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The film contain examples of:

  • Angst? What Angst?: Despite the safety of Marahute's eggs being the catalyst for the climax, there is little grieving for them after being supposedly eaten. At no point during Bernard's rescue does he mention to the rest of the group that the eggs are secure under Wilbur's care.
  • Awesome Art: The entire flight scene. But then what else would you expect from master animator Glen Keane?
  • Awesome Music:
  • Catharsis Factor: McLeach going over the waterfall at the end of the movie is extremely satisfying.
  • Common Knowledge: Despite what many reviews claim, Marahute is never posited in-story to be the Last of Her Kind; McLeach only says she's "rare".
  • 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. Those who prefer the first film like it for its charm, quiet pace, and its cute and moving characters, who likewise feel that Down Under's plot is thin-stretched and reliant on filler compared to the first film, not to mention Bianca and Bernard having much less screentime. Other fans prefer Down Under for having a different tone and atmosphere from the original film, being more exciting and adventure-driven.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: McLeach is a rival to The Joker in this despite being the villain of a Disney sequel.
    McLeach: Home, home on the range! Where the critters are tied up in chains! I cut through their sides, and I tear off their hides, and the next day I do it again! EVERYBODY!
  • Cult Classic: While it was an underperformer upon its initial release, the film slowly but steadily gained new appreciation among Disney fans as a worthy sequel to a well-regarded Disney classic and a good film in its own right.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Percival McLeach, the main villain, is probably the most remembered character.
    • Frank the frilled lizard. He's quite a Ridiculously Cute Critter for such a scaly reptile. Also, Joanna.
  • 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, and this was while he was shooting for another film, no less.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Cody bears a strong resemblance to Steve Irwin's son, Robert.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A pair of birds named after the Wright brothers who run an airline? Fast forward to 2020
  • Hype Backlash: The film gained one in later years as a response to many considering it an underrated classic better than the original film, with common criticisms including the below-mentioned padding, along with the comic relief such as Wilbur and the captured animals being annoying and the film having an overall weak plot compared to the other more popular Disney films at the time.
  • 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.
  • Love to Hate: McLeach. What else can be said about someone voiced by George C. Scott?
  • Memetic Mutation: "These are NOT Joanna eggs!"
  • 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 beloved in its own right, the film also runs a scant 77 minutes, requiring a considerable amount of business and sub plots to get it up to feature length.
    • 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 whole side-journey from his slapstick-funny back surgery, to needing to be the one that keeps the Eagle's eggs warm, also seems tacked on.
  • Realism-Induced Horror: McLeach is an Ax-Crazy Evil Poacher who has no qualms about hurting or killing innocent animals. Did we mention has a scope shotgun? Now, there's a guy who loves to see the faces of his victims before he riddles them full of holes. All of this wouldn't be too bad... if people like McLeach didn't exist in real life. The chances of someone getting attacked by an evil queen, a sorcerer, a sea witch or a pirate (in most parts of the world, at any rate) are slim-to-none. And no one has good publicity like Gaston or even Madame Medusa. But are there Ax-Crazy Evil Poachers out there who take delight in seeing their prey getting hurt and have no qualms about hurting innocent animals? Oh yes.
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • Values Dissonance: The gag where the female mouse hits her husband (who is much smaller than her) would never be allowed in a Disney movie today.
  • The Woobie: Poor Bernard falls under this due to all the hell he suffers while trying to propose to Bianca. He succeeds in the end, luckily.


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