The year was 1986. I was five years old, and Disney’s 26th animated feature, The Great Mouse Detective premiered in theaters on July 2. While I didn’t see it until 24 years later to write this review, I must say that I wish I had seen it lo those many decades ago.
The Great Mouse Detective is one of Disney’s animated films that really doesn’t get the accolades and acclaim that it should. Coming just three years before Disney’s Golden Age of Animation that began with The Little Mermaid, The Great Mouse Detective is generally overlooked.
The film contains a couple firsts for an animated feature. It is the first Disney animated film to incorporate computer animation into the process (the Big Ben battle at the end). It also is the first and only time you’ll get to hear Vincent Price sing as the dastardly villain Professor Ratigan.
The plot: When a toymaker is kidnapped in front of his young daughter, she seeks out the help of the famous Basil of Baker Street. Along with his reluctant partner, Dr. Dawson, the team track down the girl’s father (who was taken by Professor Ratigan), and help foil a plot that if completed could change the course of history.
Chock full of gags, slapstick, and one cleverly placed cameo (look for it in the toy shop), The Great Mouse Detective delivers plenty of adventure and fun while staying true to the classic formula you expect from Disney animation.
This Mystery in the Mist Edition of The Great Mouse Detective includes the following special features (DVD version):
So You Think You Can Sleuth? Game
A brief history of law enforcement and the evolution of the private eye, followed by a quick game to test you sleuthing skills.
The Making of The Great Mouse Detective
The original Making Of special, which features one of the animators super-excited about the use of computers in the animation process.
“The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind” Sing-Along Song
For classic Disney animated fun, check out The Great Mouse Detective on DVD and Blu-ray on April 13, 2010!