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Characters / The Last Unicorn

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    The Unicorn/Lady Amalthea
I am the only unicorn there is? The last?
Voiced by: Mia Farrow

The protagonist of the story, a unicorn who one day finds out she is the last of her kind. She ventures out into the wild to know what happened to the other unicorns, and meets many colorful characters along the way. She has major depression problems.

  • Action Girl: Mostly in her Unicorn form, but she does do a lot of brave acts; like freeing the animals captive at Mommy Fortuna's festival, avenging Lír by standing against the Bull, eventually sending the beast into the sea and incidentally by this act she also frees the other Unicorns captured and kills Haggard.
  • Anti-Magic: One of her supposed powers. She tends to break spells made by others, like opening locks or turning humanoid trees back to normal.
  • Angst: She has a ton of this about being the last of her kind, and when she becomes a human.
  • Becoming the Mask: Goes through this in her human guise.
  • Berserk Button: Do not mistake her for a horse.
  • Character Development: At the start of the story, she's very cold towards humans and thinks very low of them. Towards the end, she has fallen in love with one, and even considers a few others to be her friends (suggested that they're some of her very few friends she has, due to the lonely life she lives).
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Initially starts her journey as a little cold and aloof, but by the end she has started to feel human emotions like love and regret.
  • Emotionless Girl: In her early stages of being a human she acts like this.
  • Fake Brit: Her British accent is provided by an American and she is supposed to be Irish.

  • Godiva Hair: When freshly transformed into a human (and Naked on Arrival), her hair covers everything.
  • Good Is Not Nice/Good Is Not Soft: She's the heroine of the film, yes, and her quest for finding her people is admirable, but she's still a little too cold and brash towards others to be considered an All-Loving Heroine. Unicorns are good, yes, but they're also wild.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: The gown she wears in the movie is a soft lilac shade.
  • Heartbroken Badass: At first with Lír, when it seems he died. It's still the same after she revives him, due to the fact that they cannot be together anymore.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: She will always hold Lír in high esteem, even if she cannot love him anymore.
  • Humanity Ensues: Once she's turned into a woman.
  • I Am Very British: Despite being from Ireland, she has a (very bad) British accent.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: A trait of all unicorns.
  • Indifferent Beauty: Becomes this as the Lady Amalthea. She knows humans find her beautiful, but couldn't care less.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Her hair reaches down to her thighs, and she is very composed and feminine.
  • Meaningful Name: Amalthea means "tender goddess" in Greek. And was the name of Zeus' nanny goat who incidentally lost a horn.
  • Mystical White Hair: The color of her coat is white, and her hair as a human girl keeps the same color. Many find it strange and beautiful.
  • Morphic Resonance: When she turns into a woman, she keeps the white mane (now turned into hair) and purple eyes that she had as a unicorn. In the movie she also has a star shaped mark on her forehead where her horn had been. In the book, it's a flower mark.
  • Princess Classic: She starts acting like this as she spends more time as a human.
  • Proper Lady: Has shades of this in her unicorn form, but she shows them to their fullest as a girl; being elegant and soft-spoken when talking.
  • Purple Eyes: Her eyes are a dark indigo color. May overlap with Supernatural Is Purple, since it seems to be the color she's the most associated with (after white and blue).
  • Rapunzel Hair: As a human girl, her hair reaches down to her thighs.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Unicorns are immortal and thus, cannot die. It's stated that they're as old as the sky; and her coat has by the start of the story begun to show age by not being any longer the color of seafoam, but rather the white of fresh fallen snow on a moonlit night. Even she doesn't know how old she is.
  • Supernatural Is Purple: She's a unicorn with purple eyes who lives in a lilac wood.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The girly girl to Molly's tomboy. Though she's more feminine than girly.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Experiences this with Lír as a human, since unicorns have a limited range of emotions and thus cannot fall in love the way humans do.
    Schmendrick the Magician
Take me with you. For luck, for laughs, for the unknown!
Voiced by: Alan Arkin

The magician who accompanies the unicorn in her adventure. Though well-meaning, is usually considered to do poorly in magic.

