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The Rescuers Down Under

The Rescuers Down Under is the first sequel in the canon and also the first to be completely made digitally. Although it was still hand drawn, it was done on digital inking devices instead of on traditional cells. It was strange how this film felt so much more modern than The Little Mermaid. When looking at the films in the Disney Renaissance, this one feels like it does not belong. In so I expected this to be generally worse. The Rescuers were one of the bigger successes that Disney had over the previous twenty years, hence the sequel, but Down Under had a tough time in the box office only making 47 million. This is largely due to it having very tough family competition premiering the same day as Home Alone.

As far as the story goes, this is back into child abduction territory. I do not know why Disney was so hellbent on kidnapping, but this is another one. The other part of the story is a bit of respect and take care of nature. It is the first time I’ve noticed it, but this one is very borderline preachy about the environment. This of course is something that Disney is well known for now-a-days.

Most of the characters are great. Of course, we have the return of Bianca and Bernard along with their celebrity voices. We get a goofy Wilbur instead of a goofy Orville. Jake the hopping mouse is a great new character that really pushes the faults of Bernard to the forefront. But the villain suffers from the common Disney issue where they are evil for the sake of being evil more than any other reason. This character has his motivations for his actions, but they are wildly unbalanced.

The animation feels very solid. One of the cleaner Disney films, but it is probably because of the methodology. You don’t catch stray pencil lines in the white spaces or bad perspectives. This feels like the starting point for great animation that will pull them through the entire decade.

The music is utterly forgettable. Parts made things feel overdramatic while others helped the scene bring up the right emotion, but nothing was catchy or memorable. Unless I am forgetting something, I don’t think there was any actual songs in the film. That is a rarity in Disney animated films.

Overall, it was a pretty good movie, but failed in many areas that make movies from the Disney Canon special. It really missed the mark with music, felt preachy at a pretty early time, had a story that we had heard too many times, was missing a good comedic relief character, and it being a sequel made it feel like it was a bit overdone. But the return and continued story of Bernard and Bianca was fun. The animation is to notch and really sets the stage for the nineties. It unfortunately is still in the list of films that doesn’t get much representation in the parks or in merchandising.

Run Time – 77 Minutes

63rd Academy Awards – 0 Nominations – 0 Wins

Disney Animated Canon so far in order of Quality

1. Lady and the Tramp 6-22-1955

2. Peter Pan 2-5-1953

3. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 3-11-1977

4. One Hundred and One Dalmatians 1-25-1961

5. Dumbo 10-23-1941

6. The Fox and the Hound 7-10-1981

7. Oliver and Company 11-18-1988

8. Cinderella 2-15-1950

9. The Little Mermaid 11-17-1989

10. Pinocchio 2-7-1940

11. Sleeping Beauty 1-29-1959

12. The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad 10-5-1949

13. The Jungle Book 10-18-1967

14. The Great Mouse Detective 7-2-1986

15. Robin Hood 11-8-1973

16. The Rescuers Down Under 11-16-1990

17. Make Mine Music 4-20-1946

18. Fun and Fancy Free 9-27-1947

19. The Aristocats 12-11-1970

20. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 12-21-1937

21. Saludos Amigos 8-24-1942

22. The Sword in the Stone 12-25-1963

23. The Rescuers 6-22-1977

24. Alice in Wonderland 7-26-1951

25. The Black Cauldron 7-24-1985

26. Melody Time 5-27-1948

27. Bambi 8-13-1942

28. Fantasia 11-13-1940

29. The Three Caballeros 12-21-1944


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