S4E9M – The Last Unicorn (movie)*


Wherein we visit and revisit this cult classic animated film directed by an iconic duo of americana animation (cultivated mainly in Japan), featuring a star-studded cast of voice talent, and spots of dated folksy music with vocals by members of the band “America.” Kaelin O’Reilly, a book reviewer (Kaelin Reads YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3r-oumDi_CsMoFH4-vTqSA) joins me again as we cover this important 80’s esque cartoon fairytale, that as of yet, doesn’t have anything to do with the Disney company.

We both enjoyed delving into the history of these directors and recounting their many and varied forays into animation which peppered our respective childhoods. The attention to detail that was paid to creating unique characters impressed us and contributed to making their efforts memorable along with the voice talent which was well cast. 

Neither of us were over the moon about the music and felt that the songs were done well enough to carry the movie, but lacked something that might have launched this film into the big leagues of all time classics (Kaelin, in particular, felt that sometimes these were done off-key). The book was preferred by both, but Kaelin expressed favorite parts in each while Ryan noted that the author, who served as the screenwriter, took out some noted bits of the book that had felt unnecessary without losing anything of the narrative. 

While Kaelin felt the movie was slow at times, overall she enjoyed the nostalgic revisit to this cartoon style. For Ryan this brought him back to the directors’ soulful versions of the Tolkien cannon which was equally nostalgic for him.

Enjoy this sometimes overlooked fantasy fairy tale of old school animation!




“The Last Unicorn (1982)” by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass (Mia Farrow) (animated film) 

Ryan: 3 Stars “…A folksy take on an american fantasy classic, which manages to capture the tone of the original work. Bonus: includes an all-star cast of voice talent who all seem to get it…

Kaelin: 3 1/2 Stars “…Fun and whimsical film that sticks closely to the novel, features many recognizable voices and good humor and adventure. The songs are cheesy and the singers off-key, but the animation is great…



During the episode we talked about Rick Goldschmidt who is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass. Here is an audio interview with the historian on YouTube: https://youtu.be/PsdwZk2uNRo. He has also established and collaborates on websites that sell collectibles from the beloved films which these two directors made their mark. There is http://miserbros.com/ which is “Home of merchandise related to the Animagic of RANKIN/BASS,” and also http://www.rankinbass.com/ which is “The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass: Preserving the history of Rankin/Bass Productions.”

Ryan also mentioned a video interview of Arthur Rankin, Jr. at the Museum of Television & Radio in 2003 hosted on the Miser Bros Press YouTube Channel which can be see here: 


We also briefly talked about the actor and comedian, Brother Theodore, who did the voice of Ruhk (Mommy Fortuna’s assistant and carnival barker) in the movie. Ryan recognized the voice and noted the he also played the infamous character Gollum in Rankin/Bass Productions foray into J.R.R Tolkien‘s world of Middle-earth for both “The Hobbit” and “The Return of the King.

Kaelin mentioned that he was a character in the 1989 comedy horror film “The ‘Burbs” which was directed by previously covered director Joe Dante and starred Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, and Carrie Fisher (among others). Here is an article by M.V. Moorhead for Topless Robot recounting some of Brother Theodore’s more memorable moments with video clips: https://www.toplessrobot.com/2013/10/top_ten_coolest_manifestations_of_brother_theodore.php. Below is the clip from “The ‘Burbs”:


* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s