"Think nothing of it. Soon I shall destroy you."

Disney Reviews with the Horned King #26: Basil The Great Mouse Detective

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit, but for the unholy glory of the Horned King.  The Horned King declares sovereignty over all that exists in this pathetic realm save the images used below which are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise.

Hello mortals.

So, you may have noticed some changes to the blog. Why is that, you ask? Well, to put it simply I have banished the previous owner to a far flung dimension and usurped his place. I am the Horned King and your world is now mine. I have come to conquer your lands and warp your souls. I have come to topple your kings and to kill your gods. Your children shall know only my name and recognise only my face for I am your reality now. From this day forth you will not draw breath but to serve me. The sun is gone and you shall not see it rise again. I shall redden the sea with the blood of all who would defy me. And not a day shall go by that you do not long for death.

But don’t worry, we’re still going to review Disney movies. No point fixing something that’s not broken. Today’s film is Basil the Great Mouse Detective. Or you may simply know it as The Great Mouse Detective or perhaps The Adventures of the Great Mouse Detective. It is known by different names depending on the region.

The Horned King cares not for your puny borders.

Your petty borders are as nothing to the Horned King.

During my last attempt to conquer your puny globe I was sealed in the Disney vault by the accursed Jeffrey Katzenberg…

KATZENBERG!!!!

KAAAAAAAAATZENBERG!

…to prevent my evil from spreading. Disney forswore all knowledge of my movie, The Black Cauldron, in the hopes that I would fade away from the memory of man. Curse them! By sealing me away, they denied me my rightful place as monarch of this pathetic maggot hatchery of mankind, as well as a fortune in merchandising opportunities! There were to be Horned King action figures! Lunchboxes! SNUGGIES!

This "Mickey the Mouse" is worthy of a snuggy, but the Horned King is not? PAH!

This “Mickey the Mouse” is worthy of a snuggy,
but the Horned King is not? PAH!

Fools! They shall pay for their insolence!

But while they may have won the battle, it cost them dearly. Following the failure of The Black Cauldron, the Disney animation studio was a shattered husk (let all who would trifle with the Horned King take warning).  The next film would have to be a success, or else the Disney  bosses would shut down the animation wing, and place the severed heads of the animators on pikes in the parking lot as a warning to the other employees.

Ah...I miss Hollywood.

Sigh…I miss Hollywood.

For their next film, the studio decided on an adaptation of known wretched human Eve Titus’ Basil of Baker Street, a novel about a brilliant evil genius named Ratigan and his struggles against an infuriating, insufferable mouse.

The Horned King can relate.

So…let us see what pathetic humanity has wrought while I contemplate how best to deal with the puny inhabitants of this blog.

"SOMEBODY! ANYBODY! HEEEEELP!!!"

“SOMEBODY! ANYBODY! HEEEEELP!!!”

SILENCE!

The movie begins in London in 1897 where the mouse toymaker Hiram Flaversham is having a birthday party for his young spawn, Olivia. Olivia declares that this is her best birthday ever, and Hiram responds that she hasn’t even gotten her present yet. It occurs to the Horned King that if a birthday alone with her father without even having received a single gift is her “best birthday ever”, then the child’s life thus far has been one of misery and deprivation. This pleases me.

Hiram gives the child her present, a doll designed to dance in an illusion of life. 

Yes, dance. For soon you shall die.

Yes, dance. For soon you shall die.

The child knows joy, albeit briefly. Evil comes to Flaversham’s toyshop in the form of Fidget, a peg-legged bat who bursts through the toy-shop window in a scene that would strike dread in the heart of any child who saw it.

I sense your terror. Good. Goooooood.

I sense your terror.
Good. Goooooood.

As Olivia hides, her father is abducted and the child is left mewling forlornly into the foggy London night for her sire.  Good stuff.

After a credits sequence (what does it matter who gets credit? Soon you shall all be dead) we meet our narrator, Doctor John Q. Dawson.

An Unshaved Mouse.

An…Unshaved…Mouse.

Heh.

Heh heh heh.

Forgive me, I was just thinking of something funny.

Dr Dawson is returning from service in Afghanistan, presumably battling the fanatical Mouse Taliban.

Over a hundred years later, and the Mouse Taliban remains a potent, adorable force.

