Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor, Geraldine Page, Joe Flynn, Michelle Stacy
Director: John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, Art Stevens
Series: Rescuers #1
Release Date: 22 June 1977
Length: 78 minutes
Movie Rating: G
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 4/5 stars
“In this Disney classic that earned an Oscar nod for Best Song (“Someone’s Waiting for You”), brave mice Bernard (voiced by Bob Newhart) and Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor) embark on a mission to save a missing orphan who’s sent an urgent call for help from the depths of Devil’s Bayou. The tiny heroes will need all their cunning to rescue the child from the evil Madame Medusa (Geraldine Page), who’s using the girl to retrieve the world’s largest diamond.” — Netflix.com
This is a charming, classic Disney cartoon that is often overlooked as it does not feature a princess or a fairy tale, but it is a wonderful little gem. The two lead mice, Bernard (Bob Newhart) and Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor), are adorable and show you that you can be a hero no matter what your size is! The animal characters in this movie definitely steal the show and it is fun to see all types of animals given human personalities and traits to make them complete characters. Bernard is a janitor and is pretty cautious, but finds himself paired with the gorgeous, lady-like Miss Bianca and charged with keeping her safe and out of trouble. This is easier said than done as Miss Bianca is always in the thick of the action and determined to do what she knows is right. Rufus (John McIntire) is an elderly cat who is just like any grandpa out there who adores his children and is able to provide some critical clues to Penny’s (Michelle Stacy) whereabouts. Evinrude (James MacDonald) is a brave little dragonfly who is the fastest in the swamp and determined to carry out his job as the best taxi driver out there. Brutus (Candy Candido) and Nero are the brutish alligator pets that Medusa (Geraldine Page) adores. They have a lot of personality and were hilarious in the organ-playing scene where they are trying to catch the little mice. There are so many more characters that really add to this film and make it great, but I loved the little animals.
This is really an adventure/mystery movie as Bernard & Bianca go out to find the little orphan Penny, who was kidnapped by Medusa to find the Devil’s Eye in a small cavern in the middle of a swamp. A lot of people say that this movie is too scary for little kids, but I don’t think so. Sure, there are some intense moments and a few scenes that can be a bit scary, but this movie is made for children and I find that most children I watch this with enjoy it. Some adults think that this is not as good as other classic Disney features because they say it is not as cute or not as clever or whatever, but I still enjoy it. There are some charming songs in the movie and the whole movie has such a great, atmospheric feel to it. If you have not shared this Disney classic with your children, I hope that you will take the time to rent it or buy it as it is adorable.
There are a few scary moments with Medusa and her alligators, but nothing too intense. The movie as a whole is filmed a little bit darker and more muted than most Disney cartoons, but it suits the setting and the story. A few of the animals drink their own homemade whiskey brew and Medusa is pretty mean to little Penny. Appropriate for viewers of all ages, but children ages 6 and up will follow the story the best.