Willy McBean and His Magic Machine

Willy McBean and His Magic Machine is a 1965 stop motion animated time travel film produced by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass' Videocraft International (now Rankin/Bass Productions) in the United States and Dentsu Motion Pictures in Japan.[1] It was presented by Marshall Naify, released by Magna Pictures Distribution Corporation on June 23, 1965.

Willy McBean and His Magic Machine
Willy McBean and His Magic Machine.jpg
Official release poster
Directed byArthur Rankin, Jr.
Kizo Nagashima
Written byArthur Rankin, Jr.
Anthony Peters
(continuity design)
Produced byArthur Rankin, Jr.
StarringLarry D. Mann
Billie Mae Richards
Alfie Scopp
Paul Kligman
Claude Ray
Corrine Connely
James Doohan
Peggi Loder
Paul Soles
CinematographyTadahito Mochinaga
Music byEdward Thomas
Distributed byMagna Pictures Distribution Corporation
Release date
  • June 23, 1965 (1965-06-23) (U.S.)
Running time
94 minutes
CountriesUnited States

The film tells the story of Willy McBean, a young schoolboy who teams up with an anthropomorphic monkey named Pablo to prevent the villainous professor Rasputin Von Rotten from changing the history of the world, using the newly created and duplicated "magic" time machine.

Written, produced and directed by Arthur Rankin, Jr., with Jules Bass and Larry Roemer as associate producers, the film uses a team of voice actors under the soundtrack recording supervision of Bernard Cowan in Canada, including Larry D. Mann as Von Rotten and Billie Mae Richards as Willy. Tadahito Mochinaga supervises the "Animagic" stop motion process at MOM Productions in Japan, the same team behind the animation for The New Adventures of Pinocchio (1960–61) and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964).


Willy McBean is sick of trying to learn history for school. Meanwhile, an evil scientist called Rasputin Von Rotten is building a magical time machine so he can go back in time and be the most famous person in history. A Spanish-English talking monkey named Pablo climbs through Willy's window. He explains that he escaped from Von Rotten and he tells Willy what he is planning to do. Pablo stole the plans to the time machine.

Willy builds his own machine to go back in time to stop Von Rotten. The machine isn't working properly. They end up with General George Armstrong Custer, and escape moments before Custer is killed.

They then arrive in the Wild West, where they meet Buffalo Bill Cody and his Indian pal, Sitting Bull. Von Rotten plans to become the fastest gun in the west. Von Rotten asks Bill for a showdown, but both guns are sabotaged before anyone can be shot.

Von Rotten moves onto his next target, Christopher Columbus. Once there, disguised as a Chinese trader, he convinces Columbus's crew that they should mutiny. Once more McBean and Pablo stop the evil professor by showing the crew that land is not far off.

After that, Von Rotten goes back to England in the days of King Arthur in the kingdom of Camelot, but Pablo and Willy get Arthur to pull Excalibur the magic sword that can talk. A talking green dragon then crashes into Camelot in an effort to eat everyone, but King Arthur and Excalibur are able to drive him away.

After a quick diversion to the Roman Colosseum, Willy and Pablo later go to Ancient Egypt to stop Von Rotten from building the Great Pyramid. Then they go back to prehistoric times to encourage cavemen to discover fire and invent the wheel before Von Rotten.

As they return to the present, Von Rotten shows the students history through his magic machine (in the form of a movie projector) during history class.

Voice castEdit

Production creditsEdit

  • Written, Produced, Directed by Arthur Rankin, Jr.
  • Associate Producers: Jules Bass, Larry Roemer
  • Associate Director: Kizo Nagashima
  • Soundtrack Supervision: Bernard Cowan
  • Music Supervision by Forrell, Thomas and Polack, Associates, Inc.
  • Music by Edward Thomas
  • Songs by Jim Polack, Edward Thomas, Gene Forrell
  • Animation Supervision: Tadahito Mochinaga (credited as Tad Mochinaga)
  • Puppet Makers: Ichiro Komuro, Kyoko Kita, Reiko Yamagata, Sumiko Hosaka (all uncredited)
  • Animation: Tadahito Mochinaga, Hiroshi Tabata, Takeo Nakamura, Fumiko Magari, Tadanari Okamoto, Koichi Oikawa (all uncredited)
  • Choreography: Edward Brinkmann
  • Continuity Design: Anthony Peters (credited as Antony Peters)
  • Additional Dialogue: Len Korobkin
  • a Videocraft/Dentsu picture
  • a Marshall Naify/Magna Pictures Distribution Corporation presentation

© 1965 Videocraft International, Limited and Dentsu Motion Picture Corporation.


1."The Magical Magic Machine"Chorus 
2."Professor Rasputin Von Rotten"Larry D. Mann 
3."We Got Showbiz"Alfie Scopp & Paul Kligman 
4."Gotta Go West to Get East"Paul Kligman 
5."I Am for Hire"Larry D. Mann 
6."We're Knights of the Round Table (Not of the Square)"Chorus 
7."I'm the Most Exciting, Horrible Dragon (In All of Camelot)"Alfie Scopp 
8."Poorest Queen"Bunny Cowan 
9."A Caveman's Lot"Bunny Cowan & Paul Soles 
10."The Magical Magic Machine"Chorus 

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 213–214. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved June 6, 2020.

External linksEdit