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The Rescuers was a 1977 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released on June 22, 1977. The 23rd film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, it tells the story of the Rescue Aid Society, a international organization of mice headquarterd in the United Nations in New York City who desires to help and rescue abduction victims all over the world. two of these mice, the jitty janitor Bernard (Bob Newhart) and his co-agent, the elegant Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor), set out to rescue Penny (Michelle Stacy), a young orphan girl being held captive at Devil's Bayou by treasure huntress Madame Medusa (Geraldine Page).

the film is based on the children's books of the same name by Margery Sharp, most notably "The Rescuers" and "Miss Bianca". due to it's success, a sequel entitled The Rescuers Down Under was released in 1990.


Production

the film took 4 years to make with 250 people working on it including 40 animators who produced 3330,000 drawings, there were fourteen sequences with 1,039 separate scenes and 750 backgrounds.

although the production began in 1973, the early story development was made in the 1960's and led by none other than Walt Disney (Person) himself, however he disliked the original version and tried to make changes to the story including adding a polar bear who is held captive in the zoo and would have been voiced by Louis Prima and many more. however, after his death in 1966, the second one was chosen to be the primary source of adaptation.

The Rescuers was also the first to combine the talents of Walt's original crew of story writers and animators with a newer, less expereinced crew of trainees that had been recruited by the studio in the mid-70's.

the film was also the last joint effort by veterans Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston and the first Disney film that Don Bluth worked on as an animator instead of a assistant animator.  other animators who stepped up during the film's production were Glen Keane, Ron Clements & Andy Gaskill, who all play an important role in the Disney Renaissance of the 80's and the 90's as well as future Bluth Group animators John Pomeroy and Gary Goldman.

the film was also the studio's first big success since The Jungle Book in 1967 and the last until The Little Mermaid in 1989, it also marked the end of the silver age beginning with Cinderella (1950) and the first film that Walt himself had not worked on. 

during the middle period of the Silver Age, the studio tackled its animated films on comedy and humour, however, this film marked the return of the animated films with drama and heart like Dumbo and Bambi, also unique to the film was the opening titles: it marked the first time ever that practiced camera movements over still photographs were used to make the opening credits of a film., prior to this, the studio used cels with the credits motionless over different backgrounds as was done in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937 film) and the first to have a prolouge, making said sequence part of the storyline.

it ended the so-called "skecthy" animation period of the 60's and 70's. the new xerographic process restored a softer outline that previously was not possible with the technology, which had only able to produce black outlines. this allowed the use of a medium-gray tone and even a purple tone for outlines, such as that used for Miss Bianca.


Cast 

  • Bob Newhart as Bernard
  • Eva Gabor as Bianca
  • Geraldine Page as Madame Medusa
  • Joe Flynn as Mr. Snoops
  • Michelle Stacy as Penny
  • John McIntrie as Rufus
  • Jim Jordan as Orville The Albatross (it was the last film for Jordan who retired after it's release)
  • Jeanette Nolan as Ellie Mae
  • Pat Buttram as Luke
  • James MacDonald as Evinrude
  • Candy Candido as Nero and Brutus
  • Bernard Fox as The Chairmouse
  • George Linsdey as Deadeye
  • Larry Clemmons as Gramps
  • Dub Taylor as Digger
  • John Fiedler as Deacon Owl
  • Shelby Flint as Singer
  • Bill McMillan as TV Announcer                                                                                                                                    

Crew

Producers:

Ron Miller

Wolfgang Reitherman


Directors:

Art Stevens

Wolfgang Reitherman

John Lounsbery


Original Music Score:

Artie Butler


Writers:

Larry Clemmons

Frank Thomas

Dick Seabast

Ken Anderson

Vance Gerry

Dave Micherner

Ted Berman

Fred Lucky

Burny Mattinson


Art Direction:

Don Griffith


Production Manager:

Don A. Duckwell (as Don Duckwell)


Sound:

Herb Taylor


Assistant Directors:

Richard Rich

Jeffery C. Patch (as Jeff Patch)


Effects Animators:

Jack Buckley

Dick N. Lucas (as Dick Lucas)

James L. George

Ted Kierscey

Dorse A. Lamphner (he was not involved however)


Directing Animators:

Frank Thomas (Bernard, Bianca, Chairmouse, Nero, Brutus & Swamp Critters)

Ollie Johnston (Bernard, Bianca, Orville, Penny & Rufus)

Milt Kahl        (Madame Medusa & Mr. Snoops)

Don Bluth      (Bernard, Bianca , Mice Delegates & Penny)

Cliff Nordberg (Bernard, Bianca, Medusa, Evinrude, Swamp Critters, Penny and Orville) (uncredited)


Character Animators:

Dale Baer (Bernard & Bianca)

Cliff Nordberg (same as above)

John Pomeroy (Penny)

Glen Keane (Penny, one scene of Bernard)

Ron Clements (Bernard, Bianca & Swamp Critters)

Andy Gaskill (Bernard & Bianca)

Chuck Harvey (Bernard, Bianca & Orville)

Bill Hajee (Bernard & Bianca and one scene of Luke)

Bob McCrea (Bernard, Orville, Medusa on the Swampmobile)

Gary Goldman (Bernard, Bianca and Mice Delegates)

Art Stevens (Evinrude)

Tad Stones (2 scenes of Bernard) (uncredited)

Dick Seabast (Fireworks Sequence and Bernard) (uncredited)

Heidi Guedel (Bernard in the Bottle sequence) (uncredited)

Ron Husband (Bernard and Swamp Critters during The Escape Sequence) (uncredited)

Hank Tucker (Mice Delegates) (uncredited)


Assistant Animators:

Randy Cartwright (uncredited)

Ed Gombert (uncredited)

Stan Green (Medusa)

Dave Sundig (Medusa)

Dale Oliver (Bernard and Orville)

Leroy Cross (Swampmobile)

Walt Stanchfield (Swampmobile)

Bill Hajee (same as above) (uncredited)

Tad Stones (same as above) (uncredited)


Layout Artists:

Guy Deel

Thomas W. Lay Jr. (as Tom Lay)

Sylvia Roemer


Color Stylist:

Albert Dempster


Backgrounds:

Daniela Bielecka

Jim Coleman

Ann Guenther


Music Conducted by 

Artie Butler


Music Editor:

Evelyn Kennedy


Titles:

Eric Larson

Burny Mattinson

Melvin Shaw

Sound Recorded in: RCA PHOTOPHONE and Dolby Stereo (uncredited)

External Links

[http:// The Rescuers (1977)-IMDb The Rescuers ]

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