What was the first made-for-TV animated holiday special? Oh, alright. The title of this post sort of gives it away.
Yes, before Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, before A Charlie Brown Christmas, there was Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol!
Magoo had made the jump from theatrical cartoons to his own TV series in 1960. The success of that show convinced UPA (owners of the character) to make a 60-minute adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic.
First broadcast on NBC in 1962 with the sponsorship of the Timex watch people, the special took on an unusual “show-within-a-show concept.” Magoo was a great actor, returning to his theatrical roots by appearing on Broadway as Ebenezer Scrooge in a musical version of the famous tale.