6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
My childhood favourite!,
This review is from: Basil The Great Mouse Detective [DVD] (DVD)
When I was just seven years old I watched this at the pictures. I then got the story & tape, and the sticker album.
Now at the tender age of 27 I watched this again on DVD the other day and I enjoyed it. It is very different to many other Disney films. For a start it is set in Victorian London. It is one of the last Disney Films to have lavish painted backdrops rather than the more cartoony style we see today.
It is set in a sort of parallel world to ours, one of mice. Basil is approached by young Olivia and Dr. Dawson (the Watson to Basil's Holmes) in order to request his help to find her kidknapped dad. Once Basil learns that his arch-nemesis Ratigan is involved with his disappearance he is only too happy to help.
Sherlock Holmes fans will love the nods towards the Conan-Doyle legend - he infact appears in the film (Holmes that is, not Conan-Doyle!)
Barry Ingham is the perfect voice for Basil. He manages to pack in the eccentricity and that quintessential Englishness required for the role. Basil is one of my all-time favourite Disney characters. My absolute all time favourite though is Fidget - the peg-legged bat who happens to be Ratigan's henchman. His crazy jabbering speech always makes me chuckle.
Speaking of voices - Hollywood great Vincent Price voices Ratigan, an inspired choice. Instead of a rasping throaty growl, he has a more charming sophisticated way of speaking which makes him feel more menacing.
There are a few musical numbers in this film, but they aren't particularly great - nothing you'd expect to find on a Disney compilation CD. The plot is quite 2 dimensional, there's no real sub-plots or anything other than the main story.
This looks good but lacks the magic which should make this an absolute classic, the characters are enjoyable - particularly Basil, Ratigan, and of course Fidget.
DVD features are weak on this, there's an old cartoon - and I mean OLD (I think it's a 1930's one). It looks as though they bundled a few throwaway items just to make sure there were some features to list on the back. The old Making of is okay - but nothing special. Some really good features could have earned this another star from me.
I'm sure most people will enjoy this - it is a good film. But maybe not one you'll watch regularly.
Location: Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.
Top Reviewer Ranking: 74