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Flashback Friday - The Last Unicorn

The_last_unicorn Today's Flashback is brought to you by Rankin Bass's crappy cel-animation and America, the band.



When I was a kid, I was OBSESSED with The Last Unicorn. That's largely because virtually all little girls in the 80s were obsessed with unicorns. because they were like My Little Pony, only BETTER, because they have a horn and are sparkly. Clearly this obsession has not waned much for a certain collective of pop culture bloggers.

The_last_unicorn
 

The Last Unicorn is the story of a unicorn who finds out she is the last of her kind because the evil Red Bull has chased the other unicorns to the ends of the earth. She goes on a quest to rescue the rest of her species, meeting an inept magician along the way who gives her human form. Going by the name Amalthea, they encounter the son of the evil King who keeps the Red Bull, Prince Lir. He is the doofiest prince in the history of animated film, and falls in love with Amalthea and she with him, deciding she wants to remain human in order to be with him, but unfortunately for her, she's not in a Disney film, and she must return to her original form.

The film didn't do very well in theaters, but had a big life on video and The Disney Channel. It has a relatively impressive voice cast, as well, including Christopher Lee, Mia Farrow, Angela Landsbury, Alan Arkin and Jeff Bridges.

As a kid, what I adored most about this movie was the music, performed mostly by America. However, there is one song performed by Mia Farrow, and her singing voice is so awful it still haunts my dreams. Unfortunately, the YouTube video does not allow embedding, but here it is in all its flat, tuneless glory:

The Last Unicorn - Now That I'm a Woman

A few years back, there was some talk about a live-action/CG adaptation of the story (which was adapted from a novel by Peter S. Beagle), but somewhere along the line that project seems to have gone cold. It's too bad Hollywood don't see the nostalgia factor in movies about unicorns as well as the do for movies about robots in disguise.








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Comments

Sadie

I LOVED that movie. Loved.

mouthy_broad

i remember that movie being very upsetting. but now i think i need to netflix it.

mouthy_broad

and now i cornify.

aly

i'm not going to lie, i may have recently bought this dvd when i found out i was pregnant b/c if i have a little girl? SHE WILL LOVE THIS MOVIE AS MUCH AS I DID (do).

the singing butterfly! the price who loves her! the magician who comes through at the end! the talking clock! the bulls!

best. movie. ever.

Rebecca Jo

I loved that movie growing up & finally bought it for myself on DVD on my last birthday!!!

Angela in Ontario

My mother still collects unicorns, and I give her one every year at Christmas. I try not to just give her figurines, so this movie was her gift this year.

Judy

I own this movie on DVD and STILL can't watch the "Man's Road" scene without crying (which means I usually hit skip), and I'm 33.

April

Loved this movie! I remember it being a little creepy too which made it that much more intriguing. Must buy the DVD.

Ang

I loved this movie as a child! Thank you for sending me to youtube so I could watch nearly every Last Unicorn video they have. Also, I must find a copy of this movie.

Zanna @ Zannaland

I had my 9th birthday party at the movies watching this film. I, too, was SO obsessed with it (and all things unicorn, as was the law for girls of the 80's). I recently watched it again and could not BELIEVE that I sat through it so many years ago. I wanted to kill that unicorn myself by the end of the movie.

Thanks for the memory.

Lori

I never saw the movie but that book was one of my favorites .. maybe it's time to rent it!

Emily

Loved that movie!

Also... Legend? Tom Cruise plus unicorns. Anyone? I feel like when I mention this to my friends everyone thinks I'm tripping on acid. But I have the VHS tape to prove it's real. I'm gonna go sing the theme song now.

Little Neddie

Yes! Thank you Flashback Friday for a warm and fuzzy memory.

bella

YES! So many people don't seem to know about this movie. Best thing about watching it as an adult? The Pirate cat. Or maybe the wildly inappropriate tree. My sister and I still quote this movie. "They came down these roads long ago, and the Red Bull came after them" in a deep dangerous voice = awesome.

But I've got to plug the book, it's seriously fantastic.

Samantha

Dude, seriously, Legend is awesome.

Wicked SteppMom

My daughter, who recently turned 5, stole my VHS copy of this movie when she was 3. I had forgotten about some of the questionable dialogue until she started repeating it & I had to enforce that we do not say "DAMN YOU! Where have you been?!" while at preschool. She knows the whole movie by heart...geeky, unicorn-loving Mommy is so proud.

Anya

Funny thing - Red Bull has chased me to the ends of the earth quite a few times. :)

I faintly remember this movie - but it sounds fantastic - and way ahead of its time - what with the Red Bull and all...

tadpoledrain

Best movie ever. Best book ever. Best soundtrack ever (shut up -- they didn't have the actors sing on the actual soundtrack).

Quick note -- if you don't have the DVD and are planning on buying it, get it from the Conlan Press website, which is the only way Peter Beagle earns any money from it. He got completely SCREWED OVER by the makers of the ...movie? DVD? both? I forget which -- and doesn't get any royalties from it, which is frickin ridiculous. More info here:
http://www.conlanpress.com/youcanhelp/index.html

tadpoledrain

BTW, if you got the DVD when it first came out, and you were sad because it was crappy, they've redone it and re-released it and it's much, much better.

Becca

Unless you buy this movie specifically through Peter S. Beagle's website, he won't receive any royalties for it. I have a copy from his website that is thrice-autographed (on the slipcover, on the actual cover, and on the disc). So worth it.

Oh, and the soundtrack doesn't have Mia Farrow singing but rather someone else who can actually sing. When I bought it on eBay back in college, it was only available through German import for some reason. That may have changed in the years since though.

Darcey

To this day, I still LOVE this movie. Just so beautiful. And I have an eternal soft-spot for America because of it, too. But I remember searching for the soundtrack in college and ended up asking a friend of mine in the UK to send me a copy (which I've since lost in the several moves since).




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