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4.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray Review: "The Rescuers" and "The Rescuers Down Under" 35th Anniversary Edition, August 23, 2012
This review is from: The Rescuers: 35th Anniversary Edition (The Rescuers / The Rescuers Down Under) (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging) (Blu-ray)
I can now show my children this wonderful film thanks to Walt Disney Home Entertainment's 2-movie Blu-ray release of "The Rescuers" and "The Rescuers Down Under" in a 35th Anniversary Edition. Both films are charming and hold up well. However, the original remains the jewel in the crown.

"The Rescuers" tells the story of two mice named Miss Bianca and Bernard. Miss Bianca is a member of the international Rescue Aid Society and Bernard is their janitor. Miss Bianca chooses Bernard as her cohort for a mission to rescue a little girl named Penny from a devious woman and her inept accomplice. They're using the child to look for a lost diamond in the swamps of Devil's Bayou.

Besides the messages of good wins over evil and you have to confront a challenge even if you're afraid, this movie is just fun. There aren't any great social commentaries or life lessons to be found. It's a whimsical and suspenseful adventure for the whole family.

"The Rescuers Down Under" takes Miss Bianca and Bernard to the Outback of Australia. There they must rescue a boy from the clutches of an evil poacher named McLeach. McLeach uses the child as an unknowing guide to the nest of an eagle and its eggs. Can they save the boy and keep the poacher from killing the great eagle and her offspring?

Unlike its predecessor, this sequel carries an obvious statement against the hunting and killing of animals. It's still an action-packed thrill ride and very humorous even with an agenda. I think every animated film in the early 1990s needed a purpose and reason to exist.

Hungarian actress Eva Gabor voices Miss Bianca with all the sophistication and panache she was known for. Bob Newhart brings Bernard to life with his trademark quiet and indifferent vocalization. John Candy gives a comical performance as the bumbling albatross Wilbur. George C. Scott sounds as malevolent as I'm sure Disney allowed him to as McLeach.

The high-definition transfers of both films look great. The recent "The Rescuers Down Under" looks finer than the original as far as animation quality goes. You can see the limits of the art in "The Rescuers" getting pushed a bit beyond their original "real film" intentions. The movie still looks and sounds better than it ever has. The audio for the movies shine brightly through their 5.1 surround mixes.

There are quite a few special features in this edition. They include the deleted song "Peoplitis" and a sing-along song entitled "Someone's Waiting for You." It contains the classic Silly Symphony short "The Three Blind Mouseketeers" and the featurette "The Making of 'The Rescuers Down Under.'" The "Water Birds" Disney True Life Adventure is also included.

The 3-Disc 35th Anniversary Edition of "The Rescuers" and "The Rescuers Down Under" on Blu-ray is a perfect addition to any family's movie library. You get two spectacular films and a satisfying amount of bonus material in one package. It's recommended for all devotees of animated Disney features.
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