on 24 May 2010
Possibly my favourite Disney film, though I'm also fond of The Sword In The Stone and Basil the Great Mouse Detective. They're all classics that have sort of fallen off the radar, not as well known or celebrated as Bambi, Snow White, Beauty and The Beast etc, but as a child they were my favourites. For the most part The Reascuers is a very sweet film, about two little mice who are part of a society dedicated to rescuing children in peril. One is Bernard, a chubby, bumbling former janitor, who is charmingly awkward and nervous, and his glamorous and exotic compainion Bianca, who loves excitement and adventure.
They set off to rescue a sweet little girl named Penny, with a cute lisp, who is an orphan who's afraid noone will ever want her (awwww!). They get help along the way from a sweet old cat named Rufus, and a boisterous albatross who runs his own airline with himself as the plane.
It's all very nice, but as usual a disney film is really only as good as its villain, and the film really comes alive with the arrival of the fabulous Madame Medusa. She is a flame haired monster, with a hilariously pronounced sexy walk and disproportionately prominent rear, a wonderful array of facial expressions and a perfect voice for expressing contempt and bad temper. I used to fall about laughing when ever she snarled 'oh, shuttup!' at her hapless accomplice, Snoops, which is something she does fairly frequently. She is just a wonderful work of character in animation, whether she is driving recklessly in her demonic, exhaust spewing car, attacking her pet crocodiles with a broom, or persuading Penny to go into a dark, flooded cavern to retrieve a diamond; my favourite Disney villain, just a little above the gloriously self absorbed Gaston and the evil professor Rattigan!
Its a great film for children, but I have to be honest, I watched it just the other day and still loved it as much as ever, so either its an ageless classic, nostalgia got the better of me, or I haven't matured a day since primary school.
on 27 January 2004
It is a shame that this film is not as popular now with younger children as it once was with children when it first came out. It remains one of my favourite Disney Classics, along with The Sword in the Stone, Aladdin, Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. You can't help but fall in love with Penny, Bernard, Bianca and Penny's cat and you can't help but hate Madame Medusa and her cronies. This one will be enjoyed by those who love Disney and those who have never seen a Disney film before. One for all the family.
on 23 March 2010
"The Rescuers" is still a movie shown to animation students everywhere; the animation in it is simply that stupendous and magical. This 1977 animated movie still delivers. Strong characters and story help it to shine as brightly today as the diamond on which the whole story centres.
At the Rescue Aid Society in New York (beneath the UN Headquarters), a message in a bottle pleading for help is examined. Bianca, a foreign representative, takes the case and selects timid but moral janitor Bernard for the job. They set out to find the girl, Penny, and help her all they can. That the two are mice won't distract them from dealing with larger-than-life foes such as the incredible Medusa, her bumbling partner-in-crime Snoops and alligators Brutus and Nero. Penny, whom Medusa uses to search for the legendary diamond the Devil's Eye due to her small size, needs all the help she can get. But the Rescuers are up against formidable foes.
The Rescuers is a short movie, only about 75 minutes, but it packs its punch into its short time frame. The characters really make the movie shine. Bernard and Bianca work wonderfully together, as does the troupe of supporting characters such as the swamp rodents. The only character I don't like is the mosquito whose name I keep forgetting, and who has a large part in the movie. Penny is adorable and we totally feel for her in the horrible situation she finds herself in.
However, the star of the movie is Medusa, the sort of character who only occurs once in cinema. She is despicable and repulsive, yet beautifully so; she is fascinatingly and charismatically evil. Here is a person who has pet alligators and deals with rodents by shooting them with a shotgun. Geraldine Paige nails the voice role, but it's the animators who bring her so fantastically to life. Disney was using another sort of production style at the time, where they xeroxed their drawings, resulting in the rough pencil style also seen in the Aristocats and Robin Hood. Some reviewers here don't like it, and I couldn't disagree with them more. I personally love this style, as it draws out the true rawness and beauty of the animation; it isn't trying to hide the draftsmanship behind it all. As I stated above, The Rescuers is still noted for its animation. More than once, in my animation school, have my teachers liked to show us Medusa's first clip, on which you could model a whole animation class. Medusa's gestures, moves, looks and little mannerisms represent a level of animation that only a master can stout at possessing. What did you expect, from someone like Milt Kahl? All this makes Medusa not only a marvel in animation, but a timeless and electric character that will live on in our minds for a long, long time.
Interestingly, the villains in the movie attracted all the best animators. Not only Medusa but her "sweetheart" Snoops is fantastic. Pet alligators Brutus and Nero are then simply astounding, doing for animal animation what Medusa does for human animation. The scene where they're playing the organ is simply delicious to behold.