A hundred years later, they remain a potently adorable force.

While searching for a place to stay, Dawson comes across Olivia crying in a discarded boot. He dries her eyes and asks what ails her. She seeks the aid of Basil of Baker street, and shows him a newspaper cutting with unacceptable misuse of punctuation.

Two exclamation points? What foul travesty of punctuation is this?

Two exclamation points? Someone shall die for this. 

Dawson takes her to Baker Street where they are admitted by the housekeeper Mrs Judson. Their wait is short lived, as Basil bursts into the study dressed as a Chinese emperor and waving a gun.

Have you ever danced with the Crimson Cockerel in the pale moon light? Soon you shall.

Intriguing. He bears the mark of one who has seen Bahia.
And yet he lives?

The child Olivia seeks the aid of Basil, but he has little time for her pathetic squalling and bids her and Dawson leave.

Sigh…why does he not simply shoot them? He has the weapon right there. 

But Olivia finally piques his interest when she mentions the peg-legged bat. Basil explains that Fidget is the henchman of his archnemesis and our hero, Ratigan. Ratigan, incidentally, is played by my old college room-mate Vincent Price.

"Horny dear boy, how are you?"

“Horny dear boy, how are you?”

Pulsing with unfathomable evil. And you?

Pulsing with unfathomable evil, Vinny. 

"Excellent! I too am evil!"

“Excellent! I too, am evil! Shall we laugh maniacally?”

Ah ha ha ha ha ha...AAAAAAAAH ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Lets! Ah ha ha ha ha ha…AAAAAAAAH ha ha ha ha ha ha!

"Mwah ha! Mwah ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaa!"

“Mwah ha! Mwah ha ha! MWAH HA ha ha haaaaaaaaaa!”

Ooh…working a few “Mwahs” in there. Nice.

Basil goes on to explain that Ratigan is the greatest criminal mind of all time, and that there is no scheme so depraved and evil that he would not concoct.

Now, I respect Ratigan as a worthy fellow evil-doer, but he must know his place. No one equals the schemes of the Horned King in their utter malevolence.

Yes...online only play was my idea. Do you understand now the evil you face?

Yes…online only play was my idea.
Mortals, do you understand now the evil you face?

Ratigan has abducted Flaversham and put him to work creating a mechanical creature for some dark, occluded purpose. Flaversham, in an unacceptable display of insolence, sabotages the device. Ratigan responds as I would, by flaying the very flesh from his bones with a whip made of barbed wire and scorpions…no, my mistake. He coerces Flaversham by using the doll to show what will happen to his daughter should he refuse to obey.

So... Mortals care about their offspring. The Horned King can use this knowledge.

So… Mortals care about their offspring. The Horned King can use this knowledge.

Suitably cowed, Flaversham returns to his work and Ratigan gives Fidget a list of supplies to acquire. You know, the Horned King has choked his fair share of henchmen, and I can tell you right now that this will not end well. Fidget is clearly a comic relief henchman, and they are inherently unreliable. Ratigan announces his plan to his assembled minions. On the eve of the Queen’s diamond Jubilee, he will replace her with a mechanical simulcra who shall announce that he is to be king. So he shall rule over all of England…

And then...the WORLD! AHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!

And then…the WORLD! AHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!

Sorry. I got caught up in the moment. Ratigan then sings The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind. It is the thing the humans call “music” which to the Horned King is just so much noise. But it is by Henry Mancini, who I believe is considered something of a “big deal”. I do enjoy the lyrics by Muppets composer Larry Grossman: “Even meaner? You mean it?/Worse than the widows and orphans your drowned?”

Now THAT is a catchy hook.

The song is cut short however, when one of Ratigan’s lackeys, his tongue loosened with ale, makes the mistake of calling his master “a Rat”. Ratigan responds as I would, by feeding the impudent serf to his ravenous wyverns!

Or to this morbidly obese feline. The principle is the same.

Or to this morbidly obese feline.
The principle is the same.

 By now you must be asking…who is this Ratigan? How came he by this demented, maniacal outlook. Why would he so vehemently deny the fact that he is a rat?

I shall tell you a tale, so that you might understand why evil shall always triumph…

There once was a rat, pure hearted and good. His name…was Larry.

