Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor, John Candy, Tristan Rogers, Adam Ryen, George C. Scott
Director: Hendel Butoy & Mike Gabriel
Series: The Rescuers #2
Release Date: 16 November 1990
Length: 77 minutes
Movie Rating: G
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 5/5 stars
“A lawless poacher (voiced by George C. Scott) wants to capture a majestic and rare golden eagle, so he kidnaps the boy who knows where to find the bird. Not to worry – the Rescue Aid Society’s top agents, heroic mice Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor) and Bernard (Bob Newhart), fly to Australia to save the day. Accompanying the fearless duo are bumbling albatross Wilbur (John Candy) and local field operative Jake the Kangaroo Rat (Tristan Rogers).” — Netflix.com
This is one of very few times where I can say that I enjoyed the sequel more than the original. This movie features the same two leads as the first one in Bernard (voiced by Bob Newhart) and Bianca (voiced by Eva Gabor), but the Australian setting really changed the dynamics of the story for me. There is so much that you can do with Australia as the unique creatures found there and the land itself are all larger than life. I love that the creators used this movie to feature an environmental message without explicitly pointing it out and beating you over the head with it. It is very clear that poaching is wrong, as McLeach (perfectly voiced by George C. Scott) is not anything like a loveable character, but Disney lets viewers appreciate the wild majesty of the golden eagle on its own and realize that an animal like that should always fly free.
This is one of the funniest Disney films I have seen in a long time! Joanna (voiced by Frank Welker), the poacher’s lizard, was my favorite character. She is hilarious and has a huge personality that was very well animated. She never talks and makes only a few sounds, but her eyes, tongue and body language definitely speak volumes. There is a crazy little gecko who cannot do anything right, a sarcastic, gloomy koala, and a host of other amazing animals introduced in the film, all of whom brought something special to the movie. Wilbur (voiced by John Candy) is hilarious, as are all of the little mice trying to operate on him! He always brings a smile to my face and it is wonderful to hear John Candy in animated form – his personality really shines through.
The animation is really well done and they shoot some amazing angles and sequences to show you height as characters fall or fly or whatever. You almost forget that you are watching a cartoon sometimes! The music is orchestral, but adds some lovely touches to the movie. Bianca & Bernard’s romance and Bernard’s efforts to propose to Bianca added some wonderful moments to the film and brought a smile to my face. One of my favorite scenes is where Bernard stands up to a warthog to try and rescue Bianca – he is not going to let anything stand in his way!
I don’t know how many people are familiar with this movie, but I think that you will enjoy it if you haven’t already seen it. It is definitely one of my favorites, especially of the more recently released animated films. It also makes me want to visit Australia! If you are looking for a movie that both adults and children will enjoy – especially adventurous little boys!, I think this is a good option as there is a little bit of something for everyone.
There are a few scary sequences where the poacher tries to kill the boy and capture the eagle for his own, but nothing too explicit is shown. Of course, the mice save the day and everyone lives happily ever after (except the poacher, naturally) at the end. Even though there is a lot of action, the movie is animated and filmed in such a way that there is still a lot of color and most stuff happens during the day so events are not as scary as they would be otherwise. Recommended for ages 5 and up.