D50: The Rescuers Down Under

Although it suffered from uninspired filmmaking, I enjoyed The Rescuers. It was a fun mystery filled with colorful characters and a couple of great action sequences. But I never would have thought that it would have warranted a sequel. But alas, in trying to capitalize on the Australia craze created by Crocodile Dundee, Disney went on and made a sequel to the movie set in Australia. The result was The Rescuers Down Under.

From the first frame, this sequel was already better than its predecessor. Gone were the days of the Xeroxing process used for animation and back were the days of frame-by-frame animation aided with some CGI. The result of this was far better backgrounds, which certainly helped with the vistas of the Australian desert. And the characters are not as rough and the animators were able to add some great details to them. But the animation is not the only reason why the opening of this movie makes it better than the original. There is a thrilling rescue scene between a boy and a giant eagle, and my god it was beautiful. It is honestly the best flying sequence I have ever seen, besting those in Avatar, How to Train Your Dragon, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Anyways, that is only the opening. Eventually we get to meet the villain McLeach, perfectly played by George C. Scott. Some iffy writing aside, he is one of the great Disney villains. He is driven by money and kills innocent animals, and does one of the worst things a human being can do in pursuit of money, kidnap and almost kill a child. And yikes that Salamander was fucking scary.

This brings me to my next reason why The Rescuers Down Under is more successful. Although there are some dark moments, this is 100% an adventure movie. The other one was supposed to be an adventure too, but it came across as more of a mystery. I guess it helped that it takes place in the vast Outback instead of a swamp. But also, there is actual build up to the major events, whereas in the previous one, things just happened. Also, the score is rousing, bombastic, and a great fit for the adventure aspect of it.

What else can I say? Eva Gabor, Bob Newhard, and everyone in the cast give great performances. And it just might be the most underrated movie of the Disney Renaissance. That’s it, I loved this movie!


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