In 1982 a movie was released that would come to be known as one
of the greatest movies in all of history (at least according to TLU fans).
This movie was The Last Unicorn. So without further ado I
present the movie, The Last Unicorn.
The Last Unicorn
A Rankin/Bass Production
in association with
Peter S. Beagle
Based on his novel
Movie adaptations of books always begin the arguments of whether
or not a particular translation of the book is correct or accurate.
In 1982 the production team of Rankin and Bass set about making a movie
version of the book The Last Unicorn, by Peter S Beagle. The movie
edition of The Last Unicorn not only preserves the book; it also enhances
it, providing evidence for those who support movie adaptation.
The Last Unicorn follows the story of a unicorn that leaves
her enchanted forest to find out what has happened to the other unicorns.
Along the way she meets a colorful cast of characters who assist her in
her quest. Their journey will take them to the very edge of the sea
before it is complete. The movie version of the novel is an almost
perfect adaptation, which incorporates the ideas and conflicts of the book
with the magic of the movies.
The main reason that the movie adaptation of the book was
so true was that Peter S. Beagle, the author, also did the screenplay.
This accounts for why the movie is so true an adaptation of the book.
Under the supervision of Beagle the animators for the movie constructed
characters whose appearances and demeanors mirrored those in the book.
The plot and setting where also well preserved as Peter Beagle played a
major role in every step of the production. In almost all areas the
movie was just as good as the book, and Rankin and Bass came to make it
Under the direction of Arthur Rankin and Julie Bass, The
Last Unicorn became more than it could be in the book. They had learned
the lesson that if a movie is to be done right the voice actors for the
characters must be superb. So they enlisted the talents of people
like Angela Lansbury, Mia Farrow, and Jeff Bridges. With the help
of Jimmy Webb they also created a soundtrack that helped create and maintain
the mood of the book, and give new life to it. The classical rock
group of America was brought in to do the music for the soundtrack; again
showing that everything must be the best. With all these things in
place the movie translation of The Last Unicorn was complete and would
be released to the same argumentative audience as every other movie.
The response was phenomenal.
When all has been said and done regarding the translation
of books to movies there will always be those movies that remained true
to their book. The Last Unicorn was one such movie. Under the
supervision of Peter S. Beagle the book was not only preserved it was also
enhanced. Rankin and Bass used their knowledge to make sure the movie
was superb, and America provided a soundtrack that was unparalleled.
The Last Unicorn was one of the books that defied the odds and became a
movie that was even greater than the book. In all history view books
have ever done this, but hopefully it will not be the last.
Elsewhere on this page you can find screen shots and music from
the movie, but only on this page will you be able to see some of the actual
movie. In order to view it you will need to have the Quicktime plug-in
for your system. You can download the plugin here.
Well if you have gotten the Quicktime plug-in or you already had
it you are now ready to view a part of the actual movie. This little
clip should give you an idea about what the movie is like. It may
take a little while to load so be patient.