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A Glorious Movie With An Unusually Developed Cast!
mistressofbasil25 February 2002
This is, by far, one of the most underappreciated Disney classics of all, and one of the most developed as far as the character and the story. Basil is a perfect portrayal of Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes, and many don't know that it was based off a book about a mouse who lived the life of his idol, none other than Sherlock Holmes.

Personally, I love this movie because it has a colorful, developed cast of characters.

Basil is not your average Disney hero, having no love interest at any point in the movie; he is also a super-intelligent character and often bursts into fits of scientific observation. His facial expressions are timed well and are very well done, as well as his general movement. He is very excitable and you can tell he adores working on cases. He doesn't really like children, as you can see from the way he treats Olivia in the beginning. You really get a feel for Basil when watching him, and he's not easy to forget. Kids may not understand half of the things he's saying, but it's fun to watch.

Olivia is the little heroine mouse who starts Basil on his case, losing her father to a mysterious peg-legged bat of whom Basil is aware of. She is extremely plain-drawn and has no emphasis on her gender really, save for the bow in her hair and her voice, making her very realistic. She also acts alot like a realistic little girl, in her laugh, in the way she reacts to things, even in the way she exclaims "father!" when reunited with her toymaker father. Her curiosity is classic, and she has a high adoration for Basil, though he doesn't appreciate her at the start of the story.

Dawson is the elder mouse who finds Olivia looking for Basil of Baker Street. He isn't sure of who Basil is, but they end up finding him together. Dawson is, of course, Watson in mouse form, and helps Basil in his first case, being this movie.

Ratigan is the villain played by the late horror film star Vincent Price, and quite well in my opinion. He has the likeness of Mr. Price in the way he moves and acts. Of course, nothing is weirder than hearing him sing, but it happens twice in the movie-- "The World's Greatest Criminal Mind" and "Goodbye, So Soon" were both written specifically for Price. He is not one of the more frightening villains as far as his looks, and is unique in that up until the climax he uses his intelligence to battle Basil, instead of the strength he obviously posesses. On a special note, Ratigan dislikes being called a rat for some reason, though I cannot remember why.

Fidget is probably one of the darkest villain henchmen in a Disney movie. He is frightening to children in appearance and voice, and the music accompanying him adds a comical aura. Fidget is by far my favorite Disney henchman, just because he's funny. The one thing that bothers me, though, is that a few times in the movie, his peg leg switches from right to left. I think it was just for the reuniting scene in which Olivia steps on his only foot, so it was switched.

The movie has many fast-paced scenes, including "Investigation At The Toy Shop" and "Big Ben Chase", among others. My personal favorite is "Big Ben Chase," because it is one of the longest Disney climaxes and it is a very unlikely setting. The movie itself is about Olivia's toymaker father being kidnapped by Fidget, and her turning to Basil for help. Basil's nemesis, Ratigan, is linked to the bat, and Basil, who was reluctant and annoyed by Olivia's protest at first, jumps at the oppertunity to see if he can finally defeat Ratigan. The movie goes from there with its "many twists and turns", to quote Basil.

If you want a fun-filled, unpredictable adventure, The Great Mouse Detective is your best bet. Especially if you're a Sherlockian or Eve Titus fan who has yet to see this exiciting portrayal of Basil of Baker Street.
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A forgotten Disney masterpiece.
Boba_Fett113817 October 2003
This is probably one of the most unknown Disney classics.

For the time the movie was quite new and revolutionary and it doesn't quite fit in with the other movies Disney made in that period., perhaps that's the reason why it has been forgotten. But "The Great Mouse Detective" deserves to be known and seen.

The characters are real classics and one of the best to have ever appeared in a Disney movie. Actually Professor Ratigan (voiced by the legendary Vincent Price) is quite possibly my favorite movie villain of all time. No wonder that it was Vincent Price's favorite role. His style and humor is priceless and it cracks me up every time. But the other characters are also very memorable. I especially like the character of doctor Dawson.

The story is good and very pleasant and very mature compared to other Disney's from that period. But of course the idea of making a story about the mouse version of Sherlock Holmes alone is already good enough to make a fun movie about.

One of the other things that makes this movie different compared to other Disney's from that period are the songs or better said the lack of it. The movie features only one song (3 if you count the bar song and the goodbye, so soon song.). But it's not a miss. The surprising magnificent musical score by famous composer Henry Mancini make up for this loss.

The movie has a very spectacular final on and in the famous Big Ben. It's by far my favorite Disney movie ending.

Certainly a fun movie to watch over and over again.


