Can you believe it, 25 years ago today, The Rescuers Down Under was released! And my previous post was about the famous era that this film was released in! The film centres around Bernard and Bianca travelling to Australia to save a young boy named Cody from a bloodthirsty poacher who is after an endangered eagle. It’s the sequel to the 1977 animated film The Rescuers.
Sadly this was Eva Gabor’s (the voice of Bianca) last film before she died. Disney had planned for a third Rescuers film for 1996, but after Gabor’s death, decided to scrap the plan and any future projects involving The Rescuers.
The Rescuers Down Under was the first animated theatrical film sequel produced by Disney; along with Fantasia 2000, and Winnie the Pooh, it is one of the few sequels that are part of the Disney Animated Classics.
Although it was not a box office success, it was the first 100% digital feature film ever made. The animation and backgrounds were done traditionally but all of the coloring, many effects and the final film printing was all done digitally. This was the first film produced with Disney’s Academy Award-winning “CAPS” production system. The CAPS system developed for this film cut the production time for an animated movie down by at least six months.
Apart from The Rescuers Down Under, Fantasia 2000 and Winnie the Pooh, all the other animated sequels were released straight to video/DVD/Blu-Ray. So in honour of the 25th anniversary of The Rescuers Down Under, I thought I would look into some of the secretly loved, and some of the not-so-loved animated sequels. I should let you know that the majority of the classics have a sequel(s) so I may not mention all of them, I might leave some for another post. I’ll make sure to mention some of the most obvious ones though.
Based on IMDB’s star ratings, the least loved sequel is Hunchback of Notre Dame 2. And the most loved sequel is Lion King 1 1/2. Now you might not agree with these results, and you are probably rattling your brain thinking of all the bad and good sequels that were made.
One of my favourite sequels is Mulan 2. I loved the storyline, even though arranged marriages still happen today, young children and adults are made aware of the issue, but with a nice Disney-happy-ending to it. Which not always happens in real life. The film also showed Mulan eventually following her heart and doing whats right, despite being given orders. They continue to show women can be strong, independent and make they’re own decisions.
Now one of my least favourite sequels is Pocahontas 2: Journey to a New World. What surprised me the most is that most of the original voice actors are in the film. Even Pocahontas’ original singing voice actress is in it, but for some reason, she doesn’t sing very well in the film. Or is it just me? Plus, the colour to the movie is really dull. (That could have been done deliberate for effect come to think of it). This sequel should have never been made. It’s completely different to the true story of when Pocahontas made the journey across to our shores, plus the real story is so sad and depressing. I mean she DIES, at 22 years old, of unknown causes, maybe of a broken heart from missing her home and village back in Virginia!
The original animated classic was so beautifully made, with such a colourful soundtrack. I pretend that the sequel doesn’t exist.
There’s still a few sequels I’ve not seen (I know I can’t believe it either), like Tarzan 2, Tarzan and Jane, Cinderella 3 – A Twist in Time and Atlantis 2 – Milo’s Return. Are any of these good? The ratings on IMDB doesn’t fill me with much hope.
Sadly, I do keep the sequels that I have separate, from the classics. They just ruin the presentation. And they are not numbered.
Getting back to the title of this post, I loved The Rescuers Down Under when I was younger. I was 4 years old when it came out, and I actually saw it before I saw The Rescuers! So Down Under has always felt like the original, and not the sequel. I hope Disney ventures back down under in a future film or films.
“Kids should be free! Free to run wild through the house on Saturday mornings, free to have cookies and milk, and get those little white moustaches, you know?” – Wilbur
Originally posted NOV 16TH 2015 on previous website