100 Facts About The Rescuers

Aloha my wonderful merfolk!

We are half way through the Bronze Era, or Dark Ages as it was also commonly known, of Disney Animation. The Rescuers was a film I used to watch quite a bit with my Grandparents when I was younger. I always liked the cutesy animal Disney films!

I’m also just going to sneak in here that today is my birthday. 25 years of age. Quarter of a century. It’s scary how much time has flown.

Anyway, let’s kick off Rescuers week with 100 facts about the film!

18. Rescuers

  1. The Rescuers was released on June 22nd 1977
  2. It was produced by Walt Disney Productions
  3. It was distributed by Buena Vista Distribution.
  4. It is the 23rd Disney animated feature film.
  5. Bob Newhart gave his voice to Bernard.
  6. This is the final Disney film to be directed by Wolfgang Reitherman.
  7. It was also the last Disney film to have been animated by Disney’s original Nine Old Men.
  8. This is the first Disney film to feature pop music instead of orchestral music.
  9. It was also the first Disney animated film to inspire a sequel.
  10. Eva Gabor gave her voice to Miss Bianca.
  11. Stock footage of Bambi and his mother grazing can be seen during ‘Someones Waiting For You’.
  12. Some of the birds from Bambi make an appearance also.
  13. This was the first time since 1942 that two animated Disney films were released in the same year.
  14. The Rescuers was released in 1977 along with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
  15. The popularity of the movie almost led to a television show being created in 1989.
  16. This television show would become The Rescuers Down Under.
  17. Geraldine Page played the part of Madame Medusa.
  18. Joe Flynn gave his voice to Mr Snoops.
  19. This would be his last movie as he died a few weeks after recording his lines for the character.
  20. Penny freezes whenever she looks into Madame Medusa’s eyes, reflecting the old Greek myth about Medusa.
  21. Many fans of Walt Disney animation called the sketchy style in the film lazy and budget cut.
  22. The Rescue Aid Societys founder was Euripedes Mouse who removed a tiny needle from a lion’s paw, referencing the Aesop fable
  23. This is the first Disney animated classic to feature a small prologue prior to the start of the opening credits.
  24. The credits for the movie are attached into the storyline, being shown over images describing the journey of Penny’s bottle.
  25. Madame Medusa is also the first villain to affect the flow of the story from the very start of the film.
  26. The VHS version of the film was recalled by Disney in 1999 due to an image of a topless woman appearing in a window about 38 minutes into the film.
  27. A calendar on Madame Medusas wall says Thursday 12th, implying the investigation and recue only took one day; ending on Friday 13th.
  28. Phil Harris was almost cast as another comic relief character until comic relief needed to be toned down to reflect the dramatic nature of the film.
  29. One of Miss Biancas traits is he trust and affection for cats; which is portrayed in the original novel too.
  30. This element is brought into the flm through Rufus the cat who helps the mice on their quest.
  31. Louis Prima was set to play a character called Louis the Bear who was ultimately cut from the story.
  32. This was due to Prima undergoing brain surgery in 1975 and never regaining consciousness.
  33. He had recorded four song and the majority of the character’s dialogue before his death.
  34. Louis Prima originally proposed the idea for the Rescue Aid Society anthem.
  35. This was rewritten by Ayn Robbins and Carol Connors after Primas death.
  36. The Rescuers was the first major success since The Jungle Book and would be the last until The Little Mermaid.
  37. The film out-grossed Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope in many European countries.
  38. This was the last film for animator Milt Kahl.
  39. He animated almost all of Madame Medusa by himself as non of his assistants could match the quality of his work.
  40. This was the last Disney animated classic film to receive an Oscar nomination until The Little Mermaid
  41. The Carpenters were asked to do the music for the movie but due to scheduling conflicts, they had to reluctantly decline.
  42. Karen Carpenter was reportedly very unhappy with having to turn down the offer as she was a big Disney fan.
  43. Rufus the cat is a caricature of animator, Ollie Johnston
  44. This film marked the end of Walt Disney Productions’ longest ‘Golden Age’ starting in 1950 with Cinderella and spanning almost 30 years.
  45. Madame Medusas pet alligator, Brutus and Nero, are based on the two bloodhounds from Margery Sharp’s Miss Bianca.
  46. Mr Snoops is a retouched ‘Mandrake’ from the same novel.
  47. Mr Snoops was also a caricature of animation historian John Culhane who made regular visits to the studios
  48. The animators would trick Culhane into doing various acts and poses in order to obtain inspiration and live action reference for the character.
  49. Miss Bianca’s seat in the Rescue Aid Society headquarters shows her as being the delegate representing Hungary.
  50. Eva Gabor who is the voice talent for Miss Bianca was born in Budapest, Hungary.
  51. In the novels, the Rescue Aid Society was called The Mouse Prisoner’s Aid Society and they would visit prisoners to amuse them during their long hours inside their cells.
  52. The talking animals in the film can communicate with other animals as well as human children who start conversation with them.
  53. Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston consider this their best picture without Walt Disney
  54. According to their publisher, the Rescuers helped but all 9 of British author Margery Sharp’s The Rescuers novels on the bestseller lists.