P.S.: If you're Dutch speaking, I highly recommend that you watch this movie Dutch spoken. Believe it or not it's even better and more fun then the English version! Believe me, just give it a shot.
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A very cute Disney movie, one of my favorites!
Smells_Like_Cheese27 January 2004
The Great Mouse Detective is one of my favorite Disney films of all time, it's also one of the most under rated in my opinion. I think just because I love the story so much and it always brought up good memories, this was the funniest Disney animated movie I had seen at the time. It's just such a cute film, it has fun animation, catchy songs, and such a touching story that anyone could easily fall in love with. My parents and I watched this movie together all the time when I was a child, still to this day, I don't mind sitting down to watch it, it's just that much fun.

A young little mouse girl and her toy shop father are celebrating her birthday, but her father is quickly taken away by a rotten gang of mice who are led by a giant rat, Ratigan, who is planning to over throw the queen and become leader of the mouse world. Olivia, the daughter, goes to Basil of Baker Street, he's a mad detective who has been chasing Ratigan for a long time. Along with the help of an average mouse, Dr. Dawson, Olivia, and Basil go after Ratigan to make sure that his plan fails.

The Great Mouse Detective is such a cute film. I'm very sure that you'll enjoy it, it's one of my personal favorites, I really do think this is one of the better Disney films and is an under rated treasure. I just loved Basil, his madness was just so funny and enjoyable to watch. I also loved Ratigan's song of why he is so great, not to mention how he thinks he's a mouse is just priceless. This is a fun family film to watch, I highly recommend it.

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Forgotten Classic with Some of the Best Animation in History
dbborroughs3 July 2004
Having revisited this film on the anniversary of its first release I was shocked at how good it is. I was also left to wonder why Disney never did anything with it since its release since its a very good film.

The plot is simple, Basil of Baker Street helps a young girl find her kidnapped father who is the clutches of the evil Ratigan. There's more to it than that but thats a place to start.

Vincent Price, probably having the time of his life, is the foul villain and he seems to be having a complete ball. What ever joy he was feeling must have been infectious since the work the animators did carried over and its fun to watch Price's animated alter ego mug for the camera.

This is the last of the un-politically correct films from The Mouse House. Characters smoke, which as we all know is now a no no since Disney is now going back and digitally erasing all trace of that "bad habit" from all of their earlier films. Characters die. Yes the villain still dies these days, and perhaps a Mom to get the plot going, but here we have several characters die, one simply for insulting the villain.

The final sequence of this film, a battle in and on Big Ben was promoted as Disney's first major use of computer animation. The sequence is spectacular and one of the greatest animated pieces I've ever witnessed even today. The whole thing lasts maybe five minutes but it pushes the art of animation as far as Disney has ever gone and shows us what a loss the politically correct, story formula has been in the realm of artistic animation. Disney learned how to make money but not films that pushed the envelope of what was possible. What might have happened if they had expanded on this one sequence?

See this movie. I give it 8 out of 10. Its not perfect but it is funny and exciting in ways that the films that followed rarely were. The film also contains several moments that prove that Pixar are not the only ones who can make movies that reflect the Warner Brothers style.
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One of Vincent Price's Favorite Roles
Baroque15 January 2001
I enjoy this film for one main thing, besides the attention to detail concerning Victorian England...the performance of Vincent Price as Ratigan in his scenery-chewing glory. Yes, it's another mice-beneath-your-feet story, but it's so well done. Holmesians will enjoy it's inside jokes and references to other works about the famous fictional sleuth.

Fans of "Ducktales" may note that Alan Young, the voice of toymaker Hiram Flaversham, parlayed his near-perfect Scottish accent into being appointed the official voice of Scrooge McDuck.

But it's Vincent Price in what he later called one of his most favorite roles ever (He even had two original songs written for him!) that draws me back to this film again and again. He clearly enjoyed this role, and the exaggerated movements of Ratigan are obviously his.

An oddly gothic cartoon from Disney, and well worth viewing.
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Does not deserve to be so underrated
MissSimonetta12 September 2011
The Great Mouse Detective is so underrated, it's criminal. How does nobody know about this?! It has one of the best cast of characters in a Disney film, one of the best Disney villains ever (voiced by the amazing Vincent Price, no less), and is packed with fun and adventure.

Brilliant and eccentric detective Basil of Baker Street is given the case of a lifetime when young Olivia Flavisham comes to his doorstep for help. Her father, a gifted toymaker, has been abducted by Professor Ratigan, a notorious criminal whom Basil has been chasing for years. With the help of the young mouse and the kindly but down-to-earth Dr. Dawson, Basil sets out to rescue Olivia's father and foil Ratigan's scheme.

