Complete Monster: Percival C. McLeach, despite knowing the animals he hunts are sapient, delights himself in "ripping off their hides". While searching for the rare eagle Marahute, McLeach kidnaps the young Cody and forces his compliance by trapping him in an animal cage and recklessly tossing knives at him. Gloating to have previously captured and killed Marahute's mate, McLeach aims to destroy its eggs to increase the potential value. McLeach then entertains himself whilst disposing of Cody by lowering him into the crocodile-filled water, and when his fun is cut short, McLeach tries to shoot the rope suspending Cody.
Contested Sequel: Opinions are split on which of the two movies is superior: although the first is the most well-known, Down Under seems to have rapidly gathered a lot of fans after Doug Walker put it on a list of Underrated Nostalgic Classics with movies such as The Rocketeer, The Iron Giant, The Secret Of Nimh and The Prince of Egypt. Likewise The Nostalgia Chick didn't include it on her list of bad Disney sequels, pointing out in the followup Least Awful Disney Sequels that it doesn't even belong there as it's not awful at all. On the other hand, and popularity aside, fans of the first movie (for its charm, quiet pace, cute and moving characters) will tell you that Down Under might be a good adventure flick, but that in their opinion it's not what The Rescuers should be about.
McLeach: Home, home on the range! Where the critters are tied up in chains! I'll cut through their sides, and I'll rip off their hides, and the next day I'll do it again!
Cult Classic: While it was an underperformer upon its initial release, this film is slowly but steadily gaining new appreciation among Disney fans as a worthy sequel to a well-regarded Disney classic and a good film in its own right.
Evil Is Cool: McLeach was worse than Medusa as far as his actual actions go, but it was easier to dismiss him since, due to George C. Scott obviously having a ton of fun voicing him, he came off as being "cooler." Plus, he's got a big halftrack. That's badass no matter who you are.
Harsher in Hindsight: After Wilbur leaves the hospital and flies off to find Bernard and Bianca, he mutters "I gotta go on a diet when I get home." John Candy died of a heart attack in 1994 due to his obesity.
The advent of the first Power Rangers in 1993 and the franchise's continuing to this day make Cody's declaration that "[his] mom will call the Rangers" on McLeach so funny, and it has the effect of giving the film a measure of cultural resonance.
One of the Rescue Aid Society delegates is named Esmeralda.
Iron Woobie: Cody and Marahute both go through a lot of crap in the film, but they come out of it stronger than ever.
Jerkass Woobie: Joanna the Goanna is a sinister lizard who's going along with McLeach's scheme, but it's clear that he's abusing her and treating her like crap.
Moral Event Horizon: McLeach goes from kidnapping Cody (the young boy who confronted his poaching) to tricking the authorities into thinking Cody is dead by throwing his backpack to the crocodiles to trying to coerce an eagle's whereabouts out of Cody by throwing sharp knives close to his head to locking Cody up in the same cages he uses for captured animals...but the most likely moment for Moral Event Horizon comes in the form of having Cody hanging from a rope tied to a crane, then lowering Cody into crocodile-infested waters and raised back out again, only to try and lower him in again, this time permanently. McLeach's intent was to "tie up" the last "loose end" by eliminating the only human witness to his preceding crimes in a way that would look like an accident — he even laughs about how the rangers will now find Cody's body at Croc Falls, exactly where they thought he was killed. But he just wanted to torture Cody first for the fun of it, apparently.
Padding: While the film's mostly well-received, one of the main complaints is the amount of this:
Bernard and Bianca are in less than half of the film and their arc is a very straightforward one. If it were titled An Australian Movie That The Rescuers Appear In Briefly, you might appreciate the padding more.
The entire scene where Cody is in the cages with the animals. It doesn't affect the story, none of the characters established in it are met again, and nothing is accomplished.
Wilbur's back surgery, slapstick-funny as it is, also seems tacked on.
Padding was almost necessary just to get the film to feature-length; it runs a scant 77 minutes.
Sequel Displacement: Some fans of Down Under have never heard of the original film. It doesn't help that almost every time Walt Disney Home Video put out the Rescuers movies on a new format in North America, Down Under beat its predecessor by at least a year; Disney+ also launched in the Netherlands with Down Under, but not The Rescuers.note In the United States and Canada, Down Under made its VHS/LaserDisc debut in 1991, and The Rescuers made its VHS/LaserDisc debut in 1992. Down Under came to DVD in 2000, as part of the Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection, and The Rescuers in 2003, without any special banner. When the time came for Disney to release the movies on Blu-ray, they finally bucked this trend, by putting both of them out in 2012 — on the same 2-Movie Collection Blu-ray Disc. In Europe, however, Rescuers made its video debut in 1991, followed by Down Under the following year; the only explanation for this is because Disney delayed Down Under's release in the Eastern Hemisphere by nearly a year.
Sequelitis: The second film got some good reception, but became the sole financial bust of the Disney Renaissance (and only one of two Disney Animation bombs during Jeffrey Katzenberg's Disney career, the other being The Black Cauldron). It also has a lower Rotten Tomatoes rating than the original Dark Age Disney classic, though still in fresh territory.
Special Effects Failure: While most of the film still looks great, the CGI shots have aged horribly, most egregiously the shot with the Sydney Opera House, a low res untextured model that has noticeable clipping in it.
The CGI shots of New York City haven't fare much better. Especially notable is when Wilbur divebombs into the city streets, as the cars smashing into each other to avoid him are clearly blocky, untextured models. That shot would've easily looked far worse if it weren't a nighttime scene.