Honestly, this movie is the reason why my Disney movie plans got derailed. I had it in my Netflix queue, but it became unavailable on there, and I couldn't find it anywhere. (I didn't want to pay for a copy because I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not.) I didn't know how I was going to watch it, and I didn't want to move on with the list until I did. Finally I found the movie on YouTube. (The version I watched cut off a couple of minutes before the end, so I had to find another upload to watch those last few minutes.)
The Rescuers Down Under is basically what it sounds like: a sequel to 1977's The Rescuers set in Australia. (That was fun, because I went through a stage as a young teenager when I was obsessed with Australia, thanks to the Newsboys.) The plots are even very similar: a child is kidnapped by a villain who wants to use them to find something they want. But being set in Australia, this one is much more of an adventure story.
Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor reprised their voice roles as the two main rescuers: Bernard and Bianca. The sound quality on the video I was watching was so bad that I didn't even recognize them as the same voices at first, ha. The distortion also made the kid sound like he was about 4 years old, so I had a hard time imagining him doing all of the adventurous things he does. (Apparently the boy who did the voice for Cody was Norwegian?) My favorite character was probably the albatross...just like in the first movie. :) Although they're technically different albatrosses, cousins or brothers or something.
The villain, an incredibly creepy poacher, is voiced by George C. Scott. I don't know what it is, but I usually find the villain in a somewhat realistic setting so much worse than those in fantastical stories. (I know the animals talk, but otherwise it's more realistic than a lot of other Disney movies.) It started off with the disturbing way he pulled Cody out of his trap, by having him grab hold of a gun barrel to climb out. But then it escalated quickly, with a kidnapping, and ended up with the kid dangling over crocodile infested waters. (What is it with crocodiles in these movies, by the way?)
The Rescuers Down Under marks a change in the way Disney movies were made: it was the first animated film where all of the final elements were assembled and completed digitally, using the CAPS process (which was Disney's first collaboration with Pixar!). This movie was actually the least successful, box office wise, of the "Disney renaissance" films. That's a big contrast to the original film, which was Disney's most successful film to date at the time it was released.
So overall, I enjoyed this movie, even though it's not a new favorite. It was exciting and held my interest, and there were some funny moments. But I think I would have enjoyed it more if I'd been watching a better quality video!
Next up on the list is my absolute favorite Disney movie: Beauty and the Beast. I can't wait! :)
Do you like The Rescuers Down Under? Which do you prefer: the original one or this sequel?