The story seems a bit plain, but the plot isn't what makes TGMD exciting. It is the characters which bring the movie to life and make it worth watching. Being based off Sherlock Holmes himself, Basil is naturally an intelligent badass. He's enthusiastic about his work and little else at the beginning of the film, and doesn't care much for Dawson and Olivia upon first meeting them, but as the film progresses he starts opening up to them, especially Olivia. It's a nice bit of character development which gives the film heart without becoming sentimental. Dr. Dawson's warmer and less dramatic personality provides the perfect foil for Basil, and Olivia is charming and adorable without being cutesy-cutesy or annoying. But the best character has to be Ratigan, one of the great unsung Disney villains. He's funny as hell, gleefully enjoying every bit of evil he engages in and doing so with larger-than-life style; on the other hand, he can be pretty scary too, and if he snaps, boy are you screwed. He's voiced brilliantly by Vincent Price, who you can tell had a lot of fun doing the part.

The animation isn't breathtaking, but it's still good. A lot of the character animation is done extremely well, in particular facial expressions. The backgrounds are lovely and dark, perfectly giving the film the atmosphere of foggy Victorian London.

Though it's not much of a musical, the few songs in TGMD are good. I especially like "Let Me Be Good to You", which is catchy and, when viewed in context to the film, very suggestive and adult. Hilarious. Good characters, good songs, humor, heart, adventure…it's all there. It's no Pinocchio or Beauty and the Beast, but it's still a wonderful movie. How awful it is that it isn't well-known! It's one of those Disney films you'll still enjoy even when you're older, and if you haven't seen it yet, definitely check it out.

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I love it!
TEENQUEEN117198726 June 2003
Great Mouse Detective is one of the best Disney movies I've seen yet. The animation is that classic Disney style and (thank Goodness) it lacks all of those annoying songs.

As a true Sherlockian, I can only say that this is as good as it gets as far as Holmes goes. No matter what everyone says, It is still great. Kids may not get some parts f it, but every Sherlockian knows what's going on. While Ratigan may be no Moriarty, he's still the perfect example of the classic Disney villain.

Vincent Price is a terrific actor, and Alan Young as Flaversham was the perfect fit. Young Susanne Pollatschek is the perfect Olivia and no one could do a better Basil than Barrie Ingham. Val Bettin makes a lovable Dawson. Fidget is the classic evil crony.

This is absolutely a must see. For all you baby-sitters out there, and I know from personal experience, take this to your next job and the kids won't even blink for over an hour. It's one of the most memorable Disney movies of it's age. Although Beauty and the Beast will always be my favorite, GMD runs an extremely close second!

I give it 11/10! It's that good!

I always say when I write these, I loved this movie, but you may not. So how do you decide if you like it? See it! Form your own opinion! After all, one man's trash and all like that! Hope you find a good one!
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an overlooked masterpiece
That_Beatles_Girl13 October 2006
"The Great Mouse Detective" is one of Disney's best films, in my opinion, because it doesn't pander to children. In this movie, the characters go to a bar, get into fights, and stripping is alluded to. However, that's not to say it isn't appropriate for children. I watched this movie when I was very young and I was so innocent that I didn't realize what those things meant. Now that I am older, I still enjoy the film. That's what makes it so great- it's enjoyable for both children and adults. Vincent Price is amazing in this film playing one of Disney's best villains. I don't know the other voice actors, but they were also great, especially the person playing Olivia. Her Scottish accent was spot-on and so darn cute. Strong characterization is one of the stronger points in this movie. Although Basil may appear cynical on the outside, he is really a sucker for Olivia. Dawson is charming and kind, Fidget is 10 times more hilarious than your average bumbling sidekick, and as I said already, Ratigan and Olivia are sublime. The Great Mouse Detective also has great music. It features 3 original songs, "World's Greatest Criminal Mind" and "Goodbye So Soon" performed by Vincent Price, and "Let Me Be Good to You" performed by Melissa Manchester as the white dancer mouse. I am proud to say that LMBGTY is one of my favorite songs of all time. Also, an excellent original score is prevalent in this movie- I wish I knew somewhere were I could get my hands on a soundtrack!! The animation is dark and moody- generally not what you'd expect from a Disney movie, and the Big Ben scene is impressive even 20 years later.

