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DVD Review: The Rescuers & The Rescuers Down Under (Blu-ray Double Pack)

Disney has recently released a couple of Blu-ray double movie packs of animated Disney films which I had not seen in a long, long time, so it was kinda cool to not only see them again, but in glorious high definition. These two double movie packs are The 35th anniversary edition of The Rescuers with its sequel The Rescuers Down Under, and Pocahontas with its sequel Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World. What's kind of amazing about the Blu-ray in both of these sets is that not only are these movies beautiful to look at, but one disc actually hold both the original film, the sequel, and the bonus features. Both of these sets actually contain 3 discs, one Blu-ray and two DVDs. Each of the DVDs contain one movie and then the extra features are split between them. And like other Disney Blu-ray releases, the cases have that outer slip cover that has the shiny reflective thing going on where you see various colors depending out how the light reflects off of it. I know this isn't anything to amazed at as this kinda thing has been around at least since I was a kid, but just they way the do it makes the cases look really nice and classy.

Okay, so, The Rescuers. This is about two mice who are part of a Rescue Aid Society that aims to help people in need. When a major assignment comes in regarding a young orphan girl named Penny who desperately needs help, the beautiful Miss Bianca and the reluctant Bernard team up to find and rescue her. In both films Miss Bianca is voiced by Eva Gobor while Bob Newhart voices Benard, and I think it was some great casting because the two have wonderful chemistry together. Benard is the nervous type while Bianca is quite the opposite, always ready to take on new challenges, and together they make a great team. The main villain in the film is a skinny old lady who is making Penny climb down into a hole in the ground that the ocean fills with water during high tide, and I'd have to say that I really loved how that scene was done. It's very tense and scary and beautifully animated to give that atmosphere. This is back in the day where everything was hand-drawn, no computer enhancements or anything, so it's really quite impressive.

The sequel, The Rescuers Down Under, finds Bernard and Miss Bianca teaming up again and head to Austraila to help rescue a boy named Cody that's been kidnapped by an evil poacher because the poacher believes Cody knows the location of a nest belonging to a rare golden eagle. It was an enjoyable film, though it didn't quite pack the emotional punch of the first film. Here, Cody really seems like a kid that can take care of himself whereas Penny just seemed to have more depth, like you could tell that she was a strong kid but you also could feel her fear. For the animation, you can tell some computers were used, but it still looks great, just in a different way. The first film took place in a swap and cave, so lots of dark and claustrophobic areas, whereas this film takes place in the wide open outdoors of Australia with giant cliffs and a bright blue sky. I thought that was a nice choice as it was different from the first film so it didn't just seem like a rehash of the same story and it worked well with the CG, especially during the flight scenes. Also in this one there is more of a romantic subplot, with Bernard trying to propose to Miss Bianca while their local guide, a kangaroo mouse named Jake, tries to win over Miss Biancas hand.

The extra features for this set are:

  • Deleted Song "Peoplitis"
  • Animated Short "The Three Blind Mouseketeers"
  • "Water Birds" Disney True-Life Adventure
  • Sing-along with "Someone's Waiting For You"
  • The Making of The Rescuers Down Under

And that reminds me, the first film had songs like in traditional Disney style, but I don't remember any songs in the second film. I'm not usually a big fan of songs in movies, but I think it could have benefited from one. Oh, and I noticed a typo on the back of the Blu-ray case where it says "Rescures" instead of "Rescuers". Definitely an easy mistake to make while typing, I did myself a couple times while writing this, but still I bet someone is embarrassed.

At any rate, I enjoyed watching these movies and I think this is a pretty good release containing both films and some extra features. If you're a fan of these films or are just into collecting all the Disney releases then you'll likely want to pick this set up. As for me, this would be more of a rental. I enjoyed watching them but now that I have I know I'm not likely to have a burning desire to watch them again anytime soon.

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