!!The book and the film

* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Could the story in general carry a metaphor for a woman's virginity? After all it all but mentions it with Molly's story and unicorns being described as being pure creatures. You could even say the Unicorn/Amalthea carries this allegory in her journey, starting being this innocent, pure creature who doesn't know much of the world of men, and once turned into an adult woman (by the interference of a red colored being and a man, no less) she begins fearing and feeling anxious, and finally falling in love, common feelings for humans but before these thoughts were alien to her. Not very different from how young people transition to adulthood...
* BaseBreaker: The butterfly. Some find him hilarious, and see him as an EnsembleDarkhorse / OneSceneWonder. Others claim he's an annoying [[TheScrappy Scrappy]] who slows the story down.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: The bit with the tree falling in love with Schmendrick is a peculiar bit of broad comedy plopped down in the middle of a wistful and melancholy work. It's handled much more subtly in the book. However, it fits right in with the CentralTheme of the book, as the tree croons, "There is no immortality but a tree's love." Sound familiar?
* CryForTheDevil: King Haggard is evil, yes, and must be stopped; but one can't help but feel sympathetic when he tells Amalthea his true motivation.
* {{Deconstruction}}: The story is considered one for fairy tales in general, by having the characters pointing out how they're aware that they live inside a fairy tale. The story also deconstructs common cliches of the genre: the princess is cold and aloof (and not even human), the old woman believes in unicorns the most of them all and is close friends with the princess instead of being her enemy, the Prince Charming is originally a lazy bum and has to work to actually turn into a desirable Charming figure, by changing his habits and parts of his personality; the old wicked witch simply wants to be remembered, and the wizard is quite incompetent in his magic. Biggest thing of all, the story doesn't end with the princess and the prince marrying and living happily ever after.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Amalthea's crisis and Haggard's motivation could be read as symptoms of depression.
* GeniusBonus: Molly's initial reaction to seeing the Unicorn is sad enough in its own right - but when you understand the mythology behind unicorns (namely that they're the embodiment of NatureAdoresAVirgin), her line of "Where were you when I was new?" takes on a whole new level.
* HilariousInHindsight: Red Bull became the name of an energy drink years later.
* TheWoobie: Practically almost all the characters except the butterfly. The villains too, though they could be considered more to be JerkassWoobie.

!!The film

* AnimationAgeGhetto: The movie looks like an {{Animesque}} kids' cartoon; and the story can be mistaken for a standard fantasy story about quests and magic and unicorns. In truth, it's nothing of the sort. The book has won many awards and is considered by fans and other authors to be one of the best works of fantasy ever written and the film is a beautifully animated [[note]]Through a conjunction of Rankin/Bass and animators who would later to become part of StudioGhibli[[/note]] faithful adaptation of the story.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: The movie has a soundtrack that is ''way'' too awesome than a movie about unicorns has any right to be, especially the haunting theme song by ''Music/{{America}}''.
* CultClassic: One of the most beautiful and deep forgotten gems of animation.
* EarWorm: Quite a few of the songs.
* HilariousInHindsight: Mia Farrow voices the Unicorn/Lady Amalthea, a mysterious woman who's sought of by Lir, this wealthy prince who falls deeply in love with her but they end up in a bittersweet romance. Mia Farrow played beforehand Daisy Buchanan in the ''Film/TheGreatGatsby1974''. You can find some similarities between Amalthea and Lir and Daisy and Jay Gatsby.
* OneSceneWonder: Numerous characters/voice actors quickly come and go, but Rene Auberjonois stands out as The Skull.
* PainfulRhyme: "When the first breath of winter through the flowers is ''icing'' / And you look to the north, and a pale moon is ''rising''"
* ViewerGenderConfusion: [[HarpingOnAboutHarpies Celaeno]] is constantly referred to as a female throughout, and has the [[MultiBoobage breasts]] to prove it, but when "she" is talking to the unicorn telepathically ("Set me free... we are sisters, you and I..."), the voice is clearly male.

!!The book

* ToughActToFollow: In a 1978 preface, Peter S. Beagle remarked that ''The Last Unicorn'' would "haunt the rest of (his) career," and that he grew "increasingly shy of talking about (it)." In this case, it seems that it wasn't the writing that Beagle grew tired of; it was the book. At San Diego Comic Con 2006, his remarks on ''Unicorn'' indicated he's not tired of the book so much as writing it was in some ways extremely difficult and painful... in contrast with other stories, which seemed to flow from him freely. He stated he had to fight to get the story written. Not something he enjoys thinking about.