I remember when I was young I’d watched this Disney film repeatedly on video, other than ‘Song of the South’ of course, which was my all time favourite! I guess I used to love the fun animals that appear in these movies. I used to find them enjoyable and a great watch, especially if you throw in some cheery songs and some comical moments. And ‘The Rescuers’ definitely does this, a movie all about how two mice so small can do things so big and help others if they are determined to do so. Once again, moral to the story!
At the Rescue Aid Society, with a fun repetitive song to get in your head right at the beginning of the film, a message in a bottle is found. A message crying for help from a little girl named Penny (voiced by Michelle Stacy) from Morningside Orphanage. The Rescue Aid Society being a group of mice, a mouse representing each country gathered when a crisis has risen and they need to take action. In this case, save Penny. Hungarian representative, Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor) is quick to show determination, but she must choose a co-agent on this dangerous trip. So she chooses the superstitious janitor, Bernard (voiced by Bob Newhart – Papa Elf from ‘Elf’). And off they head on the adventure of a lifetime to save the young girl from whatever she is crying out for help for.
The adventure is fun and enjoyable. More animals are met on the way, other mice, the airplane bird (definitely a comical character), a dragonfly (again, is brilliantly funny to be appreciated), a cat and many others. All the animals should be loved by children, they all bring a different personality to the film which is enjoyable for both children and adults. It’s not a film that is just for children in my opinion. Even though I watched and loved it as a child, watching it recently, I still loved it!
There’s parts in ‘The Rescuers’ that is almost slapstick comedy in a way. There’s parts with overdramatic music and fighting to reach the diamond, it is clever and should be appreciate as is comical. But what I think is clever about this film, is that they have something to contrast this. There are parts of the film, where the audience’s heart strings are really pulled on. The audience just wants happiness for this young orphaned girl. She’s a character for children to recognise the different experiences in life from different people, which obviously is a big moral to the story. One executed and done cleverly and beautifully.
Now of course we have to have a villain! And this one is sure to get the audience hating her. Her name is Medusa (voiced by Geraldine Page). The evil villain has an obedient sidekick, trying his best but failing to meet her needs, again comical for the audience, Mr Snoops (Joe Flynn). She also has two pets. Which of course the audience can recognise as bad animals compared to the poor innocent small mice, two alligators… But cleverly they add to the humour in the end as well. As it is a Disney film don’t expect twists and turns to shock you, that’s not why you would watch it. The whole plan of Medusa’s is told to the audience, and we know when something bad is about to happen or were supposed to feel uneasy about this certain place, as the lighting of the animated film is considerably darker than the bright happy Rescue Aid Society singing, for example.
This Disney Classic number 23 is one that shouldn’t be ignored and thrown aside. It is an adventure to enjoy and love the characters. Routing and wishing for the two small mice to succeed. Even if this Disney Classic is one less known, it shouldn’t be disregarded. And yes you can tell it’s an older film, but I think that just adds to the essence that it is a Disney Classic after all and should always be one. It’s an enjoyable family film of two mice with opposite personalities, one anxious and clumsy, another fearless and adventurous. So if you haven’t seen this Disney Classic film, I would recommend it! Besides, what can two little mice do anyway? Aren’t you a little curious what happened to the young girl Penny?