Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by Sheri Boggs


For me, cinematically speaking, 1977 was a big year. There was Star Wars, sure -- but more important, it was the year that my beloved "Rescuers" books made their transition to the big screen. Written by Margery Sharp and illustrated by Garth Williams (the Little House books), the series detailed the adventures of a little white mouse who could save the world and boss around her devoted beau Bernard, all while wearing a delicate silver chain and living in a porcelain pagoda. Miss Bianca was a have-it-all feminist long before those goofy Enjoli commercials.


The Disney adaptation only borrowed from the series, and while the animated version isn't necessarily true to any text, it is true to the original spirit of Sharp's books. A kidnapped orphan, Penny, sends a message for help, which is intercepted by agents for the Rescue Aid Society. Miss Bianca and the noble Rescue Aid Society janitor, Bernard, volunteer to take on the assignment. As voiced by Eva Gabor and Bob Newhart, Miss Bianca and Bernard conjure up the sort of 1970s celebrities that popped up on The Merv Griffin Show and Hollywood Squares.


That's not the only way The Rescuers is delightfully anachronistic. The title sequence unfolds against a typical 1970s montage of vivid pastel-on-canvas seascapes, set to a particularly Judy Collins-esque number ("Who Will Rescue Me?") Also, the Rescue Aid Society sits in the basement of the United Nations, and how refreshing to see the U.N. depicted as it often was during the Carter administration, with its snappy column of international flags all waving in optimistic importance.


The Rescuers is one of Disney's more somber films. The villain, Madame Medusa, is a horrific pastiche of aging femininity with her false eyelashes and lumpy figure. Apparently, she graduated from the Cruella de Vil Driving School. But she's a good foil for the truly sad plight of Penny, an unnoticed orphan who continually runs away from her captors in order to get back to the orphanage so she can be adopted.


But while The Rescuers may have its disturbing moments, it's also one of Disney's more innocent efforts. There are few in-jokes for the adults, the animation is at times downright Winnie-the-Pooh-esque, and how nice, after more than a decade of Barbie-shaped princesses, to see that there were real little girl heroines in Disney before Lilo & amp; Stitch.





Publication date: 06/05/03

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Barred from Help
  • Barred from Help

    Why mentally ill inmates continue to languish in the Spokane County Jail
    • Jul 22, 2015
  • Shake Down
  • Shake Down

    When a 9.0 magnitude earthquake rocks Western Washington, what will happen in the Inland Northwest?
    • Jul 22, 2015
  • Envision This!
  • Envision This!

    DSP is fighting the proposed Worker Bill of Rights; plus, finalists for Spokane's police ombudsman
    • Jul 22, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Moscow ArtWalk 2015

Moscow ArtWalk 2015 @ Downtown Moscow

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays. Continues through Aug. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Sheri Boggs

  • Beer and Branding in PDX

    • Sep 15, 2005
  • Rural Revolution

    All the farms I remember from growing up in North Idaho and Eastern Washington were not what you'd call stylish. In fact, what I do remember are blocky sofas covered in that ubiquitous mauve upholstery, copper Jell-O molds lining the kitche
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • Nightlife- Bands to Watch

    Gorilla and Rabbit Aside from the fact that you can't help but watch Gorilla and Rabbit, you really should keep an eye on them. As much of a part of the Spokane scene as the Makers, metal and mullets, these oversized stuffed toys have crank
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • Rushing's Rant

    The Airway Heights City Council has asked the mayor to resign after posting a racist Facebook message
    • Jul 15, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation