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The Last Unicorn (1982)

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1:28 | Trailer
A brave unicorn and a magician fight an evil King who is obsessed with attempting to capture the world's unicorns.

Writers:

Peter S. Beagle (screenplay), Peter S. Beagle (novel)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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A story about how joy and happiness can be the most powerful weapon ever. A young unicorn is ordered to be taken from his home by the gods. They are envious of little Unico's power to bring... See full summary »

Directors: Toshio Hirata, Osamu Tezuka
Stars: Katsue Miwa, Ryouko Kitamiya, Kazuko Sugiyama
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Arkin ... Schmendrick (voice)
Jeff Bridges ... Prince Lir (voice)
Mia Farrow ... Unicorn / Amalthea (voice)
Tammy Grimes ... Molly Grue (voice)
Robert Klein ... The Butterfly (voice)
Angela Lansbury ... Mommy Fortuna (voice)
Christopher Lee ... King Haggard (voice)
Keenan Wynn ... Captain Cully / Harpy (voice)
Paul Frees ... Mabruk / The Tree / The Cat (voice)
Rene Auberjonois ... The Skull (voice)
Brother Theodore ... Ruhk (voice)
Don Messick ... The Cat (voice)
Jack Lester Jack Lester ... Hunter #1 / Old Farmer / Cully's Men (voice)
Nellie Bellflower ... (voice) (scenes deleted)
Ed Peck ... Jack Jingley / Cully's Men (voice) (as Edward Peck)
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Storyline

From a riddle-speaking butterfly, a unicorn learns that she is supposedly the last of her kind, all the others having been herded away by the Red Bull. The unicorn sets out to discover the truth behind the butterfly's words. She is eventually joined on her quest by Schmendrick, a second-rate magician, and Molly Grue, a now middle-aged woman who dreamed all her life of seeing a unicorn. Their journey leads them far from home, all the way to the castle of King Haggard... Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There's Magic in Believing! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | France | West Germany | Japan | USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

19 November 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Unicorn See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,250,000, 21 November 1982

Gross USA:

$6,455,330

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,455,330
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite being rated G by the MPAA female nudity is seen briefly additionally swearing and substance abuse was also found in the film two years later this was taken out of the ratings G and PG and were kept in the PG-13 rating. See more »

Goofs

The horn that Mommy Fortuna created for the Unicorn glows and was located in front of the Unicorn's authentic horn. However, when when the Unicorn says "hurry!" to Schmendrick as he is unlocking her cage, we see that her authentic horn, not Mommy Fortuna's horn, is the one that's glowing. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hunter #2: I dislike the feel of this woods. Creatures that live in a unicorn's forest learn a little magic of their own in time. Mainly concerned with disappearing.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The German region 2 DVD (released by Concorde) has the full VHS/DVD soundtrack (German 5.1 audio track) mixed with the sound effects from the theatrical/HBO version. The 2.0 German and English audio on the disc do not feature the theatrical/HBO sound effects, only the VHS/DVD soundtrack. See more »


Soundtracks

That's All I've Got To Say
Written by Jimmy Webb
Performed by Jeff Bridges and Mia Farrow (dubbed by Katie Irving (uncredited))
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Decent Albeit Flawed Fantasy Flick
8 August 2018 | by elicoppermanSee all my reviews

Based on a book of the same name by Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn has remained one of the most beloved animated fantasy cult classics of the 1980s. Created by Rankin-Bass, most well known for their stop-motion Christmas specials from the 1960s, the film went on to gross a modest comeback financially and received positive reviews. It wouldn't be until it was released on home video, however, when it grew relatively popular, at least in terms of people watching it as children back in the day. As for what I think of it, I'll admit that there are many admirable qualities to it, but it's not something I ever care to watch again.

The story of a unicorn searching for the rest of her species with the help of an amateur magician sounds promising enough, and to the film's credit, it does take some interesting plot directions from time to time. Without giving away anything, let's just say that the spells that come from this amateur magician, Schmendrick, should happen more often in fantasy films. However, what bogs the story down is how lackluster the characters are, as most of them only stay interesting for so long and don't grow much outside of their basic archs. The unicorn herself does go through the most development in the second half of the feature, but until then we have to sit through padded out action scenes, boring character interactions, and even additional archs that aren't even memorable in the first place.

Considering that the film was animated in Japan, the animation and production design present the film with an anime aesthetic, with luscious colors, gorgeous backgrounds, and well detailed designs. Unfortunately, due to the low budget, the character animation is rather stilted and the bland facial expressions don't really help elevate the wonderful vocal performances from the likes of Mia Farrow, Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, etc. When you can't even visually display one of the biggest fundamentals of animation on screen, there's a big problem. That being said, the special effects are very well done, and along with some imaginative usages for potions and spells, the film really embraces how magic works on a visual level as much as an ideology.

To sum it all up, The Last Unicorn is a serviceable effort for an animated fantasy film from the days of The Dark Crystal and The Secret of Nimh. While the plot can get sidetracked sometimes, the characters are two dimensional at best, and the animation is hit or miss in terms of quality, it does feature some interesting philosophies on how magic works, the voice-cast is fantastic, and it at least knows how to tell its story. If you grew up with this film and you'd like to re watch it or you're into the cult classic family-friendly fantasy films during the Reagan era, by all means give it a watch. As for me, I had some fun with it, but it didn't keep me invested enough to want to view it again anytime soon, although I adore the opening musical number by Jimmy Webb.


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