Friday, 11 January 2008

Pete Burness & Stephen Bosustow "When Magoo Flew"

The wondrous creation, Mr Magoo, was reportedly based on a combination of creator John Hubley's uncle and the immortal WC Fields. When Magoo Flew is one of two of the series that was awarded an Academy Award for Animated Short Film, in this case in 1954. It features the voice of Jim Backus that is so distinctive a feature of the character. Under the direction of Pete Burness and producer, Stephen Bosustow, the two writers Barbara Hammer and Ted Pierce offer a great script that has the short-sighted, hapless (though amazingly resilient) old man boarding a plane in the belief that he is attending a 3D movie. Part of the fun is how he misinterprets everything translating features of the flight in his own terms. Thus he pays for the flight at a weighing machine, finds "Fasten Seat Belts" an "interesting title" and, most humorous of all, takes a precarious walk around the plane, frightening the pilot and complaining about the air conditioning. He also manages, quite unknowingly, to thwart a criminal. This United Productions of America six minute movie is huge fun and, especially when it comes to the tour of the plane, a breath of fresh air. I must not omit the animators: Rudy Larriva, Tom McDonald and Cecil Surry.
BETT was superb, though the Adobe dinner at Brunello better. I met some nice people and thanks for the cocktails.

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