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The Rescuers/The Rescuers Down Under Blu-ray Double Feature Review

“The Rescuers” and “The Rescuers Down Under” make a fine double feature for the whole family.

In “The Rescuers,” two mice (Bernard and Miss Bianca) from the Rescue Aid Society band together to find a human orphan girl (Penny) who is being held captive by a greedy pawn shop owner (Medusa), her two pet alligators, and her nerdy assistant Mr. Snoops.

In the annals of Disney history, “The Rescuers” isn’t one of the most talked about animated features for some strange reason, but it should be. Compared to most Disney animated films (past and present), it is a completely touching, charming, and entertaining adventure. Yes, it can be argued that Medusa is essentially a Cruella de Vil knockoff and that the mice characters are a bit underdeveloped, but those are minor quibbles. Thanks to the character of Penny, the story has real heart to it and the film is so full of excitement and humor (see Evinrude the dragonfly) that it’s hard not be swept up into the story.

As enjoyable as “The Rescuers” is, I’ve always been more partial to the vastly underrated sequel- ‘The Rescuers Down Under.” In this sequel, Miss Bianca and Bernard travel to Australia to save a nature loving boy named Cody from the clutches of an evil poacher named McLeach.

Everything that you enjoy about the first film has been amped up here. The story is bigger, the new characters are memorable (especially Joanna the Lizard and Wilbur the Albatross), there’s more characterization with Bernard and Miss Bianca, the ahead of its time 3D animation is simply gorgeous, and the villain (McLeach) is far more monstrous than Medusa thanks to a riveting voice acting performance by the legendary actor George C. Scott.

Summary: Disney Blu-ray double features don’t get much better than this. Recommended.

Video/Audio:

Both films are presented in 1.66:1 and both films have gorgeous hi-def transfers. Despite looking a tad grainy, the “The Rescuers Down Under” looks as breathtaking as it did in the theater (if not better). “The Rescuers,” however has never looked this good. As someone who grew up on animated Disney classics, I couldn’t believe how crisp the transfer was for the 1977 original. The colors are so striking that you notice the artistry of the animation more. Another job well done by the Disney Blu-ray folks.

The 5.1 DTS-HD audio track on the more recent “The Rescuers Down Under” obviously sounds a bit sharper, but “The Rescuers” sounds impressive too.

Extras:
* DVD Copies of both films. 4 extra features are included on the DVDs total.
* “Someone’s Waiting For You Sing-Along Song”
* Disney trailers and ads.
* A deleted song titled “Peoplitis” from “The Rescuers.”
* “Three Blind Mouseketeers”- A charming old school Silly Symphony Animated Short.
* “Water Birds”- A Walt Disney True-Life Adventure (which is basically a half-hour narrated documentary about various types of birds).
* “The Making Of Rescuers Down Under”- A standard making of featurette that sells the movie.

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September 3, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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