The Last Unicorn

The Last Unicorn DVD CoverEpisode  18 is here and it’s infused with UNICORN POWER! We’re reviewing the 1982 animated classic The Last Unicorn. This film was produced by Rankin/Bass for and animated by Topcraft who would later become Studio Ghibli.   The film is beautiful to look at and really shows its pedigree, especially in the hand painted backgrounds.   There are some really beautiful pastoral scenes in this film.

The Last Unicorn is the story  of a unicorn who one day finds out that she may be the last unicorn in the world.   She goes on a quest to discover if this is true and if it is, to free the rest of the unicorns.   It’s a fairly simple setup but the characters are very well developed and bring a depth to this animated film that isn’t often seen in english produced productions.

Thanks  for requesting this  episode  Doe and Monica!

Buy a Signed Copy of The Last Unicorn novel by Peter S. Beagle!
History of Topcraft/Studio Ghibli


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4 thoughts on “The Last Unicorn

  1. Yay, this is one of my favorite movies. I didn’t know that the soundtrack was only available here in Germany. What’s interesting is that it was printed in Holland, not even here. As for the print, it might be because they show the movie every year around Christmas. Up until I finally bought the DVD, The Last Unicorn was my typical Christmas movie to watch every year.

    As for the novel, there are more things in there that there are in the movie. Like the whole village that surrounds Haggard’s castle, where Lír was originally from, who was prophesied to bring about Haggard’s downfall. And since that would include the village, they treid to kill him, but then Haggard took him in. There’s also the guards at the castle and more to Shemdrick’s backstory.

    Oh, and Lír didn’t run off with the princess at the end, Molly and Shemdrick run into her and Shemdrick gives her his horse and tells her where to find Lír.

    • Oh good, you came back Tora! I was worried that switching our name might cause some of our regulars to leave. :)

      Sorry about the inaccuracies about the novel. I read it about a decade ago, so I guess the details got fuzzy in my mind. I wonder why only Germany got an official soundtrack release. Maybe the film is more popular in your country?

  2. One correction – he’s Peter S. Beagle. (And now, where you can correct me, because I haven’t seen the movie in years, but I re-read the story about a year ago.)

    Also, I’m sad that Tamsin didn’t grab you – it gets better a couple of chapters in.

    I’m a huge Peter S. Beagle fan, and I do think he’s better with the short stories. I started with the early short stories – Lila the Werewolf and Come Lady Death, which really stuck with me.

    Anyway, about the movie. I was annoyed by Mia Farrow’s voice, but I loved the voice of Molly Grue (Tammy Grimes). I had read the book before I saw the movie – and I did it under protest because I was against all the “unicorn girliness” that surrounded fantasy, if you know what I mean. But I loved Schmendrick – Alan Arkin rules! This is one place where an East Coast accent might work – the dude’s name itself is sort of Yiddish-y, New York-y.

    One of the things I liked about the movie and book was the idea of framing the characters as their archetypes – a unicorn, the prince who has to be out killing dragons, because he’s a prince (and as the princess who shows up at the end, because she is a princess), and the melancholy king. Then Beagle takes the archetypes and plays with them – Schmendrick is a wizard, but a fool who can’t really do magic all that well, Molly isn’t young or a virgin and has a real attitude, and the unicorn isn’t supposed to get turned into a girl who gets turned back into a unicorn that still remembers what it was like to be human. I was actually surprised the unicorn was female.

    • Thanks for the correction. I fixed it in the blog. If we said it wrong on the podcast though I guess it’s out there forever. Ah well. I’ll have to check out some of his earlier short stories. They sound interesting.

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