As you might have guessed, the movie The Rescuers has very little to do with the book. They both feature mice named Bernard and Bianca rescuing a human, but that's really about it. Oh, and the Rescue Aid Society has a picture of a mouse helping a lion in both of the versions. That's the most specific thing they have in common, I reckon. The book focuses mainly on Bernard, Bianca and Nils (yeah, there's a Nils) and their tribulations in rescuing an imprisoned poet we know next to nothing about. I'm not sure whether it's an improvement that we know more about Penny's predicament. Her case is just a weird one. So, Madame Medusa's plan was to kidnap an orphan so that the girl could retrieve a diamond from a tiny child-sized hole in the ground? Do I have that right? How did she know the diamond was there in the first place? Is it because there was a legend about it? So how did she know exactly where it could be found? And such that no one else would've already found it? You would think the movie could spend a little more time explaining some of these things and less time playing gently boring music while we watch background art and flying sequences.
It's a cute idea, but it seems like one could improve upon it. The fact that the book, this movie and its sequel all have different storylines shows that it lends itself well to episodic adventures. And they're all fairly short, except where padded out. Perhaps it would work best as a half-hour animated series. But Bernard and Bianca as they are, well, they could stand to be replaced with other mice characters. More colorful ones. They could even be helped out with two other friends - say, Chip and Dale, two other mouse-sized Disney favorites could join their team! And keep Evinirude. But he'll be a regular character, not limited to just pushing around a boat. So then I guess his motor-referencing name would have to be changed. I know, make him a regular fly. And his wordplay name will be...Zipper! Ha! He'll still speak in buzzes and wear an adorable little sweater, naturally.
Oh, and you know what I'm a sucker for? Seeing tiny anthropomorphic characters use everyday household regular-size-human things for alternative purposes. Imagine if the members of the new Rescue Aid Society - let's call them the Rangers - instead of using a bird all the time, had their own plane, constructed entirely out of found bits and bobs discarded by people! It'd make for some wickedly creative Happy Meal toy possibilities, too!
And the theme song would be way more catchy than anything in this movie. EASILY.
I think I would enjoy this hypothetical show much more than either the book or the movies.
Sometimes, some crimes go slipping through the cracks.
Favorite character: I'm also a sucker for Eva Gabor's accent coming out of a cartoon character.
Least necessary character: Is Snoops supposed to be funny?
Overall: An interesting overall idea that, apparently, isn't terribly suited to feature-length format.
-Um, do the humans in the story notice that or question why that cat wears glasses?
-Do you suppose Bob Newhart was chosen to match the characteristics of Bernard, or was Bernard written to act Bob Newharty?
Wow. Why must Kevin make it so hard for me to comment further on any movie when he hits the nail on the head like that?
Anyway, Remember back in Robin Hood where the poor speeched baby bunny was my least favorite character. She's grown up and become human in this one and it's good lord almighty annoying. I know there are those that will disagree with me, but this is how I feel: Speech Impediments are NOT CUTE. There. I said it.
That being said, Foreign accents ARE cute. Bianca as played by Eva Gabor is just adorable. She's spunky and a little bit naive and her teeny tiny mouse outfits are squee. Very squee indeed. As for Bernard, I like him. He's got his own fears to overcome and that's pretty endearing.
The villians in this movie are just plain confusing. Admittedly, I like Medusa. She's overflowing with personality; the fact that her personality has little to move along the plot or give legitimacy to her drive hardly bothers me at all! Snoops on the other hand has no place in this movie. He does nothing to advance the plot, his interactions with the heroes are bland and could much more easily have been covered by Medusa and her pet crocs, and his attempts at sidekickery are mild and illtimed.
Something this movie seems to address is the difference between adults and children and their ability to talk to animals. While Medusa's crocodiles clearly understand her perfectly well, they seem unable to communicate with her or in fact to any other animals or children in the movie. On the other hand, Penny is able to talk to Rufus the cat and the rescuers in plain English and indeed, the rescuers can communicate with nearly every other animal in that universe (the mole, the cat, the owl, the turtle) and yet seem to be unable to talk to the crocodiles. I'll stop my comments here as there will be more to talk about in a couple months when (spoiler) the Sequel? comes out.
Favorite Character: Luke. First, he's played by Pat Buttram which is awesome. Second he's a moonshiner which is illegal and yet hilariously redneckily awesome. Third, he somehow in a movie aimed at children gets away with forcing alcohol on an unsuspecting mouse and dragonfly. How did this get all the way through the cutting process? Hilarious.
Least favorite Character: Teddy. For never speaking and never moving in his own right, he sure is a needy whiney and finicky fellow.
Overall: Honestly, this movie always puts me to sleep before any of the good stuff starts happening! The title sequence is like taking a walk through a dimly lit unknown artist gallery. The flight from New York to the Bayou is equally inducing of a drowsy nature. By the time the fun crazy stuff starts happening, I'm asleep on the couch. Do yourself a favor and skip the first 3 scenes at least and maybe you'll make it to the end.