Willy McBean and his Magic Machine

Willy McBean and his Magic Machine
Directed by Arthur Rankin, Jr.
Kizo Nagashima
(associate director)
Produced by Jules Bass
Arthur Rankin, Jr.
Larry Roemer
(associate producer)
Written by Arthur Rankin, Jr.
Anthony Peters
(continuity design)
Starring Larry D. Mann
Billie Mae Richards
Paul Soles
Music by Edward Thomas
Gene Forrell
Cinematography Tadahito Mochinaga
Dentsu Motion Pictures
Rankin/Bass Productions
Distributed by Magna Pictures Distribution Corporation
Release dates
  • June 23, 1965 (1965-06-23) (U.S.)
Running time
94 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Willy McBean and his Magic Machine is a 1965 full-length stop-motion puppet animation film produced by Rankin/Bass Productions in the United States and Dentsu Motion Pictures in Japan. It was distributed by Magna Pictures Distribution Corporation, and released in movie theaters on June 23, 1965. Its main theme is time travel. The film was also the first stop-motion animated feature produced in the United States.


Willy McBean is sick of trying to learn history for school. Meanwhile, an evil scientist called Rasputin Von Rotten is building a magical time machine so he can go back in time and be the most famous person in history. A Spanish-English talking monkey named Pablo climbs through Willy's window. He explains that he escaped from Von Rotten and he tells Willy what he is planning to do. Pablo stole the plans to the time machine.

Willy builds his own machine to go back in time to stop Von Rotten. The machine isn't working properly. They end up with General George Armstrong Custer (1839–1876), and escape moments before Custer is killed.

They then arrive in the Wild West, where they meet Buffalo Bill Cody and his Indian pal, Sitting Bull. Von Rotten plans to become the fastest gun in the west. Von Rotten asks Bill for a showdown, but both guns are sabotaged before anyone can be shot.

Von Rotten moves onto his next target, Christopher Columbus. Once there, disguised as a Chinese trader, he convinces Columbus's crew that they should mutiny. Once more McBean and Pablo stop the evil professor by showing the crew that land is not far off.

After that, Von Rotten goes back to England in the days of King Arthur in the kingdom of Camelot, but Pablo and Willy get Arthur to pull Excalibur the magic sword that can talk. A talking green dragon then crashes into Camelot in an effort to eat everyone, but King Arthur and Excalibur are able to drive him away.

Willy and Pablo later go to Ancient Egypt to stop Von Rotten from building the Great Pyramid, but the duo reach Ancient Rome on the way. Then they go back to prehistoric times to encourage cavemen to invent fire and the wheel before Von Rotten.

As they return to the present, Von Rotten shows the students history through his magic machine (in the form of a movie projector) during history class.

Voice cast

Production credits

© 1965 Videocraft International, Limited and Dentsu Motion Picture Corporation.


See also

External links

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