Larry

One night he saw that an innocent child’s bedroom window had been left open, and fearing that the infant would catch a cold from the chill night air, he climbed into the child’s room to close the window. 

"There, the windows closed. Now, Ill just leave a polite but firm note to remind them of the dangers of leaving the window open at this time of year and OH MY LORD!"

“There, the windows closed. Now, I’ll just leave a polite but firm note to remind them of the dangers of leaving the window open at this time of year…”

But he was discovered by a dog. And simply because he was a rat, simply because of his species he was savaged, torn apart, and killed. And yet in his last agonised moments, his thoughts were still selfless…

My life...means nothing...just...please...tell me the babys...okay....

“My life…means nothing…just…please…tell me the baby’s…okay….”

And then he died.

Or...did he?

Or…did he?

"Chuck, you're not gonna believe this but...I think this rat's still alive!"

“Chuck, you’re not gonna believe this but…I think this rat’s still alive!”

Surgery

"Now...let's see how we did."

“Now…let’s see how we did.”

Bandages

Mirror. MIRROR!

“Mirror. MIRROR!”

"You understand that the nerves were completely severed? You see these tools I have to work with?"

“You understand that the nerves were completely severed? You see these tools I have to work with?”

And so you see, in a way Larry truly did die that day. And from the ashes arose something new. Something evil. Something utterly twisted. Something that would never  even admit that it was once…a rat.

Ratigan2

I love a happy ending.

Back at Baker street, Fidget tries to apprehend the child Olivia but she sees him and screams and he runs off (comic relief henchmen are not worth fucking shit). Basil chases after him with Dawson following without a second thought.

"They said you enjoy this. That you get off on it.""And I said "dangerous" and hear you are."

“They said you enjoy this. That you get off on it.”
“And I said “dangerous” and here you are.”

They enlist the help of Tobey, a bloodhound belonging to none other than Sherlock Holmes (voiced in a cameo role by Basil Rathbone). They track Fidget to a toy shop but not only do the simpering fools fail to corner their quarry, the child Olivia is abducted from under their hapless noses. 

Dawson is heartbroken at this failure. This pleases me.

But Basil insists that there is still hope (Lies!) as Fidget has dropped his list of instructions. The scurry back to Baker Street and through alchemy Basil scryes that Ratigan’s base of operations is a seedy inn on the waterfront. Disguising themselves as sailors, they infiltrate the inn and begin their enquiries and watch the mouse burlesque act being performed onstage…

Mouse burlesque

What the fuck is the matter with you people?

What the fuck is the matter with you people?

By the seven hells, what manner of depravity is this?! The Horned Kind has tortured angels to death and defiled temples beyond counting and this is  without a doubt the most fucked up thing I have ever seen. Sexy mice? Really? This is what you’re into? This is what you show your children?! For shame mankind! I haven’t felt this uncomfortable since my brother came out to me.

"Accept me for who I am! It's 2013, you boob!"

“Accept me for who I am, you boob!”

 Fortunately, this foulness is brought to an end as a bar fight breaks out and Basil sees Fidget slip away through a trapdoor. They follow the minion down into the sewers and discover Ratigan’s secret lair. But it is then that Ratigan appears with all his henchmen and reveals that it was but a ruse! A RUSE!

AHHAAAAAHAHAHAHAAAA!

AHHAAAAAHAHAHAHAAAA!

Basil has been duped and led into a fiendish trap. This pleases me. To an almost erotic degree,

Ratigan and his men laugh at Basil, mocking him, destroying him psychologically, reducing him to a pathetic, quivering…Cthulhu H. Christ I love this film!

Ratigan now faces a dilemma I know all too well. Once you have your pathetic foes at your mercy, what to do with them? Do you torture them to death and then raise them from the dead to join your immortal army of cauldron born? Or do you simply have them torn to pieces by your faithful wyverns?

"What are wyverns? Actually, you know what? It probably doesn't matter. I'll go with the wyverns."

“What are wyverns? Actually, you know what? It probably doesn’t matter. I’ll go with the wyverns.”

Well, I shouldn’t complain. It’s a nice problem to have.

Ratigan, not a rat to deprive himself, decides on every possible method of execution at once.

Honestly, I could frame this and put it on my wall.

