Rascal (1969)

Genres - Adventure, Children's/Family, Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Drama, Animal Picture  |   Release Date - Jun 11, 1969 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - G
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Review by Craig Butler

A boy-and-his-dog tale with a lovable raccoon standing in for the dog, Rascal is the kind of simple, sweet tug-at-the-heartstrings family film that the Disney studios used to turn out on a regular basis. Few of the films aimed to be anything more than a pleasant, manipulative (and usually obviously so) way to bring about some laughs and encourage a few tears, and Rascal is no exception. Those who find this kind of film treacly and artificial won't have their minds changed by Rascal, but those who are perfectly willing to hand themselves over for an engaging if not challenging diversion will find their time well rewarded. Norman Tokar directs with a sure hand. There's nothing imaginative here from him, and he overplays the sentiment, but it works just fine. Harold Swanton's screenplay goes exactly where you expect it to go, but does so with a minimum of fuss, and William Snyder's camera makes the most of the trees and outdoor settings. Bill Mumy carries the film with great assurance for a young actor and is both believable and appealing. The rest of the cast is fine, with Else Lanchester providing her customary solid support and Walter Pidgeon reassuringly authoritative as the narrator.