The Last Unicorn represents a rare example of an animated kids’ pic in which the script and vocal performances outshine the visuals.
Quest framework provided by Peter S. Beagle’s adaptation of his own novel ideally serves an animated musical film’s need to introduce an assortment of colorful characters who can deliver specialty numbers. Continuing thread is the search of the fabled last unicorn, in this case a beautiful white mare, for the rest of her breed, which has reportedly been vanquished by the terrible red bull.
However vapid the unicorn may appear to the eye. Mia Farrow’s voice brings an almost moving plaintive quality to the character which sees the entire film through. Alan Arkin also scores as the bumbling magician, as do Christopher Lee as the evil king and, in a show-stopping turn, Paul Frees as a peg-legged, eye-patched cat.
The Last Unicorn
Rankin-Bass/ ITC. Director Arthur Rankin Jr, Jules Bass; Producer Arthur Rankin Jr, Jules Bass; Screenplay Peter S. Beagle; Camera Hiroyasu Omoto; Editor Tomoko Kida; Music Jimmy Webb; Art Director Arthur Rankin Jr.
(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1982. Running time: 84 MIN.
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