Look how happy he looks.

Ratigan explains how the trap works. It’s pretty simple stuff as these things go, the gramaphone plays, which pulls the rope, which causes the marble to drop through the bathtub, down the rickety stairs, causing the cage to lower and wait one infernal moment here!

By Lucifer's balls! Disney, you harlot!

By Lucifer’s balls! Disney, you harlot!

Well, in any case, the end result is the same. One less insufferable do gooding rodent infesting the realm of the living. 

Ratigan announces that he’d love to stay and see Basil die but he has a prior…

No. No, no!

Bad idea! Stay until he’s dead, trust me on this! 

Ratigan leaves, saying he has a prior engagement at Buckingham Palace and leaves Basil and Dawson to their fate. Basil, realising the futility of resistance, has given up. Ratigan has proven his superiority. Dawson berates him (fool, can he not see the end is nigh?) saying that if that’s the way Basil feels they might as well set off the trap now. This gives Basil an idea…

No. No! I knew this would happen!

You see? THIS IS WHY YOU ALWAYS STAY!

Basil sets of the mousetrap at the exact right moment which catches the marble and sends the gun firing in a different direction and graaaaaaaaaahhhhhh….

CURSE YOU!

CURSE YOU!

HE ESCAPES! THE INSUFFERABLE MOUSE ESCAPES FROM THE TRAP!

Tsk. Don't you just hate when that happens?

Tsk. Don’t you just hate when that happens?

 …

You…

Hiya.

Hiya.

This cannot be. I exiled you to a prison dimension for all eternity! How did you escape?

Through the magic of Disney. And the sacrifice of one very unlucky hobo.

Through the magic of Disney. And the sacrifice of one very unlucky hobo.

And yet you came back here? You are an even greater fool than I thought.

Oh I am an AWESOME fool. And I would like my blog back. Because I've been watching you and...let's just say as  reviewers go you're a fantastic evil overlord.

Oh I am an AWESOME fool. And I would like my blog back. Because I’ve been watching you and…let’s just say as reviewers go you’re a fantastic evil overlord.

Puny rodent, you could not hope to defeat me. Think on your folly as you spend an eternity in a Hell dimension reviewing straight to video Disney sequels!

I know I can't defeat you. That's why I made a stopover on my journey back through the multiverse. I picked up some old friends of yours.

I know I can’t defeat you. That’s why I made a stopover on my journey back through the multiverse. I picked up some old friends of yours.

Friends? The Horned King has no need for “friends”.

Oh Golly mister, every needs friends!

Oh Golly mister, everyone needs friends!

Oh no. No. Not them! Anything but them!

They defeated you at the boxoffice. And they'll defeat you now!

They defeated you at the boxoffice. And they’ll defeat you now!

You..

You…

YOU!

CURSE YOU MOUSE!

CURSE YOU MOUSE!

Go get 'em boys. And don't spare the cuddles.

Go get ‘em boys. And don’t spare the cuddles.

3...2...1...care bear stare!

3…2…1…care bear stare!

Hey Horned King? Have you been to Bahia, my friend?

Hey Horned King? Have you been to Bahia, my friend?

Nooooooooooooooo!

Nooooooooooooooo!

 

‘Cos when you get there, tell ‘em Mouse sent ya.

Hey everyone, great to be back. Okay, so where are we with this thing?

At Buckingham palace Ratigan has replaced Queen Mousetoria (sigh) with a robot duplicate built by Flaversham. The robot announces to the crowd that she has chosen a new consort who will be King of all England (well, everything below ankle-height anyway) Professor Ratigan!

And baby? You should see me in a crown...

And honey? You should see me in a crown…

Ratigan wastes no time throwing his weight around announcing a heavy tax on all parasites and spongers, the elderly, the infirm and little children wait just a damn minute here!

Oh my God. Ryan, you whore!

Oh my God. Ryan, you whore!

