Through the magic of Netflix I've been catching up on all the animated features that somehow I've neglected to see. And one of these is the 1986 Disney release "The Great Mouse Detective". Jerry Berks ever-trustworthy guide to Animated features, "The Animated Movie Guide", praises the film to great heights, remarking about the wonderful characters and the first use of computer graphics in an animated feature. Boy was I disappointed!
The first thing that struck me was the terrible design and animation of the characters - its second rate T.V. afternoon show quality. The only character that has any richness and design is Ratigan – the Moriarty character voiced by Vincent Price – he was animated by the genius Glen Keane. Also the music by Henri Mancini was atrocious. They must have had some hack do the music and paid "Mr. Moon River" to put his name on the credits. There were also no real humorous or clever action scenes; nothing new or inventive. And even the production values were terrible. The colors change in the clothing of the characters in the middle of shots, and the backgrounds looked like they were made by high school art students with magic markers.
What's weird is this had some great new generation artists working on the production, Andrea Deja, Rick Farmiloe, Mike Gabriel, Ruben Aquino. My only guess is to why this film is such a turkey is because this was the end of the Ron Miller regime and there were a lot of conflicts and company confusion and there was no leadership or strong creative force.
I give The "Great Mouse Detective" a C-.