"Oh, Magoo! You've done it again!"
Quincy Magoo, a nearsighted old gentleman voiced by character actor Jim Backus
, created in the waning years of The Golden Age of Animation
, is the most popular character created by the UPA animation studio
. Most of the humor in Mr. Magoo's cartoons came from his visual handicap
and his staunch refusal to acknowledge it. Aside from his animated shorts and assorted TV specials, Mr. Magoo has appeared in:
- 1001 Arabian Nights, a 1959 feature filmnote , a version of Aladdin with Magoo as Aladdin's uncle;
- Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, a 1962 hour-long Christmas Special, an Animated Adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (obviously);
- The Mr. Magoo Show in the 1960s, later rerun on USA Network;
- Inside Magoo, a 1960 Quarter Hour Short sponsored by the American Cancer Society;
- The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo, a 1964 prime-time series on NBC, in which Magoo re-enacted famous literary works;
- What's New, Mr. Magoo?, a 1977 Saturday Morning Cartoon on CBSnote ;
- A Live-Action Adaptation starring Leslie Nielsen.
- Kung Fu Magoo, a 2010 animated film by Mexican studio Anima Estudiosnote where Magoo and his nephew go evil-busting during the supervillain olympics.
Magoo and his nephew Waldo also appeared on a 1957 LP, Magoo in Hi-Fi
One of Magoo's shorts, "When Magoo Flew", is not only an Academy Award
winning short, but also a runner-up on The 50 Greatest Cartoons
Mr. Magoo in all his varied incarnations provides examples of:
- All Animals Are Dogs: Magoo regards his cat, Bowser, as a dog.
- Badass Grandpa: He's old, short and visually impaired. He still can go on adventures, perform incredible feats for a man of his age and mop the floor with whoever who tries to mess with him for real.
- Big Fancy House: Mr Magoo lives in an awesome mansion.
- Blind Driving: Magoo in his Cool Car.
- Blind Mistake: The central element of Magoo's comedy.
- When Magoo took on the role of Don Quixote, this became the mechanism by which he identified his Dulcinea.
- Blind Without 'Em: Not only is Magoo blind without glasses, he never had'em in the first place. This is the cause of much of his trademark comedy, although it is toned down somewhat when he is portraying a character other than himself, such Ebenezer Scrooge. The original shorts revealed that Magoo uses a huge magnifiying glass when he's reading at home and owns a pair of glasses, but refuses to wear them out of stubborn pride.
- Cameo: Gerald McBoing-Boing appeared in several of the shorts, and portrayed Tiny Tim in Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.
- Catch Phrase: "Oh, Magoo! You've done it again!"
- Comedic Hero: Magoo himself.
- Con Man: Presley, in The Mr. Magoo Show.
- Cool Car: Magoo drives a fancy, old fashioned car that keeps on mint condition, despite the rough treatment it keeps receiving from its driver.
- Christmas Special: Perhaps surprisingly, ''Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" is the Ur Example, being "the first animated holiday program ever produced specifically for television" according to The Other Wiki.
- Electric Slide: One opening sequence shows him driving his car on top of power lines.
- The Fool: Magoo's incredible luck always saves the day for him and always ruins the day for whoever attempted to cheat or scam him.
- Flanderization: In the original UPA cartoons, the soul of the character was not simply being almost blind, but also being so incredibly stubborn about everything that even when he realizes the truth of what he is experiencing, he will still keep at it regardless. Later cartoons drop that and just focus the humor on his poor vision.
- Hidden Depths: Some old shorts and TV specials revealed that despite his poor eyesight and old age, Magoo is a very famous and still very competent actor.
- Identical Stranger: One episode of The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo has the actor Mr. Magoo asked by the police to impersonate an identical gangster in order to catch the whole gang. Just to make it all better, the person who asks Magoo to do this is Dick Tracy!
- Joisey: Magoo is an alumnus of Rutgers University, "class of aught-three". (That would be 1903 for our younger readers.)
- National Stereotypes: "Cholly"/"Charlie", Magoo's houseboy in The Mr. Magoo Show embodies a whole raftful of early to mid-20th-century Chinese stereotypes, but also subverts them at the same time by being intelligent and resourceful, and often rescuing Magoo from the situations he gets himself into.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Magoo is wealthy, but he is a really nice, law-abiding guy.
- Sword Cane: Magoo hides a sword inside his walking cane.
- Talking Animal: McBarker in What's New, Mr. Magoo?
- Thick-Line Animation: The Mr. Magoo were some of the earliest examples of the style, although arguably examples in transition between traditional styling and the modern expression of the style/trope.
- Third-Person Person: At least in his Catch Phrase.
- Uncatty Resemblance: McBarker in What's New, Mr. Magoo? not only looked like his owner, Magoo, he also had the same bad eyesight.
- Uncle Pennybags: Magoo is very wealthy, very friendly... and very naive, so people trying to invoke and abuse this trope on him is the plot of several episodes. Plus, Magoo is an uncle, as he lives with his stupid nephew Waldo.
- Universal Adaptor Cast: The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo.
- Verbal Tic: Charlie says "bloss" instead of "boss."
- Villain Song: "We're Despicable", sung by the graverobbers in Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol started the tradition of using cartoon characters to retell Dickens' classic.