The Rescuers is an amazing animated movie for the ages. It's got something for everyone; great story, awesome characters, stupendous animation (which brings both of the aforementioned to life). This is one of those times when animation fully reveals its potential. Let it be forever heralded.
on 7 January 2011
This is a great kids film! The songs are catchy but not too annoying (Think more in the background like Toy Story). It's a Classic!
on 22 January 2001
This is a story well-told, with lots of charm, humour, pathos and excitement. There is a wonderful team of goodies pitted against a delightful team of baddies - Disney does great baddies! A little girl has been kidnapped, and two heroic mice, with lots of animal help, set out to rescue her. The story is a visual delight, in the best Disney tradition, and still has my family on the edge of our seats many viewings down the line.
on 27 April 2003
"The Rescuers" has got to be one of the best, dramatic, dark-atmosphered films that Disney has ever created. You can't help to fall in love with the sweet tale of a little orphan girl taken away from the orphanage and used as a slave in life-threatening underground missions. That piece of storytelling, on it's own is tear-jerking, but how emotional can it get? Very.
Beautiful, dramatic melodies that sound like lullabies are carefully added as finishing touches to the most warm scenes, beginning with the artistic musical sequence "The Journey," which opens the film in one of the most heart-calling ways Disney has ever done, to the soft "Someone's Waiting for You" in which the young girl Penny, loses and regains her faith and hope once again, you can't help but feel the urge of crying during scenes like this. The scene in which Penny says her night prayers before going to bed was carefully crafted to bring up a bit more emotion to the upcoming climax.
Songs like "Rescue Aid Society" and "Tomorrow is Another Day" are nicely added to allow the viewer a few moments of happiness during the charming film.
Besides the music, Disney has added several moments of action and suspense, including one in which Madame Medusa, the kidnapper, lowers poor innocent Penny into a dangerous and humid cave at the shore in which the girl's life might be threatened enormously, Medusa could care less about that, making you hate her even more, which makes her a fantastic villain whom from the first moment of the film's opening, she is motivating the story.
A lot of humor, fun and colorful and lovable characters are added to take you away from the dark atmosphere once in a while. The ending is one of the happiest among Disney's finales and certainly leaves you hoping for a sequel, one in which you can be sure Penny is happily living and away from harm's way as it would have happened in early development of "Oliver & Company" and not at all what we got in the lame "The Rescuers Down Under."
Overall, "The Rescuers" along with "Dumbo," "The Fox and the Hound" and "Bambi" is definitely a charming story anyone can enjoy. Disney's currently releases of the film leave a lot to be desired, especially the picture quality. Hopefully Disney will soon release this film properly like it deserves to be.
on 4 January 2014
I have always been a huge fan of the film's sequel Rescuers Down Under, with this one always merely being fun to me, however I was still excited when heard this was getting the blu ray treatment, and I was not disappointed.
Film - the film itself is a classic, and contains an interesting balance between the sweeter side of Disney as well as some of it's darker more forgotten about elements that push the limits of a child-friendly film. However that said, having grown up watching this and darker installments, I don't think it would have any lasting effect and if anything works as an ideal starter for your child to grow curious about darker films as they get older.
Transfer - the transfer looks great, with only minor distraction being how crisp and clear the visuals looked mixed with the slightly scruffy line art style of film characters itself, but this is easy to settle in to.
Extras - comes with a deleted song, sing-a-long, and two animated shorts which are relatively fun for a fan. As well as an introduction to Blu Ray with Timon & Pumbaa, and of course the Disney Movie Rewards card to redeem on the site and earn points towards a free title.
So overall, although this is not the most amazing visually, or crammed with extras of the Disney catalogue, if you enjoy the film or wish simply to see how it holds up, this is notably superior to the dvd equivelant, and worth the money spent.
'The Rescuers' is a Walt Disney movie that can be truly regarded as timeless. I'm surprised that I never wore the video of it out when I was a kid, I decided to purchase the DVD and see if I could still love it after almost ten years - I certainly did.
It's the story of a young orphan girl called Penny who is kidnapped by two greedy crooks: the villainous Madame Medusa and her hen-pecked sidekick Mr. Snoops who take her to live with them on a boat. Their only interest in her is that, with her being so small, they want her to go down a hole to help them find a rare and valuable diamond located in a pirate's cave. Penny sends a 'help' message in a bottle and is recovered by the Rescue Aid Society, a mouse organization. Glamorous Miss Bianca (voiced by Eva Gabor, who was the sister of Zsa Zsa) volunteers to accept the case and chooses Bernard, a janitor. Can two little mice really help a young girl escape from two adults? Absolutely!
An interesting, fun-packed story, brilliant characters and some really charming songs. 'The Rescuers' is a treat from start to finish and must surly rank as one of Disney's all time classics. An exciting one for the children!
