review for The Rescuers on AllMovie

The Rescuers (1977)
by Craig Butler review

A big success in its initial release, The Rescuers is one of the lesser animated efforts from the estimable Disney studio, but is still solid family entertainment. The Rescuers continued the trend begun by The Jungle Book of using "name" players to provide personality voices, and does so to good effect. Bob Newhart makes Bernard's mild, unassuming manner and understandable timidity both likeable and endearing, and Eva Gabor's Bianca is something like the cartoon equivalent of a Hitchcock heroine (although with more warmth and less ice). Geraldine Page has the scene-stealing villainess role of Madame Medusa, and she makes the most of it, tearing up the screen with maniacal glee and being genuinely disturbing at times. Indeed, both Medusa and the situation in which the young heroine finds herself may be a little upsetting to some children. Visually, the picture is notable for its very dark, atmospheric swamp and for a good use of muted colors. The sketchbook paintings that accompany the credits are a nice, unusual touch, and the animation of the over-the-top Medusa, as well as her crocodile "hench-pets," deserves kudos. The film features a slim and rather perfunctory song score, although "Someone's Waiting for You" has become a popular standard. The Rescuers marked the last feature film for five of Disney's legendary "Nine Old Men."