I never watched The Rescuers as a kid, for whatever reason. (It seems like we all had our favorites that we watched repeatedly, and then there were others that we were never exposed to.) After watching it for the first time, I'll admit that my first reaction wasn't especially favorable. I just thought the movie was okay. But thinking about it now, a week or so later, I did enjoy the movie a lot, though I still wouldn't list it among my favorites.
The beginning was a bit weird, with the dramatic, creepy sea scenes and the strange song (more on the music later). Also, at the airport with the humans, before we meet the mice, I thought the animation didn't look Disney-ish at all. I can't really explain why, but it had a generic, bland, almost unfocused look to it. Thankfully by the time you get to the Rescue Aid Society, the animation looks a lot better (and it continued to look nice throughout the rest of the film).
The story was pretty good. Sometimes it reminded me vaguely of Oliver and Company, with the kidnapping aspect of the plot. Penny, the little orphan girl, was so adorable! As for the villain, Madame Medusa...that woman had Cruella de Vil written all over her! I had seen pictures of the character before, but I hadn't realized that she was in this particular Disney film. It seems that originally Cruella de Vil was going to return as the villain in this movie, so maybe that's why Medusa seems so similar to her. They both have crazy driving skills (or lack thereof) and a bizarre fashion sense. And they both have that wild look. :)
Okay, so the music...music is really important to me in Disney films. If I don't like the music in a Disney movie, then it usually affects how I feel about the whole film in general. The music in The Rescuers is slow and a bit boring and it definitely has a 70s feel to it. I just didn't like it. I didn't like any of the songs, honestly. But I'm trying not to let that sour how I felt about the rest of the film. :)
There isn't anything super exciting about the voice casting in this movie. Eva Gabor is back as the main female character's voice (she was also in The Aristocats seven years earlier), and Bob Newhart is the main male's voice (I know who he is, but I'm not very familiar with his work). George Lindsay, aka Goober Pyle, is also back in a small role. I still have a hard time believing he was a voice in so many Disney movies. :) The albatross (can't remember who voiced him) definitely feels like a precursor to the seagull in The Little Mermaid!
I liked The Rescuers. I just would have liked it a lot more if the music was better. :) It seems like this movie sort of marks a change in Disney films. It's hard to explain, but there's a difference. Maybe, for me, it's because pretty soon we'll be getting into the films that were made during my lifetime (or in some cases, a few years before I was born but ones that were still a big part of my childhood).
Apparently this movie was really successful. It was actually the most financially successful Disney movie ever up to that point, and it was the only box office hit that the company had in the time between The Jungle Book and The Little Mermaid (which was a period of over 20 years).
Up next on the list is a film that I watched a lot as a kid and that I'm equally excited about and dreading: The Fox and the Hound. :)
How do you feel about The Rescuers? Do you prefer this one or the sequel, The Rescuers Down Under?