Talk about a fun read! If you loved this first ever animated Christmas T.V special, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, as much as my family of ten siblings and I did growing up in Salina, Kansas, then you will be blown away by this book. Darrell Van Citters has written about a film he obviously loves but never allows that to distort his critical eye or shrewd assessment along the way to uncovering the truly fascinating journey along it's serendipitous creation. Kismet in many ways and determined vision by producer Lee Orgel, in many others. From this book and it's super fast paced, gripping, clear and devotedly researched telling, you will read just how magical a special it truly was. So many talented superstar designers of the UPA led fifties were a vital part of the show's bold colorful look. The boatload of newly discovered bg paintings, cool retro prime fifties era layout drawings, and character development designs are all placed alongside the correlating text. So smart. I have never read a book with images placed so cleverly and so in keeping with the spirit of the subject matter. The book's design and layout is total immersion into the world and art of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. The book is divided into clear chunks of the film's evolution and production process. One of my favorites is the music section. The songs were unbelievably all recorded in one day. I loved reading how the recording day progressed and how the cast and crew's laughter was so loud during the recording of the horrible Despicable's song--or is it the despicable Horrible's song--- when they all started singing "LA.LA, LA la la la" the crew and cast laughed so much that they could barely continue. The heartfelt performance by JIm Backus singing the duet with teenager Marie Matthews as young Scrooge "I'm All Alone In The World" convinced the doubting producer and composer Jule Styne that he did have the chops to sing Magoo's role even though he was not a trained singer. All I can say is it a fascinating and inspiring journey into how magic in filmland is made. I have worked at Disney animation as director of Pocahontas, The Rescuers Down Under, the Oscar nominated short Lorenzo, and many disney films in many varied roles. I know when a film has a spark that ignites and leads you. You want that spark, and you know it when you have it, and you know it when you don't. This beautiful version of Dicken's classic special had it in spades. It just plain works. This animated masterpiece still touches and entertains as much as it ever did, and thanks to Darrell Van Citter's devoted and precise telling you can fully appreciate it in a brand new light. I have gone back and just listened to the music after reading the book. It gave me a whole new perspective that brought it right back to life as if it was recorded today. That is called smart, honest, insightful writing. It is one from the heart, but never lets the heart bias the mind.