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Classic Media Renews ‘Magoo’

2 Apr, 2010 By: John Latchem

Mr. Magoo is back.

Classic Media May 11 (order date April 13) will release a brand-new animated Mr. Magoo adventure, Kung-Fu Magoo, at $14.93. In a first for the studio, the title also will debut on the same day on iTunes for $9.99.

“There hadn’t been any new Magoo animated content in more than 30 years,” said Robert Mayo, SVP of home video at Classic Media. “We felt that Mr. Magoo was a unique and funny enough character that we could do new stories for today’s audiences.”

Kung-Fu Magoo teams Magoo with his nephew, Justin (voiced by Dylan Sprouse of Disney’s “Suite Life”), to battle giant robot spiders and jet-ski ninjas in a quest to stop the supervillain Tan-Gu and his Evil-lympics.

Additional voices include Cole Sprouse, Alyson Stoner, Chris Parnell and ESPN anchor Kenny Mayne as an animated version of himself.

Mayo said the hope is to rekindle the interest of fans of the original series (which begin in 1960) while drawing younger viewers with a cast of new characters.

“Any way you slice it, Mr. Magoo appeals to an older demographic on its own,” Mayo said. “We hope to engage those core Magoo fans, but with the voice talent, we think it will appeal to kids as well.”

One of the trickiest aspects of the production, Mayo said, was replacing the original voice of Mr. Magoo, Jim Backus, who died in 1989. Hoping to avoid comparisons by casting an established star, producers went with a relative unknown, Jim Conroy, to provide an impression of the Backus voice.

Mayo said plans are underway to air the movie on television, and Classic Media will consider making more Magoo movies if Kung-Fu Magoo performs well enough.

“I think it turned out really well,” Mayo said. “It’s funny. I think kids will be engaged by the voices. I think the sight gags are done well and humorously, and I think the packaging looks great.”

Mayo said the title is also positioned to take advantage of the remake of The Karate Kid, due in theaters June 11.

Classic Media May 11 also will release for the first time on DVD content from the 1964 series “The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo.” Mr. Magoo in Sherwood Forest ($9.98) combines the four-part episode “Mr. Magoo’s Robin Hood” into a single movie, with Magoo as Friar Tuck.

Previously released Magoo product from Classic Media includes The Mr. Magoo Show: The Complete Collection, released in 2005, as well as assorted episodes from the 1977 series “What’s New, Mr. Magoo?”

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