  • Adorkable: Based on his smiles and how he tends to stammer at times.
  • The Ageless: As a result of a spell cast upon him by his master, he will not age until he masters the usage of his magical power.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: His name seems to indicate this, Schmendrick meaning "fool" in Yiddish.
  • Beta Couple: With Molly.
  • Blessed with Suck: Nikos considered his "gift" of immortality to him to be more of a curse than a blessing, especially since he is doomed to be an immortal incompetent, and to start aging again as soon as he actually becomes the great wizard he has the potential to be. As such, he has the perspective to see what's beautiful about mortality, though the unicorn doesn't understand him until she, as a human woman, falls in love.
  • The Chew Toy: How others constantly treat him.
  • Court Mage: Becomes Haggard's. Entertaining him with magic tricks to distract him from their search for the Red Bull.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Usually the most Inept Mage you've ever seen, but when push comes to shove he is capable of channeling enormous magical power that rivals and even surpasses that of the greatest wizards.
  • Emergency Transformation: A spell he puts on the Unicorn.
  • Functional Magic: He's not good at magic, so often his spells end up being of this variety.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: After Molly first joins the party, he quickly becomes very jealous of the bond that forms between her and the unicorn, and the fact that the former can touch the latter while he can't.
  • Inept Mage: He is completely incompetent at all magic but cheap circus tricks, and sometimes fumbles even those. Eventually subverted when it turns out he is actually Unskilled, but Strong.
  • Jumped at the Call: Offers to join the Unicorn in her travels just after a few hours of knowing her.
  • Meaningful Name: A schmendrick is a foolish, dumb man. Guess how the rest of the characters treat our favorite magician.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Molly's Red. Initially played with in their first scene where he seems to take on the Red role.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Both are stitched together from random bits of cloth, giving him the appearance of a very down-on-his-luck mage.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He routinely tries to impress or menace others by boasting about his great magical prowess, which is anything but (under normal circumstances).
  • Unskilled, but Strong: He has enormous raw magical power which occasionally allows him to pull off feats even great wizards would find impossible. "Occasionally" is the key word here. He has zero control over his full power, so 99% of the time he is an Inept Mage.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Only in the book and graphic novel. A great wizard named Nikos realized that Schmendrick was so incompetent, he must have a vast talent for magic which was working backwards, so he made him The Ageless so he'd have time to get himself together.

    Molly Grue
Where were you twenty years ago? Ten years ago? Where were you when I was new? When I was one of those innocent young maidens you always come to? How dare you, how dare you to come to me now when I am this!
Voiced by: Tammy Grimes

A middle aged woman who dreamt all her life of seeing unicorns until life shattered her dreams. She finally meets one during the story. Accompanies the Unicorn in her adventures and often tends to offer good (if blunt) counsel.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Not much, but she's described to look rather plain in the book, while in the movie she looks younger and cuter.
  • Barefoot Poverty: She's poor and shoeless.
  • Beta Couple: With Schmendrick.
  • Broken Bird: Her life experiences have turned her a little cynical, but despite all that she still clings to her fantasy of meeting unicorns. It eventually turns real.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of her lines are delivered in this way.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's rather pinched, bitter, and cynical, but she has a good heart under it all.
  • Jumped at the Call: Decides to leave with Schmendrick and the unicorn within seconds of seeing the latter. However, she soon remarks that she was planning on leaving with Schmendrick even before she saw the unicorn.
  • Meaningful Name: Molly can mean "bitter", and it surely fits with how she feels concerning Captain Cully.
  • Misplaced Accent: Every Irish character in this movie has a British or American accent, but Molly is Scottish.
  • The Pigpen: Rare female version. She starts off very dusty, dirty, tattered, and grimy from a life of poverty out in the woods. This changes after living in Haggard's castle for a while.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy to the Unicorn's/Amalthea's Girly girl.
  • Reality Ensues: She eloped with Captain Cully as young woman because she wanted to live Just Like Robin Hood, but learned the hard way that life with a bunch of outlaws on the road and in the woods was not as romantic as she had pictured it.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Schmendrick's Blue.
  • Wham Line: Puts a quick stop to Schmendrick's self-congratulatory speech when he thinks he's saved the day by transforming Amalthea into a human.
Schmendrick: I am a bearer, I am a dwelling, I am a messenger!
Molly: You are an idiot! You hear me?!? You've lost her!
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Surprises even herself by calling the unicorn out on her callousness, twice; first by claiming her time is more valuable than mortals, and then later for calling Schmendrick a fool when the latter works himself night and day trying to keep Haggard too distracted to realize she's a unicorn.

