Monday, April 12, 2010

THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE (1986)








4 comments:

Sheryl said...

I loved this movie. The toy shop backgrounds were especially amazing, though Basil's home was quite fun, too.

Pete Emslie said...

"The Great Mouse Detective" remains one of my favourites of the post-Walt era, as it still seems to have the feel of the older classics, even though the surviving members of the Nine Old Men were all retired from animation at this point. John Musker and Ron Clements really caught the flavour of the Holmes stories and added that Disney panache to create such a fun animated romp. It also has the distinction of having a charismatic, yet flawed hero in Basil, making him every bit as interesting as the film's villain, Ratigan. Voice actor Barrie Ingham surely deserves some of the credit for that, in addition to the fun animation of the character by Rob Minkoff and others.

The backgrounds too are very appealing to me, mostly due to their unpretentious, very painterly quality. With a relatively small budget and work schedule, it feels like these backgrounds were done fairly quickly and economically, yet I think it's to their benefit. The backgrounds from "Beauty and the Beast" a few years later were far more elaborate in their rendering, but started to drift too far towards photographic realism, in my opinion. In contrast, look at how spare the rendering is on those paintbrushes in Flaversham's cupboard - beautiful in their cartoony graphicness! If I have one complaint, it's that I felt they went a bit crazy at times with the airbrush, sometimes softening and washing out too much of the painterly texture for my liking.

Rob, if you could sometime put up a few from Ratigan's lair or the atmospheric dockside pub, it would be appreciated! Much thanks for these!

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