I highly recommend this movie for all Disney fans, and even for non-Disney fans. Great Mouse Detective is a diamond in the rough!!
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An awesome hero and villain await those who decide to see "The Great Mouse Detective"
cmcrazy8139222 September 2013
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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Walt Disney picture about a Sherlockian mouse with lots of entertainment and amusement
ma-cortes15 March 2012
¨The great mouse detective¨ also titled ¨The adventure of the great mouse detective ¨ is a Walt Disney cartoon feature based on famous characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle adapted of Eve Titus' book titled ¨Basil of Baker Street¨ . This amusing cartoon movie deals with Basil , the rodent Sherlock Holmes who investigates the kidnapping of a toy-maker and uncovers its link to his archenemy , Professor Ratigan . It begins when Hiram Flaversham ( voice by Alan Young) , a master toymaker , is abducted by a peg-legged bat , on his daughter Olivia's birthday . The nefarious Professor Ratingan (voice by Vincent Price) kidnapped him for forcing his victim Flaversham to make some diabolical device . The young mouse has no one to turn to for help , so she strikes out on her own , looking for the greatest detective in all mousedom , Basil of Baker Street ( performed with gusto by Barrie Ingham) . En route , Olivia encounters Dr. David Dawson (voice by Bettin) , a mouse recently gone back from military duty in Afghanistan . They manage to encounter his rooms at 221 1/2 Baker Street in the cellar of a very notorious address , and the mouse himself soon makes his appearance running around the apartment , ignoring his two hosts , in anticipation of bringing his latest case to a successful final with an experiment in ballistics . Nevertheless , the experiment is a flop , and the detective is thrown into a deep depression, still unwilling to help poor Olivia . But Basil is again galvanized into action . The Sherlockian mouse matches wits with the nasty Professor Rattingan . The crime lord Ratigan is planning in the sewers of London nothing less than the demise of the Queen on the day of her ¨Diamond Jubilee¨ and his own ascension to the throne . Later on , Basil , Dr. Dawson and Olivia are submitted a tempestuous trap by Professor Ratingan and are imprisoned .

This fun animation is set in England's mouse population, who lives not so different from ours, in the mouse holes and basements of the British Empire . The funny characters are the following : Basil who is a bundle of energy , he is played in a clever , broody and impetuous manner similarly to Holmes-Basil Rathbone . Good Doctor Dawson/Watson is drawn or played in kindly way , he's the perfect counterpoint to Basil/Holmes . Ratigan , the arch-nemesis , a Doctor Moriaty-alike is the worst criminal in London, a veritable Napoleon of Crime . Furthermore , a sympathetic thug ,an unfortunate peg-legged bat . This agreeable animation movie contains a lively and enjoyable musical score by the great Henry Mancini . The motion picture is well realized by Ron Clemens and John Musker (among others) who subsequently would have several successes such as ¨The little mermaid¨, ¨Aladdin¨ , ¨Hercules¨, ¨Tresure planet ¨, and ¨The princess and the frog¨ . Rating : Good , worthwhile watching and reissued successfully in 1992 .
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Sweet and adventurous
Elswet22 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is by far one of the best Disney animations. The story gives you swash-buckling action and a genuine sweetness.

Vincent Price as Ratigan was a stroke of genius. He puts so much of his dark personality into this part, as to exude the embodiment of treachery. He is by far my favorite Disney villain, because of Price. These characters were very well done, well developed, and endearing.

This is one of those older productions in which the extras like backgrounds, furnishings, etc. are drawn with great attention to the styles and details. This adds so much to these animated productions, and are sadly forgotten in the newer ones and, unfortunately, the sequels.

The use of a Disney-esquire Sherlock Holmes was brilliant, and the absence of those annoying songs was a definite plus. There is one. Just enough. I love Disney. I grew up on it, and have a rather decent collection of Disney animations and live action movies. I also understand that some people enjoy them, but those annoying songs are a factor which detracts from the enjoyability for me and I am glad they left them out, this time.

It rates a 8.2/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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A good Disney movie that could have been great.
TOMNEL22 April 2007
Disney made many animated movies similar to this in the 80's. Not similar in story, theme or characters, but similar in the fact that they were all very forgettable. This, for me, was unfortunately a very forgettable film. It's a good movie though. In this Sherlock Holmes like adventure, a mouse detective Basil is searching for little Olivia's father with the help of Dr. Dawson who just came back from Afghanistan. The only one fiendish enough to have taken her father is none other than Professor Ratigan. This movie was a really great idea for a good Disney movie, but it fell short. The animation, while pretty good, was just too loose. The characters were all pretty good, my favorite being Ratigan, voiced perfectly by Vincent Price. The music in this was very good. There were only 3 songs that were catchy, but the main theme music is really fun to listen to. The final thing that put made this not as good as it could be, was the sound effects. In several places it's as though they forgot to put in sound effects, which really takes away from the movie. However, this is a good Disney movie, but just don't expect the quality you would've seen in Beauty and the Beast.

My rating: *** out of ****. 71 mins. rated G.
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MovieAddict201612 February 2004
Very enjoyable Disney cartoon has Basil of Baker Street (equal to our own Sherlock Holmes) as a mouse on the trail of a missing mouse's toymaker father. Quite scary at times for the little ones, but this is a surprisingly excellent modern-day Disney film with some good animation, good ideas, good execution, catchy songs, a grand finale worthy of applause, and some fine in-jokes for the older audience members who have some knowledge of Holmes's tales.