The DVD contains some cute special features for the young ones to enjoy, including an interactive game called 'The Ultimate Chase', Walt Disney featurettes on Disney villains and The Water Birds, as well as an appropriate bonus short, 'Three Blind Mouseketeers' from 1936.
on 10 January 2013
The 23rd animated Disney classic is underrated and somewhat forgotten, yet one of Disney's finest! It's a great movie, even one of Disney's finest underrated works.
This charming film, while undoubtedly heartwarming, is also creative and very lively. It has lots of adventure and suspense, classic humor, fine artwork, a wonderful soundtrack and a dark atmosphere. When I say "dark" I mean dark in the sense of being somewhat chilly, but without being extremely dark or a story of horror/terror. The darkness of the Devil's Bayou is amazing, creepy to the point of almost looking like a forbidding place, which helps a lot to create this distinct atmosphere.
Despite the apparent simplicity, this motion picture has some very artistic palette colors. One good example of this is the amazing and gorgeous opening sequence. The beautiful but sad song 'The Journey' matches in perfection.
Despite my life long love of all things Disney, I didn't see most of the animated movies until I was in college or older. I don't remember seeing The Rescuers until I was out of college. It has some dated animation, but I find it charming and think most families will as well.
The movie opens with a shot of a little girl throwing a bottle into the water in a bayou. As the opening credits role, we follow the bottle as it journey's up to New York City, where it is found by the Rescue Aid Society.
Now the Rescue Aid Society is made up of mice from all over the world. As the message is read, Miss Bianca (voiced by Eva Gabor) the delegate from Hungry, volunteers to go. This causes a hubbub since no woman has ever gone on a mission before (the film was released in 1977 after all), so it is decided she needs a co-agent. She picks Bernard, the janitor who is afraid of most things (Bob Newhart).
Following the few clues they do have, this duo track Penny (Michelle Stacy) down to the Devil's Bayou, where she is being held by Madame Medusa (Geraldine Page). Medusa wants Penny to find a special diamond for her in a tidal cave. Will Bernard and Miss Bianca and some friends they make along the way be able to help them find the diamond and free Penny?
This movie feels a bit dark for a Disney movie, and I'm not quite sure why. One reason is the lack of humorous sidekicks. There are a few of them and a few comedic scenes (the pipe organ scene is a classic) but these scenes are also filled with suspense. Of course, Disney movies have always had their darker elements, and this one isn't quite as dark as some of them, so kids should be okay with it.
Another reason it feels dark is the color pallet. Much of the movie takes place at night, and that infuses all the colors of the film. It's a very effective move that makes us feel the danger our characters are facing.
During the 1970's, Disney animation took a turn toward two dimensional backgrounds and even some watercolor. That's absolutely in display here. Actually, some of the watercolor backgrounds are strikingly beautiful. It's a style choice that dates the movie, but it's not one I mind. It takes some getting used to when compared to the later hand drawn movies and is certainly different than the computer animated movies we're used to now, but give it a chance. Fans of Don Bluth won't be surprised to learn he was heavily involved in this film before leaving Disney to start his own animation studio since the style is so similar.
Part of that dark tone to me is the lack of magic. Yes, the animals talk, even to Penny, but it feels a tad on the ordinary side. That's not to say the movie isn't fun, but it doesn't quite capture the imagination as some of the other animated movies do.
So let's start talking about what works, because there is much that does. The story is good. While we see Penny at the very beginning, we don't find out for sure where she is or why she is there until Bernard and Miss Bianca do, so the first half feels like a mystery as they piece things together. Then it's pure adventure as these two mice and a little girl plot a daring escape.
As a bit of trivia, Cruella de Vil was originally going to be the villain. Frankly, I still see quite a bit of that in Medusa. There's her obsession with getting the diamond and her over the top personality. But the clearest similarity is Medusa's lousy driving but on land and on her swamp mobile.
The film is filled with great characters. Bernard's fear and superstition is quite cute, and Miss Bianca is charming. It's easy to feel for Penny. Along the way we meet Orville the Albatross, a dragonfly named Evinrude, and Madusa's pet alligators Brutus and Nero who are all fun. And Medusa makes a great villain since she is easy to root against. She's not too scary, but scary enough to be taken seriously.
Of course, the cast deserves credit for bringing these characters to life. The voice talent is perfect, Eva Gabor and Bob Newhart especially as the leads.
And I haven't even mentioned the music. Sadly, none of the songs here seem to have become popular. The cast itself only sings "Rescue Aid Society," but I am fond of "Tomorrow is Another Day" and the Oscar nominated "Someone's Waiting for You."
So despite the dated animation, the movie still has its charm. If you have missed The Rescuers, do yourself a favor and watch it today.