A comedy filled with tenderness as a baby raccoon snuggles his way into the life of a lonely boy. He becomes the boy's only companion during his father's frequent absences. Because of ...
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A comedy filled with tenderness as a baby raccoon snuggles his way into the life of a lonely boy. He becomes the boy's only companion during his father's frequent absences. Because of Rascal, both father and son realize their responsibility to each other. Written by
In the classroom scene at the very start of the film, these lines from the Edward Pollock poem The Parting Hour are on the blackboard: 'The one who goes is happier, Than those he leaves behind'. See more »
Small budget (?) made Disney miss the whole point (almost)
I just finished reading Sterling North's wonderful novel and immediately thereafter watched the film. Book and film are two different media, so the filmed interpretation has to be different from the printed version. Therefore it's meaningless to make a fine-combing comparison and whine about details. But I have to be critical, because the film misses just too much of what the book gives its readers.
The central part of the novel is an irresistible declaration of love to the nature of Wisconsin, the way it looked in 1918. Father and son travel together through the state from south to north, all the way up to Lake Superior. They stay put for a while in one place particularly, where Sterling and Rascal are left alone during the days, while Dad is busy with real estate deals.
Nature is a leading actor in the novel, as is so often also the case in Disney films from the era in question. But this time, the company saved some bucks and didn't film on location in Wisconsin. I believe that's why this isn't a nature film but a conventional family comedy. Southern California is beautiful, but it doesn't look like Wisconsin. There are no oak and maple forests and no giant lake. Either they didn't care to give us a long and wonderful view of nature or they didn't think it was worth the cost or they didn't grasp the importance of that very pivotal part of the novel . We get there not only a description of landscapes but also the development of the psychological relation between father and son and also between boy and animal.
Lack of understanding, lack of ambition, lack of money? Take your pick, in any case I can't recommend the film to those who have read and come to love the novel. For others, it may work reasonably well, as a family comedy with a pet in an important role.
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