The Rescuers 1 & 2

Drew Turney

An Australian-based film critic and celebrity interviewer now based in Los Angeles, California.

A two-pack featuring Disney’s remarkably timeless animated treats.

While “The Rescuers Down Under”, the sequel of the twosome, is still fun, it doesn’t encompass the magic of the original.

One of the cutest Disney films ever, and – perhaps owing to my age at the time – it’s the one that made the most impact on me. I followed the story of Bianca and Bernard on my cassette-and-book set endlessly.

When the evil (right up there with Cruella DeVil and The Wicked Witch of the West) Madame Medusa kidnaps little Penny, the crime comes to the attention of the Rescue Aid Society, an outfit in the basement of the UN building run by mice. Bianca (Gabor) takes her soft-spoken janitor Bernard (Newhart) and goes on the case.

Penny’s been snatched by the villain and her typically moronic minions to go in search of the valuable diamond that lies hidden somewhere in the former pirate smuggling caves of Devil’s Bayou deep in the Florida everglades, so Bianca and Bernard catch a ride on the back of Orville, the albatross who runs the airways, and go to Penny’s aid.

The plot would come back to me in a heartbeat if I watched it again, but otherwise this is one of those films from a much more innocent time when two-dimensional hand-drawn anthropomorphism was enough to delight kids.

Though apparently it wasn’t so innocent, if you believe the 2006 news report that revealed Disney was recalling nearly three and a half million copies of it after someone found photos of nude women – ”Fight Club” style – in several frames.

Blu-ray details/ extras : There’s some terrific extra features on here, including a deleted song, a making-of, a classic Disney animated ‘Three Musketeers’ short (why not?!), and a sing-along feature. The transfers are lovely – colourful, pristine, and highly detailed (though the more recent “Rescuers Down Under” is understandably a better-looking picture) with a great audio track.

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About Drew Turney

An Australian-based film critic and celebrity interviewer now based in Los Angeles, California.

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