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  • Writer's pictureCollin Souter

Week # 30: "The Rescuers"

(Originally published on 7/26/22)


The Rescuers

Run time: 78 min.

Release Date: June 22, 1977.

Where/when I first saw it: Most likely, Randhurst when I worked there, 1989

How I watched it today: Blu-ray, Saturday afternoon

While watching “The Rescuers,” I kept trying to imagine the two central mice characters being Mickey and Minnie Mouse and what that would’ve been like. It wasn't hard to see how that might have been. It would have been very easy to see two of Disney’s most beloved characters adapt to this simple adventure story that also has a romantic side. Perhaps, maybe they thought of it, but with Walt gone, it just didn’t feel right. That’s not in any way to the film’s detriment. The two characters we have here are both adorable and charming enough, as voiced by Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor, two welcome additions to the Disney stable.

“The Rescuers” fits in with the same pack of Disney fare as “One-Hundred and One Dalmatians” and “The Aristocats,” with mice being the central characters. There is a rescue mission in which The Rescuers must rescue a young girl who has been kidnapped by jewel thieves and the villain, Madame Medusa (voiced by Geraldine Page), is clearly patterned after Cruella DeVille, in terms of manner and vocal delivery (I had to look up and make sure it wasn’t the same voice talent for both films). I enjoyed Orville the Albatross trying to get a good foothold while attempting take-off. Yeah, there are charming little side characters, but nothing that stands out.

That’s kind of how the whole thing feels. It’s slight, but not bad. Its color palette and animation style are simply standard Disney fare for this period. Thick lines and not a whole lot of attention to detail or any attempt at richness or anything new. It’s simply a little adventure film that the Disney artists at this time produced as a way of keeping animation alive, even though the studio at this time was spending more effort on their live-action stuff, most of which was pretty forgettable. The folk songs that bookend the film date it a little, but even that has its charm. Still, you have Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor as the main character voices and they make the material sing a little more than it might have without real personalities coming into the fold.

Not one of the best, not one of the worst.


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