But Basil and Dawson arrive and rescue Flaversham and Basil takes control of the robot Queen, using it to expose Ratigan in front of the nation. A massive brawl breaks out and Ratigan makes a run for it, taking Olivia hostage. Ratigan and Fidget escape in his blimp cycle but Basil creates a airship out of a Union Jack and some balloons and chases across the London skyline. It’s around this point that Ratigan stops being a comic villain and becomes something far more sinister. He throws Fidget overboard to lighten the load and then crashes the blimp-cycle into the Westminster clock tower. Basil leaps after him and faces off against Ratigan amid the grinding gears and spinning wheels of the clock. This scene is hugely important in terms of animation history for one reason: CGI. Now, Basil the Great Mouse Detective was not the first Disney movie to use computer generated imagery. That honour goes to The Black Cauldron was (sorry I didn’t mention that in the review but I was, y’know, fighting for my immortal soul at the time). But Basil is the first Disney movie to use the new technology to expand what was possible with animation rather than just using it as a time saving/tidying up tool. All the moving cogs and wheels in the clock tower sequence were computer generated and it looks great, even today. Of course CGI that’s trying to look like hand drawn animation will always age better than something that’s trying to be photorealistic but still, it’s damn impressive. Basil grabs Olivia and tries to escape out of to the clock face. Ratigan watches them go, and the look of rage on his face leaves little doubt that he has arrived in a certain Brazilian state.

He's been to Bahia.

Hint: It ain’t Rio de Janeiro.

Now totally enraged, Ratigan knocks Basil onto the clock hands and proceeds to beat the ever-loving shit out of him. Seriously, this a damn brutal fight scene, with Basil completely outmatched by his much larger foe. But then, the clock strikes, and before you can say “hickory dicokory” both Basil and Ratigan are shaken off the clock and go plummeting to their dooms. Except Basil, who managed to snag part of Ratigan’s blimp cycle and fly to safety because you can’t keep a good mouse down.

Amen.

Amen brother.

And so the movie ends with Oliva reunited with her father and Basil and Dawson celebrating the beginning of their partnership. No, Deviant Art. Not that kind of partnership.

Don’t google it. Just don’t.

***

Basil the Great Mouse Detective is not one of the all time great Disney movies but it may well be one one of the most important ones. After the utter catastrophe of The Black Cauldron one more failure would have sunk the animation studio utterly. But it didn’t fail. It actually made a pretty decent profit (although it lost at the box office to An American Tail) and more importantly was made quickly and cheaply. This cheap and cheerful vibe permeates the movie and is a very welcome relief after the mind-bending horror of The Black Cauldron. Disney were still a long way from their former greatness, but this movie was a very important first step on the way back.

Scoring

Animation: 09/20

Honestly, the animation is not much better than you’d get on a Disney TV show of the era like Ducktales or Chip ‘N’ Dale Rescue Rangers. But the character designs are appealing and it’s got a pleasantly cartoony energy to it.

The Leads: 16/20

A surprisingly faithful interpretation of the Sherlock Holmes character. Basil is arrogant, rude and egomaniacal but with a heart of gold. A great lead.

The Villain: 16/20

You can’t go wrong with Vincent Price as your villain. Ratigan is probably more of a comedic villain than usual but he does have some very menacing moments, particularly towards the end.

Supporting Characters: 12/20

No one particularly memorable, but no one too irritating either.

The Music: 11/20

Surprisingly, considering Henry Mancini’s on scoring duty, the music is kind of blah. The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind is something of a forgotten classic though.

FINAL SCORE: 64%

NEXT TIME: Time to close out the Mourning Era as the Unshaved mouse “reviews the situation” with Oliver & Company. Will we be asking for “more”? Oh and “Food, glorious food!”. That is also a good song from that musical.

NEXT UPDATE: 18 April 2013

Neil Sharpson AKA The Unshaved Mouse, is a playwright, comic book writer and blogger living in Dublin. If you havin’ ghoul problems, I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems, but a lich ain’t one.

32 comments

  1. Your posts get better every time, unshavedmouse! Glad to see you’ve defeated the Horned King once and for all….or have you?

    You’ve taught me the words “wyverns” and “simulacra” which I will try to use in everyday speech from now on, although I think that you’ve misspelled the latter.

    I’m guessing that the fact that Basil Rathbone voiced Sherlock Holmes in this movie although he died 19 years before is part of the Horned King’s handiwork?

    1. All things are the Horned King’s handiwork. They actually used a recording of him from a Sherlock Holmes audiobook (not one of the movies as some might tell you) that’s why he sounds much older than in the films.