**** 1/2 / *****
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Underrated Disney Classic
melweisbaum12 January 2014
The Great Mouse Detective (1986) is one of the greatest Disney movies of all time and definitely their most underrated film in my opinion. The movie features the wonderful voice talents of Vincent Price as a great Disney villain, Professor Rattigan, basically the Moriarty character opposing the movie's "Sherlock" hero character, the titular The Great Mouse Detective, Basil of Baker Street (living under the floor of Sherlock Holmes).

I don't want to give away the plot but the reason I love this movie so much is that there is a lot of great comedy in it, the hero and villain are both fantastic (and both have very entertaining cohorts), and the story is great.

I love that this film is a little bit "darker" than most Disney films. Again, I don't want to give anything away, but the stakes in this movie are much higher and more "real" than most Disney films.

The songs are even great and I still find myself humming a couple of them. The Rattigan song is amazing, and Vincent Price himself sings a wonderful "goodbye" song that plays on a record while he has Basil trapped.

A truly great Disney movie that deserves much more praise!
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Fun in the mid-eighties!
reolew5 January 2010
Going on something of a sentimental journey I recently saw two Disney animated features that were released in my childhood: The Black Cauldron and The Great Mouse Detective.

I was shocked.

I had always thought that in between Jungle Book and Aladdin Disney hadn't really delivered anything worthwhile (aristocats and robin hood being OK, basically because of the great character-animation, but never as good as the older stuff), but these films are both great. I'll stick to TGMD here.

The animation is simply irresistible. The London scenery is splendid, and the way the 'mouse-world' runs alongside real-life London is nicely done (The Great Mouse Detetctive, Basil of Baker Street, lives in a Victorian mouse-hole inside what appears to be Sherlock Holmes' home).

The characters are among the best of Disney's ever. They succeeded in making the detective an interesting character, which is not an easy thing to achieve. But the villain, Rattigan, is absolutely super: sheer evil surpassing even Cruella and flair and presence comparable to the ghost in Aladdin. The Watson of the story (dr. Dawson) is one of the most charming characters since Balou the bear.

The story is entertaining enough. But the most surprising to me is the freshness that the whole thing breathes. I didn't know that that kind of fun even existed in the mid-eighties. I can't wait till Disney will release this one as a special edition DVD. Try to check it out before that anyway, it's great!
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A beautiful, creative, fun Disney!
Mightyzebra31 May 2007
Genre: Animated detective film with talking mice.

This is definitely one of my favourite Disneys (on this date it's my current 2ND FAVOURITE!). It was made in the joyous period when I think Disneys were just starting to get just slightly better. Thank YOU SO MUCH for that period Disney! :) During that period Disney created lots of lovely stuff!

Anyway, this heartwarming film has a particularly good plot for me. In a story, I like the idea of people getting captured and then escaping, like in this film. I also love the memorable and clever characters (Basil is SO entertaining and Olivia is so sweet and funny! :) )! SO WATCH THIS FILM!

Olivia, a little mouse, is all alone in London - her dad has been kidnapped! :( She meets kindhearted Dawson, who takes her to Basil of Baker Street. He changes Dawson's life forever...
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More Fun Than the Couple of Disney Films Before It
Ostrumation31 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
"The Great Mouse Detective" was either take it or leave it nowadays. It's a Disney film that surprisingly has a small fan following, and it deserves it. When this came out in 1986, it was some hope for the dying animation medium. After "The Black Cauldron", ambitious as it was, failed at the box office, the corporate Disney (Eisner, Katzenberg & Wells) were ready to kill off animation until this film was successful, video sales of Disney classics soared and Don Bluth's "An American Tail" becoming a huge hit.

The film has a consistent plot with some entertaining scenes here and there, great characters and an overall sense of fun. That "sense of fun" couldn't be found in the previous post-Walt films ("The Fox and the Hound" and "The Black Cauldron" come to mind). Short and sweet. The cast works well too, as Vincent Price does an excellent job as Ratigan and gives him a rather sadistic quality.

The animators must've had a good time with this film, rather than "The Fox and the Hound" and "The Black Cauldron". However, the animation is rather cheap. Katzenberg wanted it that way, as he didn't greenlight the production until the budget turned out to be around $10 million. It looks like a Disney Saturday morning cartoon blown-up, but it isn't bad animation at all.

The songs are alright. Ratigan's theme is good, along with a few others. The barroom production number is a bit weak though.

Overall, it's got a sense of fun and it's a joy to watch, but it feels cheap and it doesn't have much ambition. Great fun, but not a serious Disney effort.

