directors Wolfgang Reitherman. John Lounsbery, Art Stevens
The Rescuers is another Disney film that I actually grew up with. I was 8 when it came out and had probably already moved on to Star Wars (1977) forever after, but I remember seeing it and actually, remembered being kind of disappointed and annoyed with it. I’m not sure why.
I watched The Rescuers with my daughter and her friend, ages 10 and 11, and from right off the bat, they were totally into it.
It’s an interesting contrast with both Robin Hood (1973), which we’d watched only a week or so before, and The Black Cauldron (1985) which we saw last year because it falls in between those two films in the Disney oeuvre and may be one of the best of its era. No matter my thoughts on it as a kid, it’s a genuinely good film, with some excellent character animation, some lovely backgrounds, a very good voice cast, and an engaging, melancholy story.
I’ve always loved Bob Newhart, who voiced Bernard (a fact I had oddly forgotten) and I actually always liked Eve Gabor, who voiced Miss Bianca. These are the two mice, the titular rescuers, who go out to find a lost orphan, Penny, who has been taken to a dark bayou to spelunk for a pirate’s treasure, an enormous diamond called “the Devil’s Eye”.
The villainous villainess, Madame Medusa, voiced by Geraldine Page, may not have been so wholly original of a character as some Disney baddies, but she’s very good. With her bumbling assistant and two massive alligators, she’s a slovenly, nasty piece of work, manhandling a poor little orphan.
Well, I enjoyed the film more than I remembered. The girls loved it. LOVED it. They are already begging to see the sequel, which I don’t think I ever saw. But I give it credit (and from reading up on it, am far from alone) as the high mark for the studio in the 1970’s.