    Prince Lír
The happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story.
Voiced by: Jeff Bridges

A prince the unicorn meets during her adventure. Falls deeply in love with her, but she's initially cold to him.

  • Character Development: Turns from a lazy schmuck into a noble hero.
  • Cry for the Devil: invoked He is the only one to grieve for Haggard's death, and even then it's only a little.
  • Doorstep Baby: Haggard found him on a doorstep where a peasant had left him.
  • Friendless Background: Tells the others when they leave that he's never had any friends before.
  • Happily Adopted: Is a bit lonely but otherwise content living with Haggard.
  • Meaningful Name: Lír is the name of the sea god in Irish Mythology. And it just so happens that he lives close to the sea...
  • Medium Awareness: He seems to know he's a heroic character in a fairy tale.
  • Odd Friendship: Develops one with Molly after she comes to Haggard's castle.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Discussed and Averted. He realized nothing short of a unicorn would ever make his father happy, so he gave up trying years before we see him.
  • The Wise Prince: Turns into one after loving Amalthea.

    King Haggard
I like to watch them, they fill me with joy. The first time I felt it I thought I was going to die!
Voiced by: Christopher Lee

The main villain of the story and Lír's adoptive father. Orders the Red Bull to capture all of the Unicorns and send them into the sea.

  • All Take and No Give: He doesn't keep anything around that doesn't make him happy. He adopted Lír as an abandoned baby simply to find out if being a parent would make him happy, but quickly lost interest.
  • The Collector: Of unicorns, of course.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Most apparent when he looks into the Lady Amalthea's eyes, and reflects none of the light they emit.
  • The Eeyore: To the point that the only happiness he can feel is watching the unicorns he's imprisoned in the sea. He's tried other methods of feeling happy, including adopting the Prince, but none of them last for long.
  • Evil Irishman
  • Evil Overlord: One of the few evil kings whose motivation ISN'T power (he's already a king during the events of the story and has no interest in riches or the palace life, based in what state the castle is in), but the consequences of his actions leave his kingdom in disarray anyway.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: In the novel, his voice is described as more of a dry rustle, but what with being one of Christopher Lee's villains, he's a deep baritone in the film adaptation.
  • Fisher King: Some people say his land was originally green but became rocky and barren when he entered it.
  • For Happiness: His only motivation is to find things that make him happy.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Looks very like Christopher Lee.
  • It's All About Me: His only thought and concern in the world is making himself happy. To that end, he'll use and discard anyone on a whim and capture and imprison all the unicorns in the world without a thought or care to how it affects them.
  • King Incognito: The doormen that let the gang into the castle turn out to be Haggard and Lir.
  • Meaningful Name: He's old and looks very gaunt and wasted.
  • Oddly Small Organization: His court only consists of four men at arm's because he only keeps people around if they make him happy.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: His reason for capturing the unicorns in the first place.
  • Tragic Villain: He's never felt happiness in his life before he saw the unicorns. This prompts him to capture them. One of the darkest examples of this trope as there doesn't seem to be a specific reason for his depression, so he selfishly keeps the beauty of those miracles away from the world, making both them and the rest of the world miserable, in order to keep this single pleasant feeling that they give him.

Example of: