Last Unicorn

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I知 a Lean-n-Mean Reviewing Machine Pt. 1: 566 words

Nov 7, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:The voices of Christopher Lee and Angela Lansbury

Cons:Animation, voices, story, songs, weird, boring

The Bottom Line: It痴 pretty crummy stuff, best forgotten about, and way too melancholy and weird for most kids.


Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.

Set in a fantasy world, the title character (voiced by an excruciatingly earnest Mia Farrow) doesn’t realise at first that she is the last of her kind. The rest have supposedly been driven away by the Red Bull, or so a beatnik butterfly (voiced by Robert Klein) tells her. In her quest to find what is left of her kind, the unicorn enlists the aid of a third-rate magician Schmendrick (voiced by a too-old Alan Arkin), a cook named Molly Grue (voiced by Tammy Grimes), and Prince Lir (voiced by Jeff Bridges), your typical dashing wannabe hero who takes a fancy to our heroine when she’s transformed into a human at a certain point. They head for the kingdom of King Haggard (voiced by Christopher Lee), who is a glum and miserable sort who created the Red Bull out of his hatred of unicorns. Angela Lansbury provides the voice of Mommy Fortuna, a mean-spirited head of a travelling curiosity show, who captures the unicorn and forces her to be a part of her freak show.

Weird, failed attempt by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass to move from their standard of stop-motion animation to the more popular cell animation. Technologically dated and not loved by everyone, I find that the Rankin/Bass Holiday-themed animated classics (“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” etc) are usually a lot of fun, and are childhood favourites of mine. And whilst stop-motion may be an antiquated form of animation, Rankin/Bass always did a good job, given the era and technology they worked within. Stick to what you’re good at, I say, because this mopey, bland, sometimes excruciatingly annoying film is pretty terrible stuff, with terribly simplistic, ugly cell animation (we’re talking more Hanna-Barbara stuff than Disney, and not the good Hanna-Barbara stuff).

The voice cast is mostly a failure, with the irritating Farrow (admittedly saddled with a colourless role) and inexplicable Klein (in a beatnik-like character trippy enough to blend in on “H.R. Pufnstuf”) getting the worst of it. Lee and a well-chosen Lansbury come off best in villainous parts, whilst Jeff Bridges sounds so much like Fred from “Scooby-Doo” I’m not even sure what to make of him here. Lee in particular manages to make the pathetic Haggard a somewhat tragic, if not sympathetic creature.

Worst of all is the soundtrack of songs by Jimmy Webb and (mostly) performed by vanilla hippie rockers America. The songs on their own, whilst bland, might not be awful but in the film that slow things down agonisingly. There’s way too many songs, and they give the film a weird, trippy feel that just doesn’t gel with what was surely meant to be a story for young adults.

The story is pretty bland quest stuff that might’ve appealed to the 12 year-old boy in me, were it made with more life and energy, whilst the lead character voiced by Farrow gives the film a kind of girlie “My Little Pony” bent that didn’t gel with the rest of the adolescent boy-geared material. Ultimately, no one- young or old, male or female- will get much out of this dull fantasy film.


Recommend this product? No


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: None of the Above

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