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For tropes regarding the sequel, please see The Rescuers Down Under.

The film contain examples of:

  • Adaptation Displacement: You can imagine how many people have even heard of the original books. In fact, there are a good 12 within the series. The final book, Bernard Into Battle, was made not too long after the first movie.
  • Base-Breaking Character: You either can't stand Madame Medusa for chewing way too much of the scenery or you cherish how much of a memorable villain Madame Medusa is.
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  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Even though they never meet in either movie, Penny and Cody are a popular couple in fanart and fanfics.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: According to famed Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston in their book "Disney Animation and the Illusion of Life", when The Rescuers was released in Germany, it became the highest grossing picture of all time in that country.
    • It was also a huge hit in France, and grossed more money there than Star Wars of all films. It's still beloved there, thanks to the top notch vocal performances of Roger Carel (Bernard) and Perrette Pradier (Madame Medusa). There was even a 25th anniversary reunion featurette on the 2002 DVD in France.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Bernard's superstition about the number 13 came true when the film's sequel took that many years to come out, and performed very badly despite raving reviews.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The film used "I like trains!" years before ASDF Movie.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Medusa goes from kidnapping an orphan girl named Penny to use her to find a diamond in a cave beneath a well to encouraging Snoops to be harsher when Penny doesn't find it to personally making Penny look for the diamond in the cave even though this actually puts Penny's life in danger. Then when Penny gets the diamond and Medusa takes it, Medusa holds Snoops AND Penny at gunpoint to deter them from taking it.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Madame Medusa's fittingly ominous and sinister theme.
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    • Brutus and Nero especially how close they come to making a meal out of Bernard and Bianca even if its in darkly humorous organ-playing scene.
    • The Black Hole scene is pretty well full of this. The movie builds up how much Penny hates the place, but it's only late in the movie do we actually see it for ourselves...a dark, cramped cave with skeletal remains here and there...and a large hole where water from the tide outside rushes in and floods the cavern periodically.
    • Speaking of that hole "where the water comes in", Bernard believes it's the perfect place to hide something as valuable as the Devil's Eye and goes over to take a look. The movie doesn't show it, but whatever Bernard sees in that hole utterly terrifies him before he backs away, nervously stammering that if he were a pirate, he wouldn't hide anything near such a place. Despite Bernard's Cowardly Lion tendencies, you have to wonder...what did he see in that hole that frightened him so badly...? And we NEVER get to see in it at all...
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    • Both Bernard and Penny nearly fall into the hole trying to cross it. And before they escape, they're nearly sucked down into the hole itself as the water begins to fill the cave and form a whirlpool. Face it...that hole is a scary deathtrap!
    • And then, as noted above, there's the Adult Fear aspect of it in that despite the extreme danger, the fact that this cave is so claustrophobic and cramped is why Medusa had to use a child to find the Devil's Eye, because an adult couldn't possibly fit in here.
    • Bats coming within seconds from making a meal out Evinrude, as seen from the little dragonfly's eyes.
  • Older Than They Think: The companion PDF file for The Lost Chords reveals that the movie had been in production since 1962, placing this as the last movie released that was in production during Walt Disney's lifetime.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: The original release had a near-subliminal topless woman in an apartment window during the trip on Orville. Unlike later accusations like the priest with an erection or the dust cloud saying “sex,” this one is actually confirmed to be genuine, though upon its discovery on the home video release in 1999 the studio insisted none of their animators were responsible and it appears to have been done at some point in post-production. The tapes were recalled and it was scrubbed from all future releases.
  • Realism-Induced Horror: Madame Medusa. While her plan of kidnapping Penny and using her to get the Devil's Eye diamond comes off as a little more grandiose, one of her most loathed moments among fans of the movie occurs when she mocks Penny as "homely" and claims no adoptive parent would want her. As horrible as her endangering Penny's life is, that kind of cruelty happens far more commonly.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "Tomorrow is Another Day" starts out sounding somewhat similar to Joni Mitchell's "The Circle Game," albeit with more of that sound of The '70s.
  • Toy Ship: Although they've never officially met, Penny and Cody are a popular couple.
  • Values Dissonance: The film has some mild examples, mostly to do with today's stricter ratings standards. It can be startling to see a Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal knocking back moonshine, to say nothing of the villain's carefree attitude toward gun safety. There's also the little issue that, while all of the other mice in the Rescue Aid Society represent individual countries, the only one from Africa we see is just... Africa. Plus the Chairman’s fond memories of when “it was a man’s world,” though he quickly agrees to let Miss Bianca take the mission.
  • Viewer Species Confusion: Brutus and Nero are called crocodiles by Miss Bianca (and they do have narrow snouts and interlocking teeth like crocodiles, rather than broad ones and overbites like alligators), but viewers often refer to them as alligators. To make things even more confusing, the concept art does call them alligators, and an earlier design even gave them overlapping jaws and broad snouts appropriate for a gator. Even the This Very Wiki is inconsistent on the matter of what they're supposed to be. Seeing as the animators started studying and sketching alligators rather than crocodiles, and that the setting of Devil's Bayou is meant to be in Louisiana (though since they are Madame Medusa's pets, she could have had them imported), where alligators are found but not crocodiles, it is safe to say that they are supposed to be gators. The crocodile-like features are probably the result of later tweaks to the designs as pre-production went on.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After several years of several films of varying quality that suffered from not having Walt Disney at the helm owing to his death, The Rescuers was at the time a badly-needed success for The Walt Disney Company and considered one of its better outings of that era which made it an important step toward The Little Mermaid (1989) and the Disney Renaissance; Disney was clearly aware of this due to having the sequel be the second film of the Renaissance and the first film using the CAPS system (though it failed at the box office, the animation pioneering it did bring was crucial to the success of Beauty And The Beast, the third film of the Renaissance).
  • The Woobie: Penny. A sweet, innocent girl who is kidnapped and forced to risk her life to get a diamond for Medusa. As if this weren't bad enough, she's constantly putting Penny down and saying no one would ever want her as a child.

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