On October 9th, Disney fans can own The Great Mouse Detective on Bluray/DVD. I am fairly certain my parents rented this film for me when I was a child, but I remembered nothing about it other than that it was about mice and was a detective mystery. I was very excited to watch it again, because it would feel as if I were seeing it for the first time.
The Great Mouse Detective is the 26th animated feature length film from Disney Studios, and is based on a series of books written by Eve Titus (sadly, these books are now out of print) about a mouse detective named Basil. I have never read the books and didn’t know they had inspired this Disney film, so I can’t say how closely the film follows the books.
After her father is kidnapped, Olive Flaversham (Susanne Pollatschek) seeks out the famous sleuth Basil of Baker Street (Barrie Ingham) to help her find her father. The kindly Dr. Watson (Val Bettin) becomes caught up in the case and acts as a partner to Basil when he helps Olive find Basil’s home on Baker Street.
The unlikely trio collects clues that the kidnapper has left behind and learn that Basil’s nemesis, Professor Ratigan (Vincent Price) has taken Olive’s father and is plotting against the Queen. Basil must rely on both Olive and Dr. Watson’s help to foil his greatest enemy once and for all.
Both my daughter and I enjoyed The Great Mouse Detective; I was thrilled that she was captivated by each and every scene, especially since several friends had told me this movie frightened them when they were children. It is a bit darker of a story than most Disney films, and the colors used in the animation are dark hues as well. As a parent, I found nothing objectionable in the story and am comfortable letting my 4-year-old watch this. This is easily a film that both parents and children can enjoy; there are a few scenes that are more “adult” (Ratigan feeds a mouse to his gigantic cat, though this happens off screen) in nature, but parents could use some of the scenarios as teaching tools for younger children.