An 8.7 out of 10.
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Disney`s darkest movie
action-61 September 2000
"The Great Mouse Detective" has got to be one of the darkest of Disney`s movies. I didn`t see the entire movie untill recently, and I liked it as a different Disney-movie. The setting is brilliant. London in the 19th century is very atmospheric, and Disney`s animation makes it look good. The villains are great, and I used to think that Ratigan was a quite scary character. He is still good. It is indeed a watchable movie, and you should see this instead of "Pocahontas" and "Tarzan". 8/10
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Best Disney Animated Movie of All Time
ikrani8 October 2013
Forget The Lion King, forget Frozen, forget Wreck-It Ralph (well, maybe not FORGET it), THIS is the greatest movie Disney's ever animated.

The story is a pretty fun ride from start to finish, the movie taking full advantage of its animated medium to give us scenes in a toy shop with the mice riding on and making use of the toys to chase the villain, and a long ongoing shot in a clocktower that perfectly blends 3D computer animation with 2D hand-drawn animation.

At first glance, one might mistakenly assume this is nothing more than a Sherlock Holmes story told with mice. Except it's not. The two main leads may be based on their human counterparts, but they do have their own characters.

Basil is this egotistical but still very likable jerk-hero on a quest to match wits once again with his arch-nemesis, Professor Padriac Ratigan II. Basil has the same style as Sherlock Holmes, but the animation medium allows him to be a lot more cooky and funny than Holmes ever could be. He's really the best Disney hero. There have been a fair amount of handsome action heroes or Disney Princesses waiting to find true love. There is only ONE Basil of Baker Street, and his reputation remains untarnished by a lack of forced direct-to-video sequels.

But by far the best thing this movie has going for it is Vincent Price as Professor Ratigan. Holy sh*t, this is the best villain that Disney has had. He's this egotistical, conniving, mustache-twirling villain that completely blows James Moriarty out of the water as far as enjoyability goes. He loves how much of a sick, twisted fiend he is so much that it's impossible not to enjoy it along with him.

And, to date, he is the only Disney villain who actually gave our competent, highly intelligent hero a run for his money without leading to his own downfall. Yeah, really think about that. Maleficent played opposite to a guy with a sword and was taken down because she was too evil to just finish him off. Ursula's plan was to manipulate her way to the Trident but forgot to account for Prince Eric entering the equation and got stabbed for her efforts. Ratigan lost because even though he calculated every move Basil would make down to the time the Great Mouse Detective would arrive at his secret lair, coupled with the fact that he'd been beating Basil to the punch for years, Basil was able to match him and eventually best him. THAT is what a good villain does: he/she challenges and compliments the hero without compromising themselves as characters.

With all that said, this movie isn't flawless. There is one scene that drags a bit where they have a tacked-on music number at a bar, but it doesn't last very long and it's pretty funny to watch after the shock of it wears off.

But, despite that, I still call this the best Disney movie to date. It's message of intelligence and wit still holds up, its characters timeless and still very entertaining, its hero great, its villain great, and its villain song one of Disney's best. And THAT is why it's my favorite Disney animated movie.
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Holy cripes, I like this one.
MyNeighborFanboy5 December 2010
By no means does it rank among the greatest Disney films. Its animation is mostly Saturday Morning level and its plot is as simplistic as a Sherlock Holmes knockoff story can get, complete with plotty, expository script and pretty typical archetypes throughout. Yet, it has something that has been missing in Disney movies for years: likability. It's lightweight, well crafted fun, like all the best Saturday morning cartoons, with inventive set pieces and terrific voice acting that helps make up for the fact that the losses incurred on The Black Cauldron show quite clearly. Unfortunately, it was shoveled under the hype over Don Bluth's An American Tail, a film that I have a bit of a soft spot for but which I'm not sure was that much better despite more involved animation. Of course it's no masterpiece, but it does deserve some appreciation for its virtues.

The plot's rather simple, and a bit too dialogue driven. Basically, you can figure out what happens before you even see it. What makes it work are the personalities. True, Olivia's a bit cloying, but Basil himself is as manic and fun to watch as any good Holmes knockoff, due in no small part to Barrie Ingham's performance. However, the show stealer, like with many Disney films, is the villain, Professor Ratigan as brilliantly voiced by the great Vincent Price. What I love about his character is that he comes off a narcissistic buffoon most of the time, but when pushed he shows himself to be a ruthless maniac able to wring whatever he wants from people by sheer force. In many ways, he's the villain that Captain Hook should have been. He even gets one of the only song numbers in this movie, one of the finest villain numbers in its jaunty bombast and how it shifts to a dead stop when a henchman double crosses him then shifts back after a rather grim moment in the film.

