Reviews: The Great Mouse Detective

The Great Mouse Detective, or the last classical Disney

Some people make Disney's classical era finish with The Jungle Book or The Aristocats. This doesn't make much sense (yes, Walter Elias Disney was dead; so what ? he wasn't directing the movies since quite a while before his death). Then WHERE does the classic era stops ? My opinion is that it stops with this movie. "Oliver & Cie" could qualify, but with this music that is nothing like the ones of the others… I'd say that the classic era ends chronologically the year "Fox and the Hound" was released, with a last gasp being "The Great Mouse Detective" that happened while the next era was already begun. Said "next era" would be "Oliver & Cie" next to "The Black Cauldron", and the era after is, well, the Disney Renaissance. So what makes The Great Mouse Detective a classic movie in the same vein as the great, universally recognized classics ?

Great animation and art style first. The backgrounds of the foggy London are beautiful, so are the character animations of Olivia, Fidget, Dawson and (mainly) Basil and Ratigan. A quality too is that this is the last movie in which they PAINTED their characters instead of coloring using computers. You can say what you want, the colors of Aladdin or The Hunchback of Notre-Dame haven't got the charm of painted characters.

The music, compared to the one in future works like "The Lion King" or "Oliver & Cie", is absolutely wonderful (and you know why ? It's by the creator of the "Pink Panther" theme, Mancini !). This brings us to another quality, the acting. First, they hired Vincent Price for Ratigan, and Price gives one of the best performances of all the Disney Villains.

The humor works totally well, with no vulgar humor. And then, what makes it a GREAT movie ?