The Last Unicorn
Director: Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass
1982, 84 min, G, Common Sense Media Rating: Age 9+
Cast: Alan Arkin, Mia Farrow, Jeff Bridges, Angela Lansbury
Sponsored by Takoma Radio.
In this animated musical, the villainous King Haggard (Christopher Lee) plots to destroy all the world’s unicorns. When a young unicorn (Mia Farrow) learns that she’s in danger and that she may soon be the last of her kind, she leaves the safety of her protected forest and enlists the help of Schmendrick (Alan Arkin), a gentle, albeit clumsy, sorcerer. Together, they embark on a long and dangerous journey with one goal: to defeat Haggard and save the unicorns from extinction.
“The Last Unicorn is an unusual children’s film in many respects, the chief one being that it is unusually good. This animated fable also features a cast that would do any live-action film proud, a visual style noticeably different from that of other children’s fare, and a story filled with genuine sweetness and mystery. Children, except perhaps for very small ones, ought to be intrigued by it; adults won’t be bored. And no one of any age will be immune to the sentiment of the film’s final moments, which really are unexpectedly touching and memorable.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times (November 19, 1982)