Thursday, May 26, 2011

Disn-A-Thon: The Rescuers (1977)

When a bottle containing a plea for help from a little girl named Penny makes its way to the Rescue Aid Society, a mouse organization in the basement of the United Nations building dedicated to the rescue and well-being of anyone in need, it is up to the brave mouse Miss Bianca and her chosen partner, the shy janitor Bernard to rescue the girl. Searching for clues at her home at Morningside Orphanage in New York City, the two mice discover that the girl has been kidnapped by the evil pawn shop owner Madame Medusa and her companion Mr. Snoops. On the back of Orville the albatross, Miss Bianca and Bernard travel to the terrifyingly gloomy Devil's Bayou island where they learn the shocking truth: The innocent young girl is being forced down into a dangerous, dark underground pirate's cave where she must find the Devil's Eye, the world's largest diamond and Madame Medusa's greatest obsession... [imdb]

The Rescuers marks the end of a long era in Disney animation.  The entire department sort of futtered around for a while after this, until the next big era began with The Little Mermaid.  That's not to say everything between these two was crap, but it was all different after The Rescuers.

It's a really sweet story, charming and simple... The focus is more on the dramatic story than the comedy, which is something that had been abandoned for a while in Disney animated films.  The art and animation leaves a bit to be desired though.  I'll be honest, this is Disney in the 70's, and it shows.  The picture is grainy, and I don't think that's from the transfer.  The characters are clean and normal, but the backgrounds and general animation is dirty and very dated.  I still enjoyed it though and wouldn't consider that as a real distraction... more an observation.

There are practically no special features on the disc, and what little there are have nothing really to do with the movie.  There's an animated short, a live-action featurette on birds... Aside from a song, that's about it.  I would have liked to have something about the making of the film.

Oh, and on a final note, I think Bob Newhart carried this entire movie.  I am not sure it would have been even remotely the same if not for Bob, but that could be my own personal bias.  I love Bob.