  55. The film’s opening sequence was made up of paintings by Mel Shaw
  56. The song ‘The Journey’ is sung from the bottles perspective, expressing the lifeless objects desperate call for help when lost at sea.
  57. A scene that was deleted from the movie shows Madame Medusa was sewing the Devil’s Eye diamond into Teddy.
  58. Evinrude the dragonfly who pushes the small boat is named after a manufacturer of boat motors.
  59. Madame Medusas fiery red dress and Penny’s light blue jumper use their colour to show the contrast between good and innocence against evil.
  60. Walt Disney’s early vision or the film centred on the kidnapping of a polar bear from the city zoo.
  61. Ken Anderson originally wanted to reuse Cruella de Vil as the main villain.
  62. Walt Disney was involved in the development of the film which started in 1962.
  63. Disney didn’t like the idea of being 100% faithful to the first Miss Bianca novel
  64. Following Disney’s death, Margery Sharp’s second novel was chosen as the primary source for the adaption.
  65. Cuba was once considered as the setting for the film.
  66. Originally, the Rescue aid Society was to be place in a hole somewhere and not a luggage bag in the basement of the UN building.
  67. Ollie Johnston did extensive observations of the albatross in order to correctly animate Orville.
  68. The film was considered by Walt Disney’s marketing department to represent the decade of the 70s.
  69. Frank Thomas and Milt Kahl disagreed about a sequence in which Brutus and Nero try to blow Miss Bianca and Bernard out of a pipe organ.
  70. Kahl felt that the alligators clowned too much and so, lost their menace.
  71. Thomas retaliated, saying that Madame Medusa loses her menace when she falls of a chair after having it pushed from beneath her feet by Mr Snoops.
  72. A Mickey Mouse watch hangs on the wall in the Rescue Aid Society mouse organization building.
  73. Deacon the Owl and Deadeye the rabbit were not given their names till picture book adaptions were released after the movie.
  74. Bernard was originally meant to wear an orange sweatshirt to complete the wheel of primary and secondary colours formed by the other five major characters.
  75. These are red for Madame Medusa, yellow for Mr Snoops, blue for Penny, purple for Miss Bianca and green for Brutus and Nero.
  76. The name of the cave that holds the Devils Eye is never spoken by any character in the movie.
  77. The name Black Bayou is seen on the map that Madame Medusa is looking at.
  78. The film was the last of the Disney animated classics t be announced for a DVD release, receiving no more publicity than the standard press release.
  79. During the scene where Madame Medusa is removing her make-up, her towel has the words Hotel Ritz embroidered on it.
  80. The film was rereleased into theatres twice; once with Mickeys Christmas Carol in 1983 and the second to help promote the sequel in 1990.
  81. Geraldine Page apparently nailed all of Medusa’s lines in one take.
  82. The film won a Special Citation Award from the National Board of Review in the US for restoring and upgrading the art of animation.
  83. Bernard complains several times that he hates flying which reflects one of Bob Newhart’s, the voice of Bernard, comedy routines called The Mrs Grace L Ferguson Airline where he explains he hates flying.
  84. On two occasions during this film you can hear the Goofy holler used.
  85. The first is when Madame medusa runs over Orville with her swamp-mobile and the second is when Orville falls backwards from the top of the New York building at the end of the film.
  86. James MacDonald was brought out of retirement to provide the vocal sound effects for Evinrude.
  87. Orville the albatross was originally a pigeon.
  88. He was changed to an albatross when the crew noticed the birds species’ clumsy motions and decided it would be more humorous.
  89. The film broke a record for largest box office gains on opening weekend.
  90. It would keep this title until the release of An American Tail in 1986.
  91. Ellie Mae and the swamp folk were originally going to carry a small flag that said ‘Swamp Volunteers’ but this detail was dropped as this scene was the only time they would serve as rescuers.
  92. Many unorthodox sound ‘instruments’ were used in the recording of the Rescue Aid Society anthem including a toy piano.
  93. This was done to make the mouse orchestra sound more authentic.
  94. Orville the albatross hums the US Air Force theme ‘Into the Wild Blue Yonder’ when he first meets Bernard and Miss Bianca.
  95. Milt Kahl stated that he enjoyed his work on Madame Medusa more than that of any of his other assignments.
  96. This is the third Disney animated film that both Pat Buttram and George Lindsey provided voices for.
  97. Orville the albatross shares a name with one of the Wright Brothers, a father of Modern Aviation.
  98. The first Disney animation since Bambi where all of the most significant songs were sung as part of a narrative as opposed to by characters.
  99. Nancy Adams recorded a demo for Sammy Fain’s ‘Someone’s Waiting for You’ which was not used in the final film.
  100. The recording is believed to have been lost.

a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below


One thought on “100 Facts About The Rescuers

  1. Ooh I love The Rescuers so this was a joy to read! I thought I recognised the birds from another Disney film and as soon as I saw the one about them being modelled on/the same as the birds from Bambi I was glad to know I wasn’t just going mad! Always enjoy these, and also, wishing you a very happy birthday today! 😀 – Tasha


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