Starring Angela Lansbury, Mia Farrow, Tammy Grimes, Jeff Bridges, Alan Arkin, Rene Auberjonois, Robert Klein, Christopher Lee, Don Messick
Written By: Peter S. Beagle
Directed By: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Studio: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Buy on Amazon.com link
I barely remember this movie. I was four or five when this was released, and probably saw this on TV or video at some point. It looks awful familiar but I don’t remember a thing about this film. But that’s why I wanted to watch this again, to see if it was any good and see if it was outdated. The fantasy film has some great animation, but not sure if I like the story all that much.
The Last Unicorn is about well, the Last Unicorn. The unicorn enlists the help of friends, mystical creatures & magicians to help her find the other unicorns. Along the way, she comes across some weird people and creatures, including some that are dangerous as well. While she is trying to find her unicorn brothers and sisters, she gets captured by some evil witch. But thankfully, some bumbling wizard who worked for the witch sets her free and tags along. Then some giant red bull comes chasing after her and tries to kill her. No, not the energy drink, an actual red bull! I guess the Red Bull is the reason why the other unicorns have disappeared. The unicorn finds out that King Haggard is behind everything, so she decides to go into his lair. The wizard turns the unicorn into a beautiful human so she can infiltrate the King’s lair. But while that happens, she falls in love with the Prince. She has to decide whether or not to stay as a human and be loved by the Prince, or go back being a unicorn and help the other unicorns. Dilemma Dilemma.
The animation is pretty cool, and you just don’t see that many animated movies like this anymore (well besides anime). This film is at times anime-like, which isn’t surprising since this was animated by a Japanese company. Rankin & Bass directed it, which is another reason why this film is so recognizable to me. They also did The Hobbit, Rudolph the Reindeer, A Year Without Santa and lots more. All these animated films are CGI now, and while they may look good and get released quicker, it’s just not the same as the older animated films. It just stinks that all these animated movies have these sappy slow songs in them. Every animated movie has singing in it; don’t people realize kids don’t want to see this in their movies? I know as a kid, I never liked the singing in the movies unless it was upbeat and fun. But then again, what do I expect from reviewing a movie about a Unicorn.
As far as the movie is concerned, I thought it had some interesting parts with some unique characters. I thought the story was slow in certain areas and not all that interesting either. But that could be that i’m adult now and not interested if a unicorn finds the rest of her members or not. It didn’t help with the sissy music either; a more prominent film score would have been sufficient. I liked the wizard the most, voiced by a young sounding Alan Arkin. I had to REALLY listen closely to figure out that it was him. I’m so used to hearing how he sounds now, with his deep NY accent. One voice I felt was out of place was Jeff Bridges. His voice just doesn’t scream out “Prince” to me. Mia Farrow’s voice was perfect for the unicorn/Amalthea though.
Since this is the 25th Anniversary, you’d expect some more extras on the DVD but I guess the first release of this DVD was really bare bones. With this DVD release, I believe the author Peter S. Beagle is getting his royalties since he didn’t in the past. He appears in a small featurette basically telling you how he came upon this story, and tells you what the story is (in a nutshell). There’s a few minor other extras on here but nothing that spectacular. But the main reason to buy this DVD is its digitally remastered with new sound. The picture looks pretty good and this is the version of the movie you need to own.
– “The Tail of The Last Unicorn” featurette, including an interview with author Peter S. Beagle
– “Escape the Red Bull” set-top game
– Schmendrick’s Magical Gallery
– Original Theatrical Trailer
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
Widescreen 1.85:1 Color
Favorite Scenes: I liked the ending, it was sort of LOTR-ish with eye of Sauron collapsing.
Running Time: 93 minutes