  2. Alas, poor Larry. Better for one such as he to die a hero than to have his noble heart corrupted so.

  3. I…I don’t know what to say, I mean this review was genius!!! The references, the climax to your fight with The Horned King *and having The Horned King review part of the film as well* …Just…wow. *although how Larry the Rat went back in time to become HIM, I’ll never know*

    In regards to the film itself, even though it’s not the “best”, it’s one of my all-time favourite films of the Disney Canon. Primarily because of the protagonist and the antagonist and how well they play off each other. I just find them so…s…soOOOOOO… *looks behind*

    (Enjoyable?)

    …you…

    (Especially Ratigan, as I well know…) *pulls out a knife*

    …ohgodhelpme…

      1. Ratigan carried her all the way to Europe and used her to kill him. His last words were “*insert sarcastic snark*”

  4. Another fantastic review!

    I’m actually in the process if transferrin to A University. My first choice is to study History and Luso-Brazilian Studies at UC Davis. (I have my reasons)
    It turns out that the Luso Brazilian dept offers study abroad, in of all the places in Brazil- Bahia. I immediately thought of this blog. If I go I’ll let you know if Bahia is great enough to justify 2 songs. (I I return that is)

    1. Whenever someone says “I have my reasons” I instantly think “sexy espionage”. That’s amazing! Finally we’ll have someone on the blog who when we say “Have you been to Bahia?” will reply “Yes. Yes I have. And your portrayals of it are inaccurate in the extreme.”

  5. Wow, my post was clunky, sorry for the spelling errors, I have issues typing on my phone. XD
    Nah, my reasons aren’t espionage related, sadly. And don’t worry, your portrayals can never be as inaccurate as The Three Caballeros. (More African slaves were brought to Bahia than anywhere in the Americas, so the majority of the population is Black. Three Caballeros Bahia however sports the whitest people you’ll ever see)

  6. Okay this is going to sound really odd but for some reason I can’t see the entire blog. It just cuts off right when it gets to the paragraph on Basil’s introduction. Can anyone help me out here?

      1. No worries. For a second I thought my Mac went nuts with me. lol Anyway keep up with the amazing work you put in.

  7. I think The Little Mermaid gets too much credit…THAT’s the movie which put Disney back an track (even though I hate Oliver and Company….). And I can’t stop wondering: With all the TV shows and awful sequels out there, why did Disney never consider that movie? Not that I really want or need a sequel (unless it’s well done, than it would be awesome), but if there is ONE mocie for which a sequel or TV show would make sense than this one. But then, Pixar also makes sequels to everything EXEPT the incredibles for some reason I don’t get.

    I really, really enjoyed the Sherlock-Quote. Imho, there are exactly three adaptions every SH fan has to see, and Sherlock and this movie are two of them (the third is the “faithful” Granada adaptation). Either way, I laughed a lot during this review…especially when the horned king cursed when Rattigan left Basil alone (it’s my favourite part of the movie, btw, especially when the music starts to play).

    1. Thanks, I’ve fixed it now. I’m going to have to disagree with you on Mermaid . It marked a real turning point for two reasons; 1) The infusion of new animators from Who Framed Roger Rabbit and 2) because it created the concept of the Disney movie as Broadway musical, a concept that they would reuse to great effect again and again in the nineties. One of my big regrets with this review was that I wasn’t able to get as Sherlock Holmes nerdy as I would have liked, as I am a huge fan. To your list I’d add the Basil Rathbone films and the first Guy Ritchie one (what? It’s great fun). The BBC series is the best adaptation bar none.

      1. As to why Basil never got a sequel, it’s a good question. Certainly the ending is more sequel friendly than other Disney movies (unlike Cinderella, which got TWO). A cartoon series could have worked as well (something like Chip N Dale in Victorian London). Bottom line though, it just didn’t make enough money. The movies that get sequels are either the huge hits (Jungle Book, Dalmatians, Cinderella) or the ones that are recent enough to still be high in public consciousness (Pocahontas, Brother Bear). The failure of Rescuers Down Under probably sunk any chance of a Basil sequel.

