The Rescuers Down Under was a film I watched a lot as a kid. Watching it now I still can recite a lot of the dialogue and remember my favorite sections. Even the music brings back good memories. It’s funny that this is the second movie in the series because I know I watched this a lot more than the first Rescuers movie. Although I guess that makes sense since Rescuers Down Under came out in 1990 and the first film came out in 1977. Also the first movie is far darker, just in color. I remember everything being so dark blue and dark purple in color where in Rescuers Down Under everything is so nice and open. You actually want to be in some parts of this film.
When I think of movies I would like to be able to enter and just look around Rescuers Down Under is certainly one of them. And it all has to do with the opening credits shot where you are soaring through the Outback just over the shrubbery and into Cody’s, the main little kid, home. I always thought it looked so peaceful and I loved the idea of living in the middle of nowhere. Looking at it now however, that was obviously a big part that got the kid in trouble, the fact that absolutely no one was ever around. But, that brings me to the one person that was actually around, McLeach.
As an adult I would absolutely say that one of my favorite actors was George C. Scott. I loved him when I saw him in Patton for the first time and I thought he was great in The Changeling, when I finally got the courage to watch that by myself in high school. However, I don’t think I ever knew that he played McLeach in Rescuers Down Under. When he first showed up this time, I recognized his voice immediately. And it all came together, this must have been the first time I was exposed to him and I can’t believe that didn’t deter me from him cause McLeach is an absolutely horrifying character. I almost feel like he would fall in Shere Khan category of Disney villain where they are far too overlooked.
I think my love for this movie has a lot to do with my childhood but I still enjoyed watching it! I think it’s easily one of my favorite Disney films.
Rescuers Down Under is one of the movies that I probably haven’t seen in 20 years, but I could anticipate almost every single line before it was spoken because I’ve still seen it so many times. And like a lot of movies I do that with, Rescuers Down Under totally held up!
So, yeah, the plot is weird and fairly dark. A boy is kidnapped by an insane poacher from the Australian Outback, where the boy literally lives in a lone house surrounded by nothing but the Outback. So that alone raises a lot of questions. Why does this single mom live in a house with nothing but crazy wilderness around as far as the eye can see? What is the kid’s education like? Why doesn’t he get into insane situations all the time if all he does is wander around said wilderness? These questions are never answered, of course, but are still kind of jarring to see as an adult.
It’s also crazy how insane the poacher is. I’m a strong believer that Disney villains have always been way too dark (Sleeping Beauty should be rated R – period). But this guy wants to straight up murder not just a really rare eagle (with babies), but also this child! Whom he imprisons first! With all of his other captured animals! The poacher’s animal dungeon kind of reminded me of the scary dungeon in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, except with animals. So that’s scary.
But you just have to love Bob Newhart and Ava Gabor. Their voices are both so sweet and kind in their own way, and I love that there’s no mistaking its Bob Newhart, which is somehow not distracting in this case. I literally remember nothing about Rescuers, which I know I’ve seen but maybe only saw once, solely because we had Rescuers Down Under on video, but not Rescuers. But I’m totally okay with that; Rescuers Down Under is still really fun to watch and goes by so fast that it’s just kind of a fun little ride.