Forget Thurston Howell III. When it comes to the late, great actor Jim Backus, it's all about his cherished cartoon character, Mr. Magoo. Magoo, for those unfortunate enough not to know, was a half-blind, fully deluded crackpot whose ludicrous feats of hazardous happenstance and good-natured mutterings invariably met to create some of the most sublimely absurd gags in all of animation. Now, and quite thankfully, this matinee program, “Magoo at the Alex,” finally reinstates one of the greatest, and of late overlooked, one-dimensional comic figures of all time. Magoo's cultural significance transcends the mere cult of Backus; producers UPA, a renegade Burbank studio founded by disgruntled Disney defectors, took a somewhat radical approach in terms of both their modern graphic style and by the simple fact that Magoo was, in contrast to the ruling cartoon class of ducks, mice, felines, canines and, yes, wabbits, a plain and simple humanoid. Most importantly, the croaking, calamity-prone Magoo was funny — so much so that he even bagged more than one Oscar for Best Animated Short. Expect gales of yocks and an devastating outbreak of Magoo-mania. Alex Theater, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., Sept. 15, 3:30 p.m.; $25. (818) 243-2539,

Sat., Sept. 15, 3:30 p.m., 2012

LA Weekly