(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from The Great Mouse Detective)
Doug (vo): The Great Mouse Detective. This is actually one of the first Disney films I ever saw in theatres. And when you’re a little kid watching the magic of Disney on the big screen, this is exactly what you want to open up with.
[The film's opening sequence is shown, showing Fidget the bat breaking into the Flaversham's toy house and kidnapping the father, leaving the daughter Olivia alone]
Olivia: Daddy! Where are you? [Approaches the window and calls out into the fog] Daddy! Daddy...!
Doug (vo): [Imitating a whining child] "Mommy! That’s scary as fuck!" [Speaks normally] Well, after that, the movie’s actually much more tame, at least not quite as creepy.
Doug (vo): The movie is about a little girl trying to get her father back. She comes across a mouse named Dawson and they both come across a mouse named Basil of Baker Street, who’s the rodent equivalent of Sherlock Holmes. In fact, he actually lives in Sherlock Holmes’ house. They’re off to not only find the little girl’s father, but also stop an evil villain named Ratigan, played by Vincent Price. His plan is to have her father make a robotic queen so that he can replace her at some sort of ceremony where the robotic queen would then name him the ruler of the land. I don’t know. It’s for kids. Mice are running around, they can talk, you can get away with this shit, I guess.
Doug (vo): And anyway, that’s not the focus of this movie. The focus of the movie is actually what it should be: the hero and the villain. The hero in this movie is great. He’s this egotistical but still very likeable character. He’s energized, he’s kooky, he’s tenacious, he’s a jerk sometimes, but he’s got a good heart. It’s all that great stuff you love in a hero. And on top of that, he’s smart as hell. It’s actually one of those few Disney films where you would admire how intelligent the main character is. I mean, from beginning to end, you actually want to be smarter watching it.
[The film's villain is shown in several clips]
Doug (vo): And then, of course, there’s the villain, voiced by Vincent Price. What more do I have to say? It’s Vincent Price, and he is loving every minute of it. He’s egotistical, he’s selfish, he sings, he prances around, he giggles. He just enjoys being nasty so much that it’s hard not to enjoy it along with him. The two play off each other brilliantly. It’s just these two gigantic brilliant egos working off one another. I usually find with a celebrity voice, even the really good ones, you can often sort of feel them in the recording booth, like, "Yeah, they’re acting, but you know they’re acting." You can see them saying their lines into the microphone. With Vincent Price, I never got that. He’s just right there in the role. It’s Ratigan. Watch this movie again and tell me if you can really disconnect the recording of Vincent Price with the animation of the character. They’re just flawless.
Ratigan: Oh, by the way, Basil, I just love your disguise. [Rips a mustache off of Basil's face] One would hardly recognize you. [Chuckles]
[Scenes from the exciting climax are shown next]
Doug (vo): They nail together perfectly. Now while we’re on the subject on the animation, it’s pretty good, too. I think this is actually the first time they started using computer graphics in an animated film, and speaking of that, it makes for a great climax. There’s a giant fight scene in the clock tower and it’s among one of Disney’s best. The angles are great, the music builds, the pacing is wonderful, and we see Ratigan finally show his true colors. In fact, it gets pretty violent. I mean, there’s no blood or anything, but there might as well be. The sound effects and everything really make it look like it hurts.
[The fight scene is shown, with grunts of pain and punching sound effects heard throughout]
Doug (vo): But, hey, when you’re a little kid, that just sucked you in even more.
Doug (vo): The Great Mouse Detective is really smart, really delightful and really fun. It is sort of your typical little mouse adventure where they just look at the big world and sort of create their own little world and you laugh and giggle at it. But like I said, what sets it apart from the other ones is the main character and the main villain. They’re just a ton of fun to watch. I think it’s one that often sneaks under the radar from most Disney fans, but it’s definitely worth checking out. Find it on DVD and discover for yourself.
[The final scene is shown as the main heroic theme reaches its climax]