July 15, 2011

The Great Mouse Defective

So Maddy pulled 'The Great Mouse Detective' off the shelf yesterday and said she wanted to watch it. Okay I thought, we hadn't watched it yet, she was interested (it's got cute mice right?) and I vaguely remember it was supposed to be good (had not seen it in, like, forever) so we popped it in and settled back... Well, what the H*** was that!?!?

This supposed Disney Classic is by far the WORST Disney animated feature I have ever seen!

Right from the get-go this movie is dark, violent and frightening. Then there are all the technical problems the most glaring of which is the sub-par animation that looked about as good as say, Disney's Gummi Bears or maybe Duck Tales. On second thought it wasn't even that good. The original songs are weak, uninspiring and in one instance damn near sexually explicit! The poor voice casting and the lack-luster script weren't helping either... Why is Uncle Scrooge disguised as a mouse? At times even I had trouble following the plot or actually caring about the characters and their plight.

I watched in ever-growing horror and disbelief spending half the movie calming Maddy's fears and and the other half hoping she wouldn't ask why that mean cat ate that poor mouse or why that girl mouse is taking off her clothes (see video below)!

If this were a live action film today it would be rated at a minimum PG-13 and perhaps even R. Smoking, drinking, exotic dancers, gun play and other violence that I (as an adult) would enjoy (ie; Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes) are uncomfortably out of place in a G-rated Disney movie.

I have since removed the movie from Maddy's shelf and I pray she forgets about it until she's older. And to her credit, this morning she pulled out 'The Rescuers Down Under' for us to watch after school today. (Yes please, comment away!)

Not every film in Disney's collection is a true classic and the late 70' to early 90's is fraught with failures and forgettables. BUT while a lot of Disney's early animated features (and some of the 90's masterpieces) are full of evil, violence, action and even death, they were handled so much more skillfully, gracefully and artistically. Maddy adores 'Snow White' and 'Beauty and the Beast.' She had very little trouble handling 'Bambi' and she loves 'Tangled.' But none of them made her cower and cringe like 'The Great Mouse Detective.'

So to the House of Mouse I say this: Stick Basil of Baker Street back in the vault with Br'er Rabbit and forget that he's in there.

Would you want your three-year old daughter watching this scene?


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  2. So because your three-year old daughter couldn't sit through a film that wasn't in the usual Disney convention -- something you should've looked into BEFORE watching it with her -- you think it's the worst of the animated feature canon?

    The Great Mouse Detective was a film made to break away from the traditional Disney fairy-tale formula, so don't judge it for something you wish it was as opposed to what it is: A tale of mystery in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, NOT Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, told through artwork you should've given more credit for. Especially considering many of the people who'd worked on this film had yet to fully master their crafts. Your apathy towards the film's plot and characters is most likely the result of your disdain for the kind of story it's telling in the first place, so don't belittle these two elements just because this isn't your type of film to begin with.

    Please do your homework next time, and learn to critique a film for what it is as opposed to what you wished it was.

  3. Tony, if you are reading this...