Unfortunately, one wishes the animation was better than Toon Disney on a production level. There's lots of conservative pose-to-pose stuff and very little in the ways of spontaneous character stuff. The angles are all very flat and straightforward. It especially shows in the dog character, who is much larger than the others but has too lightweight a feel to him. It's still a better looking film than The Black Cauldron, however less lavish it may be, and it has a few highlights. Ratigan, again, is superbly animated by Glen Keane, who gives him much more nuance and presence than the other characters. There's also a steep improvement toward the end, where Disney really ratchets up on some terrific set-piece direction. The CGI may show its age, but it's incorporated quite well. One also suspects that Disney first started to look at Hayao Miyazaki's work around this time, since there are more than a few similarities to the climax of Castle of Cagliostro.

All in all, these elements, along with a great Henry Mancini score, add up to another overlooked gem of a Disney movie, if not an essential work. It's light nature makes it understandable that some people tend not to care for it, but I enjoy it like I do any decent childhood cartoon. For me, it's the best Disney picture between the end of the golden age in the 60s and the renaissance at the end of the 80s, despite not being especially ambitious or innovative. It's just good fun, and what more can one ask for?
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Basil, the Sherlock Holmes of the mice world
Atreyu_II29 June 2007
The 26th animated Disney classic is one of the most unknown and underrated Disney classics. Yet, it has a big number of fans. Not everybody knows it (including many Disney fans themselves), but those who know it usually appreciate it. Very unlikely you'll find someone who dislikes this.

"The Great Mouse Detective" is often said to be the first animated Disney classic with animation by computer, but that title belongs to the earlier "The Black Cauldron".

"The Great Mouse Detective" is like a Sherlock Holmes mice version. Without being tremendous (far from that), it is enjoyable enough. Although it has nothing to do with "The Rescuers", it seems to have been somehow inspired by the idea and success of "The Rescuers", which encouraged them to "repeat the formula". While not as good as "The Rescuers", still this motion picture deserves some credit too.

It never reached the popularity and classic status of most Disney classics and remains forgotten and unpopular after all these years - however, not as much as "The Black Cauldron".

This movie is one of the darkest Disney cartoons and at the same time one of the funniest at times.

Like most Disney classics, it has great characters, a good general quality job on details, wonderful animation, memorable songs, a cool story, adventure, danger, friendship, the main one might ask on a Disney animated movie...

My favorite characters are Basil, Dr. David Q. Dawson, Felicia, Olivia and Toby. Why? Basil because he's wise, smart, confident and brave. Dr. Dawson because he is funny, simple and dabbler. Felicia because she is a funny character (especially when she nearly has Fidget for her dinner). Olivia because she's a cute and sweet little mouse. Toby because he's a cute and adorable dog. Both Olivia and Toby are more than cute characters - they're sweet, innocent, adorable and lovely.

Professor Ratigan is the big villain of this movie. He's the ultimate Disney villain. He's very evil (like a villain should be), but at the same time he's got a huge sense of humor, he's sarcastic and creepy at times. However, most of the time he's hilariously evil.

Fidget (the bat) is Ratigan's sidekick and helper. He's a comic relief and often abused by Ratigan.

I perfectly understand why Ratigan was one of Vincent Price's favorite roles. Vincent Price does an amazing job as the voice of Ratigan.

The soundtrack is another triumph of this movie. It has great songs such as Henry Mancini's instrumental opening theme, some beautiful classical music and the delightful Ratigan's song "Goodbye So Soon" (sung by Vincent Price himself), just to mention a few examples.

This film takes place in London, in the year of 1897. London is a beautiful and very nice big city and it has some great scenes with the majestic Big Ben (outside and inside the Big Ben).
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Oh, Ratigan!
robynh-430 September 2007
This diamond in the rough, "Robin Hood" and "Brave Little Toaster" are, in my opinion the best post "Bednobs and Broomsticks" pre "Little Mermaid" films to come out in that time where Disney flicks were only nominated but didn't win any Oscars 'till "Mermaid". A lot of people have never heard of "Great Mouse Detective", but they really should watch it. Ratigan is one of my favourite Diney villains next to Frollo ("Hunchback of Notre Dame") and Prince John ("Robin Hood). If it wasn't for this "Little Mermaid" would never of been made and thus the Disney renaissance would never of started so it really was THIS film that actually sparked it off.

All in all go see this film- you won't be disappointed. Honest.
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They used to make great movies like this.
Leon_Chang_200013 August 2004
I was maybe five years old when I saw this movie for the first time, and it was just plain awesome. I think the only film made the last four or five years that can even be in the same area as this is Finding Nemo. Other than that, no other kid's film pulled it off. Other movies like Shrek and Shrek 2 are good, but with jokes kids can't understand easily. This movie was also good in that it used mystery, a genre not often used in children's' films.

