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The Last Unicorn

Last Unicorn

One day not too long ago I was looking around this awesome used bookstore called the Mermaid bookstore that is is the basement of another store that is now a ham shop. I found an old copy of the book The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle which was an animated film that had been one of my favorites as a child.

The film follows the book nicely seeing that Beagle wrote the screenplay. Of course not all the depth of the book remains in the film, but basically the film is about a unicorn, who believes that she is the last of her kind, going on a journey to find the others. She goes through many struggles including becoming a human and thereby forgetting some of herself and facing the red bull. She also meets friends including a magician. The story has love and a bittersweet ending. All the characters grow and develop and essentially become better which is not the easiest thing to do and is often painful. Throughout the story there is also the discussion of mortality and the fear of death, more so in the book than the movie, but its remains a strong theme.

The movie made in 1982 is an amazing and artsy film. Taprestries portraying unicorns are shown in the beginning credits and later throughout the film. The cast of voice actors includes Mia Farrow, Christopher Lee, Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, and Angela Lansbury. The music is also awesome. It was composed and written by Jimmy Webb and performed by America, the band that sang Horse with No Name. I love listening to the music even now, especially since its so easy to listen to it on the internet since so many people seem to love it as well. There are at least two other versions of the song The Last Unicorn. Not to mention that the artists that worked on this film eventually moved on to Ghibli to work with Miyazaki.

I think the Last Unicorn did better in Europe than America, especially Germany. I guest the tapestries and fairy tale theme make it seem very European.

I recommend everyone who has never seen this film to see it and for those that have last seen it in their childhood for you to watch it again. It has a great story, music, art, actors, and there are hidden allusion and themes that it takes an adult to catch.



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