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The Rescuers Down Under (Disney VHS 2x) Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor
Something of a dry run for the computer animation that would be exploited in its later films, The Rescuers Down Under is an exciting and entertaining film that succeeds because of its visual appeal rather than because of a compelling story or deft characterization. Using rotoscoping and multi-plane cameras in addition to computer animation and hand-drawn cels, Down Under has a number of action sequences that are quite thrilling (and which prepared Disney for similar tasks in Aladdin). Chief among these are the flying sequences that bookend the film, which are genuinely thrilling. The choice of setting -- the Australian outback -- is unique and also allows the Disney artists to indulge in a mania for brilliant reds and dazzling golds. It's true that the animation and artwork occasionally are a bit TOO clean and precise, but this is a minor quibble. More problematic is that the creators do not seem to have been as interested in their story and, to a lesser degree, in their characters. There's nothing really wrong here; all of the parts fit together, and the various animals are distinctive enough. Yet everything seems to take a bit of a back seat to the animated set pieces. As usual, vocal talent is first rate, with John Candy and George C. Scott coming in for special praise. Down Under may lack the elements that make for a classic animated film, but it packs more than enough punch to entertain children and their parents.
This is a previously viewed VHS tape in very good condition!
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