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The Rescuers [1977]

Director:Art Stevens
John Lounsbery
Wolfgang Reitherman
Writer:Burny Mattinson
David Michener
Dick Sebast
Frank Thomas
Fred Lucky
Ken Anderson
Larry Clemmons
Ted Berman
Vance Gerry
Composer:Artie Butler
Songs:Ayn Robbins
Carol Connors
Length:78 minutes
(1 hour 18 minutes)
MPAA Rating:G
Sorting Category:Kids
IMDB Rating:6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:83%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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  • Kids
  • Cartoon
  • Drama
  • Fantasy
  • Family
  • Comedy
  • Mystery
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Synopsis: Two mice of the Rescue Aid Society search for a little girl kidnapped by unscrupulous treasure hunters.

Reaction: This movie assumes kids are intelligent and can handle a real villain with real danger. There could be more humor, but that may reduce the strength of the drama.

Personal Rating: 8/10

Art Stevens => Director
John Lounsbery => Director
Wolfgang Reitherman => Director
Burny Mattinson => Writer
David Michener => Writer
Dick Sebast => Writer
Frank Thomas => Writer
Fred Lucky => Writer
Ken Anderson => Writer
Larry Clemmons => Writer / Gramps (voice)
Ted Berman => Writer
Vance Gerry => Writer
Artie Butler => Composer
Ayn Robbins => Songs
Carol Connors => Songs
Bernard Fox => The Chairman (voice)
Bill McMillian => TV Announcer (as Bill McMillan) (voice)
Bob Newhart => Bernard (voice)
Candy Candido => Brutus & Nero - Medusa's Pet Crocodiles (voice) (uncredited)
Dub Taylor => Digger (voice)
Eva Gabor => Miss Bianca (voice)
George Lindsey => Rabbit (voice)
Geraldine Page => Madame Medusa (voice)
James MacDonald => Evinrude (as James Macdonald) (voice)
Jeanette Nolan => Ellie Mae (voice)
Jim Jordan => Orville (voice)
Joe Flynn => Mr. Snoops (voice)
John Fiedler => Owl (voice)
John McIntire => Rufus (voice)
Michelle Stacy => Penny (voice)
Pat Buttram => Luke (voice)
Ruth Buzzi => German Mouse (unconfirmed) (voice) (uncredited)
Shelby Flint => The Balladeer (voice) (uncredited)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Real-life husband and wife John McIntire and Jeanette Nolan both voice characters in the film; Rufus the cat (McIntire) and Ellie Mae the muskrat (Nolan).
  • This was the first Walt Disney animated feature to inspire a sequel. The popularity of the film almost led to a spin-off TV-series in 1989; however, when the animation department green-lit its sequel, The Rescuers Down Under, the project was scrapped. The series was still made, but Bernard and Miss Bianca were replaced with Chip and Dale, and the series was called [Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers].
  • When Miss Bianca enters the Rescue Aid Society's headquarters, she takes her seat as the delegate representing Hungary. Eva Gabor (the voice talent for Miss Bianca) was born in Budapest, Hungary.
  • Penny freezes whenever she gazes into Madame Medusa's eyes. In the mythical legend, those who gazed into Medusa's eyes turned to stone.
  • This was Joe Flynn's last film. He recorded his lines as Mr. Snoops only a few weeks before his untimely death in July, 1974. The film was released three years later.
  • Actor Phil Harris, who had played Baloo the bear in Walt Disney's The Jungle Book, Thomas O'Malley in The AristoCats and Little John in Robin Hood, was almost brought again for yet another comic role in this film. However, the dramatic nature of the film called for comic relief characters and humor gags to be toned down, so only the characters of Orville and Luke were left.
  • In the scene where Penny is carrying Rufus off to supper, Penny grabs Rufus and uncomfortably carries him off in her arms, pushing him up with her knee as he begins to slip. According to [?] Ollie Johnston, who animated the scene, this was done in order to show the tender affection between Penny and Rufus by having the cat to be too fond of Penny to complain, since it would have been easier for Penny to walk away and have Rufus follow her.
  • Walter Matthau and Dana Laurita were the original voices for Bernard and Penny, respectively.
  • Fans of Walt Disney animation, and animation in general, have often mistakenly referred to the sometimes "sketchy" style in this film, as well as in others such as The Sword in the Stone and The AristoCats as "lazy" and budget-cut. In fact, the veteran animators working on these films, particularly Milt Kahl, strongly objected to their drawings being altered in any way and demanded that they should appear on the film's animation cels exactly as they had been drawn. Veteran animators Frank Thomas and [?] Ollie Johnston consider it their best picture without Walt Disney. The film even won a Special Citation Award from the National Board of Review in the United States "for restoring and upgrading the art of animation."
  • Bernard (Bob Newhart) complains several times that he hates flying. One of Newhart's comedy routines was called, "The Mrs. Grace L. Ferguson Airline (And Storm Door Company)", wherein he explains why he hates to fly.
  • The film broke a record for largest box office gains on opening weekend, a record it would keep until the release of Don Bluth's An American Tail.
  • Madame Medusa's fiery red dress and hair and Penny's light blue overalls use their color to contrast the theme of good and innocence against evil. This use of color for personification was later used in other Walt Disney Company films such as Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
  • The Rescue Aid Society honors their founder, Euripedes Mouse, who removed a tiny needle from a ferocious lion's paw, a clear reference to the classic Aesop fable, "The Mouse and the Lion." Originally, the Rescue Aid Society was to be placed in a hole somewhere, until the idea of a luggage bag in the basement of the United Nations building came up.
  • The opening song "The Journey" is sung from the bottle's perspective. The song expresses the lifeless object's desperate call for help when lost at sea instead of Penny's hope of being rescued.
  • A calender on the wall of Madame Medusa's back room marks Thursday the 12th, implying that the investigation and rescue took but a day, ending on Friday the 13th.
  • Don Bluth became the first of the new artists trained during the 1970s to be listed as a directing animator. Two years later, he left Walt Disney Productions to form his own studio.
  • HIDDEN MICKEY: A Mickey Mouse watch hangs on the wall in the Rescue Aid Society mouse organization building.
  • This is the very first Disney animated classic film to feature a small prologue prior to the start of the opening credits; the credits are thus attached into the storyline as they are shown over images describing the journey of Penny's bottle. Madame Medusa is also the first Disney villain to affect the flow of the story from the very start of the film. It is also the last Disney animated classic film to receive an Oscar nomination until The Little Mermaid, twelve years later.
  • James MacDonald was brought out of retirement to provide the vocal sound effects for Evinrude. Evinrude the dragonfly, who pushes a small boat in the film, is named after a manufacturer of outboard boat motors.