The Rescuers

  • Review Date: July 14, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1977

Common Sense Media says

Great adventure, but too dark for preschoolers.
  • Review Date: July 14, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1977

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Definitely a triumph of good over evil. Positive messages about helping others, and about the perils of being greedy. Penny worries that she's not pretty enough to be adopted, an idea that Medusa reinforces -- though ultimately that proves untrue.

Positive role models

The mice in the International Rescue Aid Society take it upon themselves to help girls like Penny who are in need. Medusa, on the other hand, is the worst kind of villain: she is alternately charming and threatening when Penny does not do what she is told.

Violence & scariness

Kidnapping of an orphan, perilous falls, and dangerous situations that nearly cause the drowning of a child. Medusa has a shotgun which she uses to shoot at mice, other animals, and the child. No blood, but snapping crocodiles tear at clothing. A diamond gleams from inside a human skull.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

Bullying language from an adult, who tells a child to "shut up," and calls her a "brat."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A country mouse drinks from a jug, remarking, "This new batch really packs a wallop!" He gives anybody who is lagging a slug of the booze, saying that it "will cure what ails you." Those who drink it spew fire and display renewed vigor.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animated movie isn't as accessible to the youngest viewers as many other Disney features -- its dark story (a suspenseful tale of child kidnapping and slavery) may be too much for sensitive preschoolers. The young Penny and her mice companions are nearly drowned as they search for a treasure, which gleams from inside a human skull. Though the kindness and bravery of Penny's rescuers ultimately triumph over the evil kidnapper, kids might find that the scary elements linger after the movie has finished.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

When villainess Madame Medusa (voiced by Geraldine Page) kidnaps an orphan girl named Penny (Michelle Stacy) to help her find an enormous diamond, the police can't find her -- so two intrepid mice decide to track her down in Disney's 1977 animated adventure. Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor) and her janitor friend Bernard (Bob Newhart) head for the swamp to rescue Penny, enlisting the help of a ragtag group of critter friends, including valiant dragonfly Evinrude and clumsy albatross Orville (Jim Jordan).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Although Disney animation was in a slump during the 1970s, the studio still managed to produce the worthwhile Rescuers. A more modest effort than recent Disney extravaganzas, this movie still makes for great family viewing. Medusa is a villainess in the grand tradition of Cruella Deville, and the unlikely voice pairing of Eva Gabor as va-va-voom Miss Bianca and Bob Newhart as the timid janitor Bernard works exceptionally well. They enliven the melancholy Devil's Bayou, a haunting setting if ever there was one.

 

Because the film is unusually dark (literally and story-wise) a cast of animated misfits adds needed comic relief. Unfortunately this appealing mix is a bit dampened by sappy ballads that accompany some boring slide animation, dating it a little. Otherwise, this is a worthy Disney sleeper.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this 1970s tale is different from animated movies they see today. Can you tell the movie was made a long time ago? If so, what gives it away?

  • Discuss the villain Medusa. What makes her an especially good villain? Who's your favorite villain in the movies or in books? Why? And why do stories always have villians? What would stories be like without them?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 15, 1977
DVD release date:May 20, 2000
Cast:Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor, Geraldine Page
Director:Art Stevens
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Book characters
Run time:76 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of The Rescuers was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Educator and Parent of a 4 year old Written byamyrb June 12, 2009
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

Some scary scenes for a 4 year old. My daughter loved it although she did have lots of questions about Penny and why she didn't have parents and wanting to know why Medusa was so mean.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 10 year old Written byMrs. Padilla April 9, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

We really liked this movie, and thought it was very fun. One concern was the way moon-shine was used as a joke a few times. Some of the scenes would be to scary for younger children I feel.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Kid, 10 years old Written byXela9 April 2, 2010
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Good movie

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models

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