The Last Unicorn
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie is best suited for mature kids approaching double digits in age. There's a proliferation of borderline profanity (including several utterances of 'hell', 'damn' and non-religious references to God), a frequent amount of mortal threats ("I'll kill you!" and the like) and two fairly graphic death scenes, which may make quite an impact on the younger children.
What's the story?
The last of the mythological unicorns is prompted by a wise butterfly to seek the rest of her species. She is taken captive by an evil witch, but soon she bands together with a magician and his gypsy wife who see her through her quest.
Is it any good?
Nearly 25 years after its initial public release, THE LAST UNICORN struggles to keep up with its contemporaries in the world of animated-motion pictures. The seamless blending of movement, scenery, and sound typified by today's animated production is still decades away from this one. There are very few special effects, and even the music and songs sound like throwbacks to the 70's -- which isn't surprising considering the film's 1982 release. Worse, the movie's plot isn't strong enough to surmount its audio/visual deficiencies. What UNICORN gives up in terms of its look and feel, it barely makes up for with a circuitous storyline that naps in the wrong places. The basic structure is cute enough. Unfortunately, the abundance of untimely singing numbers and unexplained non-sequiturs quickly lose whatever pace the story has, as it takes a windy, round-about route (that's not necessarily fun) to rescue the unicorns.
Comic relief is provided in the form of Schnemndrick, whose amateur spells switch our unicorn (who remains nameless for the movie's duration) into a lady of nobility to help her elude the fearsome Red Bull, who's also otherwise unnamed. Throw in your typical lovelorn prince, an evil king, and a number of cameos from talking cats to skeletons, and you've got all the makings of a formulaic fairy tale. But with a ready supply of violence (including one fairly graphic scene of a harpy literally eating a witch) and a surprising cache of B-list "bad" words, THE LAST UNICORN may be better off left in the 80s.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how the threatened and actual violence depicted in the film is fantasy and shouldn't be confused with everyday existence. Also, it may be pertinent to explain why the Unicorn leaves her newfound love at the movie's conclusion, despite the latter's proclamation of his undying faith.