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The Rescuers Down Under
Rescuersduposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
  • Hendel Butoy
  • Mike Gabriel
Produced by Thomas Schumacher
Screenplay by
  • Jim Cox
  • Karey Kirkpatrick
  • Byron Simpson
  • Joe Ranft
Starring
Music by Bruce Broughton
Editing by Michael Kelly
Studio
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date(s) November 16, 1990 (1990-11-16)
Running time 77 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Money made $47.4 million

The Rescuers Down Under is a 1990 American animated adventure film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures on November 16, 1990. The 29th Disney animated feature film, the film is the sequel to Walt Disney Productions' 1977 animated film The Rescuers, which was based on the novels of Margery Sharp. Set in the Australian Outback, the film centers on Bernard and Bianca traveling to Australia to save a boy named Cody from a villainous poacher in pursuit of an endangered bird of prey.

Featuring the voices of Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor (in her final film role), John Candy, and George C. Scott, The Rescuers Down Under was the first animated film sequel theatrically released by Disney.

It is the first feature film to be completely created digitally and not use a camera.

Plot

In the Australian Outback, a young boy named Cody rescues and befriends a rare golden eagle called Marahute, who shows him her nest and eggs. Later on, he falls into an animal trap set by Percival C. McLeach, a local poacher wanted by the Australian Rangers. When McLeach finds one of Marahute's feathers in Cody's backpack, he realizes he knows the eagle's location, and reveals he killed another, Marahute's mate. McLeach throws Cody's backpack to a float of crocodiles to trick the Rangers into thinking that Cody was eaten, and kidnaps him, intent on extracting Marahute's whereabouts.

A mouse, the bait in the trap, runs off to a secret outpost, from which a telegram is sent to the Rescue Aid Society headquarters in the United Nations, New York City. Bernard and Miss Bianca, the RAS' elite field agents, are assigned to the mission, interrupting Bernard's attempt to propose marriage to Bianca. They go to find Orville the albatross, who aided them to rescue Penny previously in the original film, but instead meet his brother, Wilbur, whom they convince to fly them to Australia. There, they meet Jake, a hopping mouse who is the RAS' local regional operative. Jake becomes infatuated with Bianca and flirts with her, much to Bernard's dismay. He serves as their "tour guide" and protector in search of the boy. Wilbur accidentally bends his spinal column out of shape trying to help them, so Jake sends him to the hospital (an old abandoned ambulance). As Wilbur refuses to undergo surgery and escapes his captors, his back is unintentionally straightened in the struggle with the mouse medical staff. Cured, Wilbur departs in search of his friends.

At McLeach's hideout, Cody is imprisoned with a number of captured animals after refusing to divulge Marahute's whereabouts. Cody attempts to free himself and the animals, but is thwarted by Joanna, McLeach's pet goanna. Realizing that Marahute's eggs are Cody's weak spot, McLeach tricks Cody into thinking someone else killed Marahute and releases him, knowing Cody will go to her nest. Bernard, Bianca, and Jake arrive as McLeach gives chase and jump onto his halftrack to follow him. At the nest, the mice try to warn Cody, but just then, Marahute appears and McLeach captures her, along with Cody, Jake and Bianca. McLeach then sends Joanna to eat Marahute's eggs, but Bernard manages to trick her using egg-shaped stones, and she leaves without harming the real eggs. Wilbur arrives at the nest, whereupon Bernard convinces him to sit on the eggs while he goes after McLeach.

McLeach takes his captives to Crocodile Falls, a huge waterfall at the end of the river he threw Cody's backpack into. He ties Cody up and hangs him over a group of crocodiles, intent on feeding him to them, but Bernard, riding a wild razorback pig he tamed using a horse whispering technique he learned from Jake, arrives and disables McLeach's vehicle. McLeach then attempts to shoot the rope holding Cody above the water, but Bernard tricks Joanna into crashing into McLeach, sending both of them into the water. The crocodiles attack McLeach and Joanna, while behind them Cody falls into the water as the damaged rope breaks. While Joanna flees, McLeach fends off the crocodiles, but forgets about the waterfall until it's too late and plunges over it to his death. Bernard dives into the water and holds Cody long enough for Jake and Bianca to free Marahute, allowing her to save Cody and Bernard just as they go over the waterfall. Bernard, desperate to prevent any further incidents, proposes to Bianca, who eagerly and happily accepts while Jake salutes him with a new-found respect. Safe at last, the group departs for Cody's home. Meanwhile, Wilbur is still sitting on Marahute‘s eggs and is about to leave until they hatch and one of the hatchlings bite Wilbur’s beak.

Voice Cast

The Rescuers Down Under features three characters from the first film; Bernard, Bianca and the Chairmouse, all of whom feature the same actors reprising their roles from the original 1977 film.

  • Bob Newhart as Bernard, a male grey mouse; the United States representative of the Rescue Aid Society, promoted from his role as janitor to full-fledged agent after proving a success with the previous rescue.
  • Eva Gabor as Miss Bianca, a female white mouse; the Hungarian representative of the Rescue Aid Society. This was Eva Gabor's last film role before her death in 1995.
  • John Candy as Wilbur, a comical albatross; named after Wilbur Wright. He is the brother of Orville, the albatross who appeared in the first film (named after Orville Wright).
  • Adam Ryen as Cody, a young boy able to converse with most animals, the same as Penny in the first film.
  • George C. Scott as Percival C. McLeach, a sinister poacher who wants to capture Marahute for money.
  • Frank Welker as Marahute, a giant eagle. Welker also voiced Joanna, McLeach's pet goanna who enjoys intimidating her captives and has a fondness for eggs, and additional special vocal effects.
  • Tristan Rogers as Jake, a debonair, self-confident and charismatic hopping mouse.
  • Peter Firth as Red, a male red kangaroo imprisoned by McLeach.
  • Wayne Robson as Frank, an erratic frill-necked lizard imprisoned by McLeach.
  • Douglas Seale as Krebbs, a sarcastic koala imprisoned by McLeach.
  • Carla Meyer as Faloo, a female red kangaroo who summons Cody to save Marahute. Meyer also voices Cody's mother.
  • Bernard Fox as Chairmouse, the chairman of the Rescue Aid Society. Fox also voices Doctor Mouse, the supervisor of the surgical mice who examine Wilbur when he is injured.
  • Russi Taylor as Nurse Mouse, the operator of Doctor Mouse's instructions and a competent second-in-command.
  • Peter Greenwood as The Airplane Captain, The Radio Announcer, one of the few members of the cast to voice two roles, the Radio announcer has a pivotal moment as the mother is handed Cody's backpack.

Release

The Rescuers Down Under was released in the Walt Disney Classics video series on September 20, 1991 with a home video trailer for The Jungle Book, while The Rescuers was released on VHS a year later in September 1992. However, unlike The Rescuers, The Rescuers Down Under did not make it to the Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection. It was re-released on VHS and DVD on August 1, 2000 as part of the Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection.

The Rescuers Down Under was released alongside The Rescuers on Blu-ray in a "2-Movie Collection" on August 21, 2012 to commemorate the first movie's 35th anniversary.

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