy and the Mob" February 6, 1965
18 "A Midsummer Night's Dream" February 13, 1965
19 "The Count of Monte Cristo" February 27, 1965
20 "Doctor Frankenstein" March 13, 1965
21 "Don Quixote de la Mancha"— Episode 2 March 20, 1965
22 "Captain Kidd" March 27, 1965
23 "Noah's Ark" April 3, 1965
24 "Sherlock Holmes" April 10, 1965
25 "King Arthur" April 17, 1965
26 "Paul Revere" April 24, 1965

DVD releaseEdit

On November 8, 2011, Shout! Factory released Mr. Magoo: The Television Collection 1960-1977 on DVD in Region 1.[1] This 11-disc collection contains all episodes from all 3 Mr. Magoo television series including all 26 episodes of The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo.


  1. ^ "Mr. Magoo DVD news: Box Art and Contents for Mr. Magoo on TV Collection: 1960-1977". Archived from the original on 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2012-06-13. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External linksEdit