Entertainment

Disney’s The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under 2-Movie Collection Blu-ray Review

Title: The Rescuers: 35th Anniversary Edition (The Rescuers / The Rescuers Down Under) (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)

I cannot believe that The Rescuers is celebrating its 35th anniversary! To celebrate, Disney released a 2-film Blu-ray and HD Digital collection of The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under on August 21st, 2012. It has been years since I have watched either film, though I had been waiting anxiously for both films to be out of Disney’s vault.

The Rescuers (1977)

Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor) is a mouse who is part of the RAS (Rescue Aid Society). The RAS has delegates from all over the world who work on cases of people who are in need of help. They have recently recovered a bottle with a handwritten note from a little girl named Penny, who had been kidnapped from her orphanage and was being forced to squeeze into a hole that was once used to hide pirate’s treasure in order to extract a famous diamond. Miss Bianca chooses the janitor of the RAS, Bernard (Bod Newhart), as her partner on the mission.

Once they arrive at the Devil’s Bayou where Penny (Michelle Stacy) is being held captive, they must all put their thinking caps on to find a way for Penny to escape the clutches of pawn shop owner Madame Medusa (Geraldine Page) and her partner, Mr. Snoops (Joe Flynn). As if these two are not bad enough, Madame Medusa also keeps a pair of menacing crocodiles as pets.

When I hit Play for the first time in all these years, the story, the catchy songs, and many of the events that take place in this delightful Disney classic all came rushing back to me. I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed this movie, and was happy to be reminded that Disney has so much more to offer than just the well known princess movies. The Rescuers is actually based on a series of stories by Margery Sharp, which I have never read. I always love comparing books to their movies, so I will definitely be checking the books out. Perhaps my daughter will enjoy them as well!

Choosing a Co-Agent

The Rescuers Down Under (1990)

The RAS’s best mouse pair is about to undertake their biggest mission yet: a boy has been kidnapped on the Australian Outback. Bernard and Miss Bianca brave harsh weather, long airplane rides, and a strange new wilderness to find the missing boy.

Cody (Adam Ryen) has been taken hostage by a poacher named McLeach (George C. Scott) who is wanted by the rangers for his illegal captures. McLeach discovers that Cody knows the whereabouts of a female eagle, and attempts to get Cody to tell him where she has nested. Cody has made friends with the beautiful eagle, and will do anything to keep her safe. Bernard and Miss Bianca, with the help of a few new friends, find Cody and help him reunite with his mom and save the golden eagle and her nest of eggs.

As a child, I actually watched The Rescuers Down Under many more times than I did the original. I was absolutely in awe of Cody’s magnificent eagle friend, Marahute. Cody had a fantastic life full of adventure and excitement, all with a breathtaking landscape. This film made me want to travel the world; I still hope to visit Australia one day.

I also loved how this movie really fleshed out the characters of Bianca and Bernard. Bernard is totally in love with Miss Bianca, and has plans to propose to her, but their duties to the RAS keep foiling his plans. Then in Australia they are assisted by Jake (Tristan Rogers), and Bernard thinks that Miss Bianca has fallen for him instead.

Despite all of the dangers that Cody and the mice face in this movie, there are still some pretty hilarious moments. Basically any scene with McLeach’s sidekick Joanna (Frank Welker) had me giggling. Disney is so artful in giving such huge personalities to their non-speaking animals. Marahute, however, has always been one of my favorites.

Australia Arrival

Bonus Features:

Deleted Song: Peoplitis This song is introduced by Ron Clemens, who was an animator for The Rescuers. The legendary Frank Thomas was his mentor during for this film. Clemens was just 20 when he worked on this film. This song was taken out of the movie, and involved Miss Bianca and Bernard visiting with a performing bear at the zoo to gather clues about Penny.

Three Blind Mouseketeers Silly Symphony Animated Short The complete short from 1936 featuring three blind mice who engage in a battle of wits with a devious cat who sets up deadly traps to catch them–only since they are blind, they have no idea the cat is even after them!

A True-Life Adventure: Water-Birds This is a part of a series that Walt Disney presented that offers facts about the world we live in. Nothing in this true life adventure was fictionalized regarding situations or characters. This is the first time I have ever seen one of these, and it’s pretty cool! It includes a little bit of animation and then real footage of water birds in their habitats. Some cool facts: water birds were once worshipped as gods, and they never fly without a purpose.

Someone’s Waiting for You Sing-Along Includes footage from the film The Rescuers and the words flow across the screen so that viewers can sing along as Penny bravely waits for her rescuers to come.

The Making of The Rescuers Down Under Interviews with the director and the animators, showing footage from their research trip to the land “down under” so they could study the wildlife and the scenery to get their film as accurate as possible.

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

Jennifer

Jen currently lives in Utah with her family, and enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. She is active on popular book websites including paperbackswap.com, Goodreads.com, and luxuryreading.com.

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