By Paul Kurtz
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — NBC is bringing back a long-lost Christmas classic this weekend, marking the golden anniversary of the program’s debut.
Before “Charlie Brown,” before “Rudolph,” before “The Grinch”…there was Quincy Magoo.
Fifty years ago, on December 18th, 1962, NBC aired a pioneering animated Christmas special starring the myopic Mr. Magoo in a rousing musical version of “A Christmas Carol.”
Longtime television producer and Temple University professor Paul Gluck says it was a milestone in mid-20th century animation:
“Right after it aired, Walt Disney called its producer and said, ‘This is a program of such quality that it will be seen for generations.’ ”
Not quite. The network stopped running the show after 1967. But now it is bringing Mr. Magoo back to mark the 50th anniversary.
Members of the Millennial generation may not have much interest in watching, but Gluck says Baby Boomers can’t wait to see it again.
“It was a reflection on a happier time,” Gluck believes. “It was a very upbeat show. It was well produced. I’m looking forward to watching it again. It will bring back memories. And to share it with my children and grandchildren will bring on even new memories of the holiday season together.”