I GREW UP WATCHING the Hobbit, Return of the King, and Flight of Dragons by Rankin-Bass. I recently watched all three of them, probably about last month, and still loved them! Maybe nostalgia plays awful tricks on the mind, but I believe they’ve stood the test of time!
OKAY, MAYBE NOT AS well as I hoped. Even though I have fond memories of these movies, they still look like they came from the 80s. Flight of Dragons is funnier now that I’m older. But aside from some of the dated materiel, I still find that I can enjoy these movies. I sat down to watch them with my wife, and we had a wonderful time experiencing a vivid piece of my childhood.
THE LAST UNICORN WAS NOT on my list of childhood favorites. I actually hated it. I blocked it out of my mind, and couldn’t even remember what it was about, save for the Red Bull and the Unicorn. I figured I’d give the Last Unicorn another try. I didn’t realize it was by Rankin-Bass till about a month ago, so after watching the other three movies and loving them, this seemed like the next step.
IT BEGAN ENCHANTING enough. The animation and character style I’ve grown to love was there, and the music didn’t bother me too much. My wife and I sat back, hand in hand, ready to take another wild adventure through the worlds of Rankin-Bass (Yes, I realize it wasn’t their world exactly, but you know what I mean).
I THOUGHT MAYBE, just maybe, I had grown up, and this movie was going to take its rightful place on my shelf, along with the Hobbit. Then the butterfly showed up. And it sang. It kept singing. It didn’t stop. Ever. The whole scene grated against my nerves. When the butterfly was gone, and had at last started the plot by casually mentioning the Red Bull, I thought the worst was over.
I SAT THROUGH THE WHOLE movie wondering when something was going to happen. Schmendrick the Magician felt like a side kick with no purpose. Molly Grue was just pointless. I still don’t understand why she was with them? What finally killed the movie was when the Lady Amalthea and the Prince started singing. The movie was nearly over, and they decide to add a lovers ballade? Why?
THE WHOLE POINT of finding the Red Bull and the Unicorns felt empty and heartless. And in the end, no one did anything? Sure, the Unicorn fought off the Red Bull, but there was no sense of impending dread, no defining moment. Everything just happened. Then it ended.
NOTHING CHANGED. I didn’t see any character arcs. They were all the same as when they first started. There was no feeling of accomplishment. I’m not even sure if they learned anything. Or if it even mattered? I apologize to anyone who loved this movie. I’m just writing what came to mind as I watched. I really wanted to enjoy the Last Unicorn, but I couldn’t. I sat through it just to see if something would pique my interest. Nothing ever did.
OR MAYBE IT JUST wasn’t shielded by my nostalgia. On a lighter note, I loved the character designs. I might do some fan art, just to be able to draw them.