Disney Animated Marathon: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

Due to some procurement issues we skip ahead a film in the Disney Animated Marathon to #27, but don’t worry I’ll get to the missing film as soon as I can!

Story Adaptation By: Vance Gerry Steve Hullet, Burny Mattinson, David Michener, Bruce Morris, Matthew O’Callaghan, Melvin Shaw, Peter Young & Ron Clements & John Musker
Directed By: Burny Mattinson, David Michener & Ron Clements & John Musker

Just a quick note, I had no intention of skipping The Black Cauldron, but it’s been a bitch trying to procure a copy of that film. Netflix doesn’t carry it, and there’s only one Blockbuster left in my area and they don’t have it either. I know I could find it online, but a while back I made the decision to only review films I was watching a hard copy of, so I will get to The Black Cauldron as soon as I can procure a hard copy.

Let’s get this out of the way right now, The Great Mouse Detective is obviously derivative of the stories of Sherlock Holmes. That doesn’t, however, mean that The Great Mouse Detective isn’t a fine film with a bevy of interesting characters. I know I’ve championed originality a few times on the blog, but in my zest to beat my originality drum I always leave out the fact that I don’t need an original premise to like a film. The Great Mouse Detective uses a tried and true premise, but it changes it a bit, and makes the idea its own, so that while still being derivative of Sherlock Holmes it is its own creature. When I speak of originality that is what I almost always mean, a film that stands on its own, and The Great Mouse Detective may have a foundation from something else but it is most certainly a film that stands on its own.

With that out of the way, I need to tell you something, something that may shock you, I loved, loved, loved The Great Mouse Detective. It isn’t a deep film in any way, nor is it a film full of the typical messages one expects to find in a Disney film, but similar to another film that surprised me in this marathon, Robin Hood, it’s a ball of fun and then some. The characters are all lovely, voiced to perfection and it is a blast to watch their exploits. I found myself cheering for Basil, loving the Doctor, and even cheering on Ratigan. Fun is such a simple concept, but when executed well it brings so much joy to me. Simply put, there’s nothing like a fun time and from beginning to end The Great Mouse Detective was a fun time.

One area where you will find depth in The Great Mouse Detective is in its animation. In The Great Mouse Detective you can see the move towards the animated style of the 1980’s, the style that nowadays I believe most people associate with Disney animation (please correct me if you feel I am wrong.) The Great Mouse Detective is a dark film, not just in animation I’ll have you know, and the animators show a tremendous grasp of shading and shadows throughout the film. What really pulls all of the shading and darkness together is the lushness of the rest of the animation. The colors are vibrant, so vibrant that they pop off of the screen, and every frame feels full, like every minute detail was looked into and fleshed out. The animation in The Great Mouse Detective may not hold up to some films in this marathon, but if you want an example of tremendous animation then look no further than the toy shop sequence near the middle of the film.

Fun, I can’t say it enough, if you have a pulse and like to have fun at the movies then you need to see The Great Mouse Detective. I can’t say anything else that would better illustrate my feelings towards The Great Mouse Detective and why others need to see it. It may not hold up to some of the more complex Disney animated classics, but The Great Mouse Detective is a film that Disney fans and lovers of fun everywhere need to see, so get on it son, get on it.

Rating:

****

Cheers,
Bill

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3 responses to “Disney Animated Marathon: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

  1. Pingback: Postulating & Pontificating: Animated Bonanza! | Bill's Movie Emporium

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