      2. I have a mixed relationship to the Broadway approach..I think a big reason why the Disney movies started to fail after Lion King was that they used it in EVERY SINGLE MOVIE, if it fit or not, and the songs very soon started to slow down the plot instead of adding to it. In my eyes, though, the Disney Renaissance was largely possible because computer animation reshaped what is possible in animated movies, and Basil was the first movie which did it. Not that I don’t give TLM credit…hell, if not for this movie, I would have given up on Disney movies alltogether (since I missed Basil in the Theaters), but people pretend that it came from nowhere and that this was the movie which rescued the animation studios….and I don’t think that this was the case, without Basil, there wouldn’t have been a “The little mermaid”.

        I respect the Basil Rathbone movies for having been the best adaptation for a long time, but being the best doesn’t necessarily equals “good”. They are not bad, but I don’t think that they really “got” the characters they tried to put on screen. Sherlock is too perfect and Watson to stupid in my eyes.

        And Guy Ritchie…yeah, great fun, good adaptation, no. It’s more James Bond in a Steampunk Setting than Sherlock Holmes to me. If not for the names, I would never recognice the characters (and never ask me what I think about “Elementary” regarding this).

        But yeah, The BBC is the best, by far! I can’t wait for the third season. Hell, I can’t wait for the fourth! (And I believe in Sherlock)

      3. Hercules wasn’t a success either, and it got a TV show, so I think there has to be more to it. And the sequelitis hit more or less every movie…even Fox and Hound got one (maybe the most awful after Cinderella 2 – and yes, I watched all of them. No, I’m not a masochist, but I think in order to rant about something, you have to know it.). Still, doesn’t explain why Pixar doesn’t do a sequel to the incredibles, even though this movie WAS successful, and instead does a sequel to Cars, of all things, now a Prequel to Monsters INC and in the future “Finding Dory” is on the plan…I mean – really????? IF you have to do a sequel why not for a movie where the sequel makes sense??????
        I guess Basil was mostly forgotten because it hit the theaters sandwitched between TBC and Oliver and Company, while being overshadowed by Don Bluth early work at the same time. (I think that it’s better than An American Tail, btw.)

      4. I’d actually like to see a sequel to TGMD. It could have Ratigan surviving the fall from the clock tower, or maybe a new criminal comes to London, or something like that. I’d prefer the “Ratigan lives” idea because I really enjoy him as a villain. (Coincidentally, he’s number 7 on both the NC’s list and my list of favorite Disney villains.)

  8. This movie is surprisingly good (the best of of the Dark Era). B has enjoyable characters that are film with personality, a thought out plot, and a well-paced movie. I personally do not know why it is so overlooked, and I don’t k is why it did not get a sequel, when this ending is so open for one. It’s sad it did not make a lot of money, and it was overshadowed by The American Tail. Another good review.

  9. Technical feedback: I love printing out your blog posts. Recently I noticed the “Follow unshavedmouse” banner prints with the page, covering up a few paragraphs. You may want to fix that.
    Love love love the blog.

      1. No, it’s the “sign-up for the emails” box w email address input. After it’s done, you can delete these comments..

  10. …I wonder how many people would sink money on a Horned King snuggy. For some reason I really want to know the answer to that. Did that Bluth universe have a What-If machine by any chance?

    Actually, scratch that. I wanna see who’d survive a fight between Panchito and HK. Leghorn vs. Headhorn, winner takes Hell. Though I might want to watch from a very far distance with a very powerful telescope so as not to be part of the inevitable collateral casualties.

    Also, poor South America. Always the butt monkey, isn’t it? Though I guess it sometimes makes itself targettable, doesn’t it? And I think I might nominate Fidget for “best scare from a sidekick villain”. That snarl was pretty freaky coming from the guy who’d be Ratigan’s stooge for most of the movie.

    And wow, that Larry story. So we’re saying that Tramp not only nearly senselessly risked his own life and cost Trusty his (just briefly, thanks to Asteroth magic), but also caused the deaths of Larry, Fidget and countless widows and orphans? Why that… That tramp!

    And apparently the Horned King either hasn’t seen Pinocchio, or thinks sexy mice are weirder than sexy goldfish. I’d guess the former, seeing as he didn’t recognize the Coachman. Either way, loved the Skeletor bit. Cool how you made cringing-at-gayness a trait of an unspeakable evil demon.

    And obliterated by care-bear-stares. That’s a harsh way to go.

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