A to Z Challenge – The Great Mouse Detective

Great Mouse Detective - PosterThe Great Mouse Detective

1986

Directed by Ron Clements, Burny Mattinson, Dave Michener, & John Musker

Quick synopsis… On the cobblestone streets of 1897 London, some suspicious “mousechief” sets the scene for a thrilling musical adventure. A young mouse named Olivia is on a mission to find why her father disappeared. Seeking help from famed Basil of Baker Street and his pals, Dr. Dawson and Toby, Olivia and the gang turn over every stone in their charming miniature world to save her father… and all of Mousedom.

  • This is another of Disney’s animated films that I find to be underrated.
  • The ’80s was a dark time for Disney’s animation department.
  • I do like how Disney+ gives the warning that, although this is rated G, there are depictions of tobacco use.
  • Maybe they think I’m impressionable and seeing a mouse smoke a pipe will lead me down the wrong path.
  • I really don’t think mice should be smoking anyway.
  • I mean, if it’s bad for humans, think about how bad it would be for their little lungs.
  • There are probably studies.
  • Someone probably got government money to study that very thing.
  • It’s a dark, foggy night in old London town.
  • The year: 1897.
  • A toy maker named Flaversham, who sounds remarkably like Scrooge McDuck (because he’s voiced by the same actor), gives his daughter a wind up ballerina for her birthday.
  • He’s apparently a brilliant inventor of clockwork robots.
  • As many mice are.
  • It’s this fine talent that leads him to be abducted by a peg-legged bat, leaving his daughter, Olivia, all alone.
  • Dr. David Q. Dawson arrives home in London after serving her majesty in Afghanistan.
  • He comes across Olivia, finding her crying in a boot.
  • She tells him that she’s looking for Basil of Baker Street, a famous detective who she hopes can help her find her father.
  • Dawson accompanies Olivia to Baker Street.
  • Basil lives below another famous detective that resides on Baker Street.
  • But he’s not home at the moment.
  • While Basil’s maid is off getting Olivia some tea and cheese crumpets (which, for some reason, sound delicious), Basil gets back home and is on a mission to match a bullet to a gun…
  • But it doesn’t match and Basil is suddenly quite depressed.
  • Basil’s not too interested in helping Olivia until she mentions her father was taken by a bat.
  • The bat is named Fidget and he works for Basil’s arch-nemesis, Professor Ratigan.
  • Ratigan is using Flaversham for some dastardly deed… having him build some kind of clockwork robotic doohicky.
  • He refuses, but then Ratigan tells him that he’s having Olivia brought in to provide him with the proper motivation.
  • Ratigan’s henchmice sing the professor’s praises, but one of the drunk mice accidentally refers to Ratigan as a rat.
  • He is clearly a rat.
  • But he hates being referred to as such.
  • Guess he identifies as a mouse.
  • He should really do something about that tail if he wants to try and get away with that claim.
  • Fidget shows up at Basil’s looking for the girl, but he gets away, accidentally leaving his hat behind.
  • Basil gets Toby, Sherlock Holmes’ pet basset hound, to track Fidget based on the scent from his hat.
  • Fidget is stealing the uniforms from toy soldiers and the gears from the clockwork toys inside a human toy store.
  • If you’re watching along, look for the Dumbo cameo in the toy store.
  • Tracking the bat to the toy store only leads to Fidget abducting Olivia.
  • At first, Basil is angry at Dawson because he was supposed to keep an eye on Olivia, but then he calms down and assures Dawson that they’ll get her back.
  • Basil lights up his pipe… I feel an urge to go to the tobacco store…
  • No! I was warned about this by Disney+! I can’t fall into the trap.
  • But Dawson finds Fidget’s list from Ratigan, which then allows Basil to trace where the paper came from.
  • Ratigan reveals to Falversham that he has Olivia and gives him the deadline that this robot he’s working on must be ready tonight.
  • And Ratigan is not happy with Fidget for losing the list.
  • This leads to Fidget explaining that Basil is on the case… making Ratigan more angry.
  • He nearly feeds Fidget to his pet cat, but changes his mind when he realizes he can set a trap for Basil.
  • Basil and Dawson find Fidget at a pub, where Basil lights a cigarette to get into character.
  • Great… tobacco again. So many of the rodents in this bar are smoking!
  • I’m so weak!
  • After a musical number, Basil and Dawson follow Fidget to Ratigan.
  • And the professor springs his trap.
  • Basil has a breakdown with Ratigan rubbing his own intelligence in his face.
  • He’s put together the usual villain deathtrap, which turns out to be easily escapable, after Ratigan leaves, resting in the knowledge that he’s won.
  • While they’re still tied up, Basil reveals that he’s figured out Ratigan’s plan.
  • They’re kidnapping the queen and replacing her with Flaversham’s robotic duplicate.
  • Dawson yells at Basil for feeling sorry for himself, telling him they may as well set off the trap now instead of waiting.
  • Which wakes Basil up… because Dawson is right.
  • They set off the trap at just the right moment, freeing them, instead of killing them.
  • Basil stops Ratigan and has an epic showdown with him atop the Big Ben clock tower.
  • If you haven’t taken time to watch this classic piece of animation, this is another one for your quarantine watch list.
  • Vincent Price is fantastic as the villainous Ratigan.

A to Z Challenge - GThanks for tuning in to Day Seven of the 2020 A to Z Challenge! If you like Disney movies, then stick with me for the rest of the month. I’ll be doing a movie beginning with each letter of the alphabet each day (except Sundays) all month. And I’ll try to give hints about the next day’s movie in case you want to take a guess in the comments.

Clues for tomorrow’s movie are that it begins with a H and it’s a Disney movie. Just kidding… This time we’re still in the ’80s, but we’re back to live action. It’s another family-friendly sci-fi adventure that, at the time of its release, became the highest grossing live action film that Disney had ever released.  Any guesses?

5 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge – The Great Mouse Detective

  1. If The Great Mouse Detective were released 3-4 years later and given a little more TLC, it would be considered a Disney Renaissance classic. I like it nonetheless.

    I’m not sure what you’re watching tomorrow because I’m too busy wondering why I can’t see my children.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A to Z Challenge 2020 – Reflection | The Confusing Middle

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