I reviewed The Great Mouse Detective a couple of years ago, but it was barely a paragraph,and appears to be deleted, so I’m reviewing it again this time as a Halloween pick. It’s only gone up half a star since reviewing it last time.
It was released during what fans refer to as Disney’s Dark Ages. The string of films released in the 80s was the first that didn’t have any kind of influence from Walt since his death, weren’t financially successful for the company, and the stories were growing darker, and I’d argue, less family-friendly with each new release. It was like Disney forgot they were making movies with young families in mind.
The Great Mouse Detective pays homage to Sherlock Holmes and focuses on Detective Basil of Baker Street. He reluctantly teams up with Dr. Dawson and young Olivia in the search for her father. They must work together to save both her father and the Queen of England from an early demise at the claws of the evil Rattigan.
The Great Mouse Detective is one of Disney’s darkest entries in their animated canon. I enjoyed it more than I did last time, but it’s still one of my least favorite Disney movies. It’s not something I would sit young children in front of.
When Rattigan’s cronies don’t do as their told, they get fed to his cat. You see several characters get eaten and come close to death in other ways. There’s also a bar scene with busty bar mice and dancing show girls. Dr. Dawson’s alcoholic beverage also gets drugged. (Ya know, the kinda stuff that’s perfect for children !) There’s one scene where a bat jumps out of a stroller and kidnaps Olivia. This scene still makes me jump even when I know it’s coming, and I’m nearly 27. This movie might be fine for older children, but you’ll want to keep the little ones away. I can’t believe this only received a G rating. It should’ve been PG! Not even a catchy villain song and good characters are enough to save this one.