All the recent films have violence, blood, bad language, etc. and still have a pg rating, giving the illusion that it is still a movie fit for everybody. This movie has none of that, and is probably better than many of those that do. There is no reason not to like this movie, so if you haven't already, watch it!

10 out of 10.
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The best movie from Disney's dark era!
wile_E200531 January 2013
With Walt Disney's death in 1966, and many of Disney's best animators gone (the nine old men either retired or died, and Don Bluth left with several other animators to open a competing studio), the Disney animation studio was going through hard times. They had a few good post-Walt stuff prior to the Disney Renaissance (like "Robin Hood," "The Rescuers" and even "The Fox and the Hound,") but for the most part the magic seemed to be disappearing. It also didn't help that their "The Black Cauldron" (which didn't resemble a Disney animated film very much) was a major failure. So a smaller crew, featuring four directors (including Burny Mattinson of "Mickey's Christmas Carol," and Ron Clements and John Musker, both of whom later went on to direct some memorable Disney animated features afterward), put together "The Great Mouse Detective" on a much smaller budget. Development took quite a while, but with the advancements on digital technology, the actual production only took a year! Also, it did very well at the box office and gained several positive reviews, which convinced Disney that their animated films had a future, and if it weren't for this film's success, we may not have had a Disney Renaissance! Aside from that, this is definitely Disney's best movie from their pre-Renaissance slump. You've got likable characters, great voice acting, a perfect music score (complete with theme tunes for each main character!), well-done animation and effects, and even a few songs for Disney tradition's sake! Vincent Price tends to steal the show with his excellent performance as Professor Ratigan (no wonder he got top billing!) I also enjoy Basil's ingenious thinking and over-the-top acting for a detective that can fit in the palm of your hand (I can't help but notice he almost looks like an anime character at times, the way he is designed.) Dr. Dawson and Olivia are also great characters, and Fidget is good at raging from downright creepy (his two horror-style jump-scare scenes) to your typical comical sidekick (what's not to love about a big-eyed one-legged bat that's unable to fly?) I also liked hearing Alan Young using his Scrooge McDuck voice for Mr. Flaversham. The songs are for the most part your standard Disney musical fare, but like I said, they're a lot of fun. Especially fun is Miss Kitty's "Let Me Be Good to You" musical number (that had to be a scene by Ron Clements and John Musker; they're known for crazy stuff like that, as seen in "Aladdin" and "The Princess and the Frog!") The animation also has a very classic look and feel to it, which is rare for a Disney movie of this era. It also uses computer animation much better than "The Black Cauldron" did, and the climactic scene at Big Ben was quite thrilling and enough to keep you at the edge of your seat! I guess you could say that not only did Basil and company save London, they also saved Disney's feature animation division!

There's also a fun use of Basil Rathbone's vocal performance as Sherlock Holmes (from a record version of "The Red-Headed League") during a shadowed cameo of the REAL Sherlock Holmes. Fun stuff for the Holmes fans, too!
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Let Disney be good to you!
SaxxoneGirly14 June 2006
I saw and loved this film as a child, I still love it as an adult. Me and my parents have sat down and watched this film on wet winter afternoons, it's so good. It's an old-fashioned mystery story, the fact that it's animated and about mice is a bonus! It's quite a sinister tale, but no scarier than Doctor Who. Not all the characters are pretty and clean like later Disney films, the villains actually look rough and mean. There are elements that adults will enjoy, like some of Basil's fastpaced dialogue, and the inimitable Vincent Price as the voice, and inspiration for the movements, of Ratigan.

As many people have commented, the lack of songs in this film is really to it's credit. The musical score is excellent as it is, and the songs that do feature are brilliant. Ratigan's "goodbye" song is genius, and as a child I wanted to be the mouse girl who sings "let me be good to you". The whole bar scene is spot on, and another section that adults may appreciate more than the children.

The animation has always been good enough for me, although there are a couple of syncing issues. The drawing style adds to the period feel of the film, after all, it is set in Victorian London.

Overall this film is a little gem, and more films (animated or not) should be like this. It's witty, dramatic, and brilliantly directed. If only animators would still make films like this, that actually have some bite and aren't afraid to be rough with their characters. You'd never be able to get away with the song lyric "worse than those widows and orphans you've drowned?" nowadays.

This is a much better film in my opinion than some later Disney films, or children's films of any kind. It's not about "coming-of-age" or "being yourself", it's a straightforward good vs evil tale of a rat who wants to take over the world and the mice trying to stop him. And it's fantastic.
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