With the help of a smooth talking tomcat, a family of Parisian felines set to inherit a fortune from their owner try to make it back home after a jealous butler kidnaps them and leaves them in the country.
In Victorian London, England, a little mouse girl's toymaker father is abducted by a peglegged bat. She enlists the aid of Basil of Baker Street, the rodent world's answer to Sherlock Holmes. The case expands as Basil uncovers the crime's link to a plot against the Crown itself.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It was ultimately Vice President of Walt Disney Feature Animation Peter Schneider who made the decision to change the title of the film from "Basil of Baker Street" to its current title. On February 13, 1986, an inter-office memo was sent out to Disney employees in Schneider's name announcing the renaming of the studio's most beloved classics. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) would be called "Seven Little Men Help A Girl", Fantasia (1940) received the title "Color And Music", The Jungle Book (1967) was getting its title changed to "A Boy, A Bear And A Big Black Cat" and so on in that fashion. Schneider was furious over the memo and attempted to find the author (animator Ed Gombert) so he could fire them. All the other employees found it a harmless joke and kept quiet. A copy of the memo eventually landed in the pages of the LA Times and all the "new" names were incorporated into the "What's In A Name?" category on Jeopardy! (1984). See more »
Fidget's peg-leg is normally on his right-hand side, but when Olivia stomps on his toes, his peg-leg is on his left-hand side. See more »
Ratigan, no-one has a higher opinion of you than I do.
See more »
An awesome hero and villain await those who decide to see "The Great Mouse Detective"
The Walt Disney Company's 26th full-length animated feature film, "The Great Mouse Detective" (1986), was considered one of the better films made in the period between "The Jungle Book" (1967) and "The Little Mermaid" (1989). That may not sound like high enough praise seeing that this period was regarded as one of the company's lowest points with duds such as "The Black Cauldron" (1985). But trust me when I say that the praise is well justified in the case of "The Great Mouse Detective", which gets much of its entertainment value from an awesome hero and villain.
A young Scottish mouse named Olivia is searching for a detective in London who can help search for her kidnapped toymaker father. With the help of Dr. David Dawson, she searches for a world-famous mouse detective by the name of Basil of Baker Street. Basil accepts the case since he is lead to believe that the main suspect of this kidnapping is his archenemy Professor Ratigan (Vincent Price, giving a fun performance in this juicy role). Ratigan plans on using Olivia's father to help build a robot of the Mice Queen, so he can rule all of England. Will Basil, Olivia, and Dawson be able to stop Ratigan before it's too late and rescue Olivia's father?
"The Great Mouse Detective" is basically a kid-friendly version of any film or TV show based on Sherlock Holmes. As a matter of fact, in the world of this movie at least, Basil lives in the house of the one and only Sherlock Holmes. He even uses Sherlock's dog named Toby to help him solve this case and track down possible clues. There are a few scary scenes in this film, but they're not quite as dark as the previous Disney animated feature "The Black Cauldron". One is when we see Ratigan's henchman bat Fidget for the first time in a frightening close-up. Another is when we see one of Ratigan's drunken henchmen get eaten by Ratigan's cat as ordered by Ratigan himself, simply because he calls his boss a rat much to his intense disapproval. These scenes are scary, but in a good way.
And speaking of Ratigan, let's delve further into why I think he's an awesome Disney villain, shall we? Ratigan has a key personality trait that any great Disney villain should have. He enjoys being evil, meaning that he's having the time of his life committing all the unjust crimes that he does. He loves being bad so much that we sort of like his character because he's so content with making his victims suffer. That's one more reason why we like villains in the first place. The central hero Basil is also worth talking about, too. His impressive intelligence and ability to solve crimes with ease is one thing, but to make him charming and fun at the same time is another thing altogether.
"The Great Mouse Detective" makes for a good evening's entertainment for both kids and adults. Even if it isn't a groundbreaking film for Disney, it's at least a film that is confident and very well-told. The narrative is free of distractions, the animation is good as always, and the characters especially the hero and the villain still hold up well. If you're a fan of mysteries and are looking for a way to introduce young kids to them, then "The Great Mouse Detective" easily ranks as one of your best bets.
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