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Western Animation / When Magoo Flew

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When Magoo Flew is a 1954 animated short film produced by United Productions of America and directed by Pete Burness.

It stars, you guessed it, Mr. Magoo. In this cartoon, Magoo, voiced as usual by Jim Backus, goes out to see a movie, specifically a 3-D Movie. Magoo, being basically blind, walks right past the movie theater and instead winds up at the airport. He gets a "ticket" from a guess-your-weight machine and blunders his way onto a plane, still thinking that he's in a movie theater. A Real Life drama then plays out as Magoo finds himself sitting next to a bank robber.

The title was later borrowed for a book about the history of UPA itself.


  • All Part of the Show: Magoo thinks that everything he sees on board the plane, specifically the cop talking to the stewardess, is part of a particularly realistic 3-D Movie.
  • Blind Mistake: A hallmark of the series, as Magoo's extreme nearsightedness has him wandering around the outside of a plane.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: Although we never actually see the money, that's what the nervous man sitting next to Magoo is carrying.
  • Episode on a Plane: Magoo goes on a flight.

  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue: The robber tells the cop that he hasn't seen a briefcase full of money. Enter Magoo to return the briefcase the man left behind.
  • Limited Animation: The UPA house style is in full display here. Best exemplified in the scene between the cop and the stewardess, where only their lips are moving.
  • Not Where They Thought: Magoo gets into a plane thinking it was a movie theater.
  • Oh, Crap!: A pretty great one from the pilots when they see Magoo appear in front of their windshield.
  • Outside Ride: Magoo mistakes an emergency exit door for the theater exit, and spends the middle third of the cartoon roaming around the outside of the plane, complaining about the air conditioning being on too high.
  • Shout-Out: The theater Magoo passes has a poster advertising film "The Tattle-Tale Heart" featuring "Theodora Parmelee". That's a Shout Out to another UPA cartoon, a remarkable adaptation of "The Tell-Tale Heart", released that same year and directed by Ted Parmelee.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: At the end Magoo complains that there was no cartoon with the movie.
    Magoo: Do you ever run those cartoons about that ridiculous, little, nearsighted old man? You know the one that goes... [performs his trademark grumble]