Monday, April 04, 2005

Movie of the Week, The Last Unicorn.


"I have forgotten that men cannot see Unicorns. If men no longer know what they're looking at, there may be other unicorns in the world yet, unknown. I'm glad of it."

This weeks movie of the week is The Last Unicorn.

The last unicorn in the world goes on a quest to discover what has happened to all the others of her kind. Along the way she meets a variety of interesting characters including the rather inept Schmendrick the Magician, a sensible middle-aged woman named Molly Grue, and the evil King Haggard. The story is part fantasy, part allegory about fairy tales, and part tale about life itself. Based on the novel of the same name by Peter S. Beagle.

Fun Facts:
Christopher Lee (who supplied the voice of King Haggard) showed up for the recording sessions armed with his own copy of the book, with several places marked to indicate things that must not, in his opinion, be omitted.

The soundtrack was one of the best selling albums of 1983 in Germany.

Watch the "Walking Man's Road" Scene:

The riddle that befuddles Rook - "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" - is the famous unanswered riddle asked by The Mad Hatter in Alice In Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.

This was Rankin and Bass's last animated film (who also made Rudolph the Red Noised Reindeer, a trillion other Christmas specials & The Hobbit). Unfortunately by this point their movies were not successful enough to keep their studio open, they were forced to close that part of the company and let go of these animators. The  
animators wanting to stay together eventually ended up founding the famous Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli (Studio Ghibli is best known for animating films like Laputa, Nausica: Valley of the Winds, and most recently Spirited Away).

Fun Quotes:
Schmendrick the Magician: We are not always what we seem, and hardly ever what we dream.

King Haggard : You are losing my interest and that is very dangerous. In a moment I will have forgotten you quite entirely, and will never be able to remember just what I did with you. What I forget not only ceases to exist, but never really existed in the first place.

The Skeleton: When I was alive, I believed - as you do - that time was at least as real and solid as myself, and probably more so. I said "one o'clock" as though I could see it, and "Monday" as if I could find it on the map.  Like everyone else I lived in a house bricked up with seconds and minutes and New Year's Days, and I never went outside because there was no other door. Now I know that I could have walked through the walls.

Schmendrick the magician: There are no happy endings because nothing ever ends.

Great movie, heart breaking. Four outta four check it out.

P.S. Tolkien fans should most defiantly check out this book. It's not the girly trip it seems to be, but a great love letter to epic fantasy.

My Last Unicorn Wallpaper:


battlemaiden said...

This was my most favorite movie when I was a kid. I haven't seen it in ages! Thanks for the reminder. :)

Becca said...

Yes, it's a great movie, you should check it out again. I think you'll be surprised at how affecting it as for all ages.

Anonymous said...


If you really care about The Last Unicorn and her creator Peter S. Beagle, please read in info at the above link and pass it on.

Last Unicorn Lover

Arkonbey said...

"Why is a raven like a writing desk?"

Don't forget that Jasper Fforde answered it: "because Poe wrote on both"

I think that is genius.

Anonymous said...

He wrote a novella sequel! Its really good. It called 'Two Hearts'

TheLastMistake 0R universempty said...

I'M Alive, I'm Alive! Now that I'm a woman everything is strange....

Sweet Enemy said...

This was the first movie I remember seeing in a theater. And the most of that memory is of the red bull completely filling the screen; terrifying, fantastic, and definitely hooked me into the genre.

Years later I fell in love with the book, and it was only last year that I decided to rent the movie again. I was pleasantly surprised, and then it all made sense when I saw the Ghibli connection. Thanks Becca, great review!