| April 12, 2010

Before there was The Little Mermaid, before Disney reinvented itself and became the Single Greatest Purveyor of Family Entertainment (their words), there was a period known as the late sixties to early eighties. This period might be known as a bit of a dry spell. However, it was not entirely devoid of good movies. Perhaps the best (and a more obscure) movie Disney released in this period was the little gem THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE. It doesn’t have the sweep and spectacle of the movies Disney did best, but it does have its own unique and charming qualities.
It’s the story of Olivia Flaversham, a young mouse whose father is kidnapped by the great evil mastermind rat, Ratigan (voiced by the one and only Vincent Price). She, along with her temporary guardian, Mr. Dawson, seeks the help of the eponymous hero, Basil of Baker Street. If this sounds familiar, it is indeed intended to be an homage to Sherlock Holmes. With the twist, of course, being that they’re all mice (and a rat and a bat and a cat). Basil is the cleverest mouse in all of London, and together they begin a wild chase around the city searching for Ratigan and Olivia’s father.
There’s a couple adorable songs, and the score is top notch, compsed by Mr. Henry Macini. At a brisk 74 minutes, it has no time to overstay its welcome. The voice talent of Mr. Barry Ingham as Basil is highly appreciated, he brings a spark and thrill to the character that anyone with an appreciation of Sherlock will enjoy.
The final sequence is a little scary for the youngest ones, but is over as quickly as it began. This movie was definitely one of this critic’s favorites as a child.
The special features: “So You Think You Can Sleuth”, a brief history of England and America’s private detectives and a brief featurette on Sherlock Holmes, as well as a history of the word “Sleuth”, is followed by a game that a child might enjoy.
“The Making of The Great Mouse Detective” is a fun little video about the making of the movie.
A sing-along to Ratigan’s big number, “The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind”.

About the Author:

Heather Trow is a nursing assistant and part-time writer. When she is not writing, she is listening to the popular podcast "NEVER NOT FUNNY". Actually, at any given time, most likely, she is listening to the podcast. It's pretty much all she does besides work. It is her favorite thing.
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