D50: The Rescuers

Of all the Disney movies so far, The Rescuers is the one that seems like it doesn’t belong in the catalogue. This is mostly due to the fact that the story is so damn dark. Now, it’s not like Disney hasn’t had dark stories, but this by far takes the cake. A movie about a two mice trying to rescue a girl that was kidnapped and used to find a huge diamond really doesn’t fit the mold of the Disney film as we have come to know it.

As a result of the story, the atmosphere is dark and gloomy, and truly creepy. This is not aided by the animation, which is so far the ugliest that Disney has done. It does work in the grand scheme of things, such as the character design, which are obviously the work of Don Bluth, who was an animator here, but still it is not pretty. It is rough, the pencil outlines are extremely apparent, and the backgrounds don’t mesh with the look of the characters.

I was also surprised at how passive the filmmaking was. First off, the intro is the most depressing from the studio.From then on, everything keeps moving at this strange pace. There is not build up to any of the major scenes as one second we are in a place, and then they cut to the next day and other things are happening. Then again, a lot of movies from the late 70s and 80s were like this, so it is truly a product of its time, and it shows.

With that said, I truly enjoyed the movie. The characters are well written, developed, and performed. Also, the set pieces are truly exciting, which I did not expect from the passive filmmaking. And Medusa is one of the best Disney villains. It’s not a great movie, but it is lots of fun.

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