Magical Maestro (Tex Avery MGM Cartoons)
Magical Maestro is a 1952 American animated cartoon short film for the MGM cartoon studio, directed by Tex Avery and produced by Fred Quimby. Starring Butch the Irish Dog, a common antagonist for Droopy, as part of his few solo appearances.
The Great Poochini (Butch the Irish Dog) rejects Mysto the Magician's assistance to give more pizzazz to his opera performance, causing the vengeful magician to get revenge on the opera singing canine in sabotaging his concert as he torments him with magic.
Why It's a Magical Maestro
- Butch is extremely funny here and steals the whole show.
- Tons of funny moments throughout that makes it physically impossible to watch without laughing! Even for Tex Avery's standards with his flawless comedic timing and great wacky execution.
- Mysto the Magician is a hilarious main antagonist and forms great chemistry with Butch.
- It also takes a hit at poking fun of the idea of stereotypes in its writing, to amp up the clever gags.
- The concept of a magician getting revenge on an opera singer taking the place of a maestro is creative, yet unique and outright hilarious.
- Great musical score from Scott Bradley, and vibrato in its voice work to go along with.
- Funny execution in its plot twist, with Butch's priceless reaction as he finds out about Mysto sabotaging his performance as he finishes it off, before he takes on a revenge himself by the ending.
- It also feature the infamous and hilarious "hair projector gag" previously seen in the classic Looney Tunes cartoon "Aviation Vacation" which was also directed by Tex Avery 11 years prior, except that it is executed way better here with Butch being more aware of the presence of the hair and him literally pulling the hair off the screen.
The Only Bad Quality
- The scenes where Butch magically transforms into a Chinaman and later an African-American singer with blackface makeup (as well as Mysto also magically transforming into a Chinaman near the end), while hilarious, as can be offensive to some viewers.
In 1993, Magical Maestro was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
The Tom and Jerry Tales episode "Way-Off Broadway" features a gag similar to Butch's magical transformations, in that Tom is forced to adapt to various pieces music when Jerry changes them on a radio.