Another Disney birthday is upon us, which means it's time for another Blu-ray. The Rescuers are ready to do some celebrating, so the House of Mouse has released The Rescuers: 35th Anniversary Edition.
Disney has put the party into this 3-disc set, which includes 1977's The Rescuers and the sequel, 1990's The Rescuers Down Under. Both films are on one Blu-ray disc, with the other two being standard-def DVDs of each movie.
In The Rescuers, we are introduced to the dynamic duo of Bernard (voiced by Bob Newhart) and Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor), two mice that help to bring the abducted home to their loved ones. Yes, you read that correctly -- mice. Fortunately, Penny, a cutie-pie orphan, isn't too fussy. She is desperately trying to escape a creepily-drawn woman named Madame Medusa. She has Penny in her evil clutches, in hopes of having the wee one mine for the world's largest diamond, the Devil's Eye.
Bernard, Miss Bianca and Chairmouse (Bernard Fox) all return for The Rescuers Down Under, as do their famous voices. This time, however, the crimefighting critters head to the Australian Outback to save a boy named Cody (Adam Ryen) -- the same boy that rangers think got eaten by crocodiles.
While both films seem like they could induce a few kiddie nightmares, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise to hear that The Rescuers is the superior film here. It's where we meet Bernard, Miss Bianca and all of their furry friends. Also, it's hard to top the evil that oozes out of Geraldine Page's Madame Medusa. That said, each film should keep the kiddies perched on the edges of their seats, making The Rescuers: 35th Anniversary Edition a nice little double feature.
Disney has yet to disappoint with a Blu-ray release, and this anniversary compilation is no exception. It certainly doesn't pack the same punch as its Blu-ray predecessors, but it's lovely just the same. The colors in The Rescuers aren't exactly eye-popping, but are pretty bold throughout. Also, despite a few flecks here and there, the image shows off many details in the animation. Naturally, The Rescuers Down Under is the better looking of the two films, depending on how you like your Disney films. I personally prefer the old-school Disney look, but this one is certainly polished and very pretty.
Both of the films have a DTS-HD Master audio track, and both sound pretty wonderful. For the most part, The Rescuers sticks close to the front speakers, but occasionally opens up the soundfield for a little action and to give the soundtrack a nice spotlight. The Rescuers Down Under is a bit more bold, has a lot more music, and even uses the soundfield a bit more to its advantage for a more full overall experience.
The fact that you're getting two movies for one price is really the main attraction here. Unlike many of its predecessors, this section doesn't offer commentaries or many behind-the-scenes peeks. The latter is squished into a mere 11-minute short. Otherwise, the set has one deleted song, a sing-along song, and a short titled, "Three Blind Mouseketeers." The gem of the lot is Water Birds - A True Life Adventure, the 1952 Oscar-winning documentary.
If you're still building your Disney Blu-ray collection, The Rescuers: 35th Anniversary Edition can probably go to the bottom of your list. It's not that it's not good; it's just not as good as some of its Blu-ray predecessors. It's a shame that Disney didn't look in the vault a little harder for some special features. That said, some Disney magic is certainly better than none at all, making this set enjoyable enough that you'll want to pick it up at some point.