Friday, November 9, 2012

Basil, The Great Mouse Detective (Ron Clements, Burny Mattinson, David Michener and John Musker, 1986) Review

I have been doing these reviews for quite a while now and it's just come to my attention that I haven't reviewed a Disney film (Well, Emperor's New Groove and A Goofy well)! Shocking, I know but at least I've done a few Pixar films...but it's not the same. So what am I doing? Something popular like The Lion King or Hunchback of Notre Dame? No. No I'm not. I'm doing a film that I feel is criminally underrated and the true beginning to the Disney Renaissance: Basil, The Great Mouse Detective.

In Victorian England (and, for the record, everyone is a get used to that), a famous toymaker (Alan Young) is kidnapped by a bat named Fidget (Candy Candido), leaving the toymaker's daughter Olivia (Susanne Pollatschek) behind. She tries to find the home of a famous detective and, with the help of Dr. Dawson (Val Bettin), manages to convince the detective, Basil of Baker Street (Barrie Ingham), to help. Basil discovers that Fidget is working for the worlds greatest criminal mind, Professor Ratigan (Vincent Price). Basil must now stop Ratigan from taking over England and rescue Olivia's father.

If you haven't guessed, this is based on Sherlock Holmes...actually it's based on a series of books called Basil of Baker Street...but that, in turn, is based on Sherlock Holmes. While it may seem like a cheap parody just for the sake of entertaining kids but it's actually very accurate. If you can see the reference to the Holmes story 'The Final Problem', then you...erm...I dunno but it's still so awesome that they clearly did their research. I love Sherlock Holmes and I love this film.

Basil is one of the greatest Disney protagonists ever. He's such a arrogant jerk that he is actually a very likeable character. Barrie Ingham does a fantastic job as Basil and I just wish that he did more things. He puts so much into the role and it really shows! Dawson acts as a good foil for Basil and Val Bettin brings his usual 'nice guy' routine. HE'S JUST SO LOVABLE. The character that really stood out though is the villain, Ratigan. Vincent Price is probably the main reason that he's so memorable but the idea of a character with so much rage inside yet still makes himself look composed. It's brilliant!

Basil, The Great Mouse Detective is the TRUE first film of the Disney Renaissance. It's also the first proper use of CGI in a Disney film (in an amazing scene). This isn't really a kids film (it's one of the darker Disney films) but it still kicks ass. The characters are great, the action is great, the music is great and the finale is, oh, it's so beautiful! My favourite finale in a Disney film...maybe even ANY film! Lots of people haven't seen this film and that's a real shame. Watch this now!

One of the best Disney animated films. The characters are fantastic, the story is good and everything is just so awesome! Nothing short of brilliant!

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