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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on November 20, 2016
best movie ever.great service from prime as always
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on February 21, 2007
Even though its been over a decade since I first saw this movie, I still love it. Some of the best voice acting and excellent animation allows it to still compete with new shows. And the music! America did a stupendous job with the music, the lyrics fit the movie so well! Another decade down the road, I will still love this movie. Any animation or fantasy fan owe it to themselves to check it out!
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on December 23, 2011
The Last Unicorn bears the distinction of being one of the few animated children's films that goes far, far beyond the scope of an animated children's film. Based on the best-selling classic by Peter S. Beagle, the animated adaptation has enthralled audiences of all ages for years. Now, on Blu-Ray, we have the definitive version of this landmark title.

A Unicorn begins to suspect that her kind have disappeared from the world after hearing two hunters speak on the subject. As she ponders the possibility, she is met by a roaming butterfly who sings in riddles and dodges her desperate questions before finally giving her a clue. The Unicorns had "passed down all the roads long ago, and the Red Bull ran close behind them and covered their footprints," leaving no trace as to their whereabouts. Recognizing that her kind are in grave danger, she leaves the safety and security of her forest home to quest for her kin. She is captured by a menacing witch named Mommy Fortuna while sleeping and forced into a cage to delight villagers who pay to see Fortuna's "Creatures of Night, Brought to Light," a traveling carnival where regular animals have been cast with her spells to fool the people into seeing dangerous mythical beasts. The only real creatures in the show are the Unicorn herself, and a dangerous Harpy in an adjacent cage. As Mommy Fortuna finds it increasingly more difficult to keep the Harpy imprisoned, her bumbling assistant Schmendrick concocts a plan to free the Unicorn in the middle of the night using his magical skills which all fall flat. Finally the Unicorn is freed and begins setting loose the other animals wrongfully caged, including the dreaded Harpy. Once free, the Harpy rises into the air and begins a murderous vendetta against everyone in sight, battling the Unicorn several times before focusing her attentions on Mommy Fortuna who proudly declares "You never could have freed yourselves alone! I held you!" The Unicorn and Schmendrick escape, and become partners in her quest. Through previous dialog with Mommy Fortuna, the Unicorn learns that the Red Bull is actually a servant of the evil King Haggard who resides in a castle overlooking the sea. The two are confronted by outlaws in the forest and end up meeting Molly Grue, an old woman who also joins their quest after having waited a lifetime to see a Unicorn. As the trio near Haggard's castle, the Red Bull senses the presence of a Unicorn and attacks in the middle of the night as a ghostly being of pure flame and incredible destructive power. Schmendrick summons all of his magic in a desperate attempt to save the Unicorn, but unwittingly changes her into a young human girl. Now, confronted with the reality of her own mortality, the Unicorn begins to slowly go mad and forget herself, her quest, and her kind. With time running out, Schmendrick, Molly and the Unicorn manage to ingratiate themselves into King Haggard's staff, and quickly learn that the man is hiding a secret he will kill to protect, if necessary.

Though technically a children's film, The Last Unicorn's film adaptation is very heavy on dark themes of tragedy, terror, regret and despair. It is also a tale about love, hope, redemption and beauty. The book was smartly written by a very smart author, giving the film all the material it needs to succeed as a silver screen treatment. Veteran actors such as Mia Farrow, Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Angela Lansbury and the great Christopher Lee all play their parts with a deep-seated conviction, and are all perfectly cast. Their characters are all flawed, and all feel the pain of regret and sorrow in some way. This is not a typical children's film heavy on humor and gags with a happy ending. Perhaps the greatest thing about the Last Unicorn is that it doesn't have a happy ending, but a bittersweet one instead. Even when salvation comes, everyone is changed because of it. To paraphrase Schmendrick in one subtle, but powerful moment..."Men don't always know when they're happy but...I think so." Although the animated film does tend to race through its running time rather quickly, it still manages to evoke a powerful response from the audience with characters who are genuinely lovable, and memorable. Even the evil King Haggard has one scene which explains his nefarious and psychotic behavior, and in that moment he becomes a character driven not by malevolence or sadism, but a simple, basic desire for happiness and comfort that fuels his selfish actions. This is a mature film, and in that respect, good for children who have been shoveled a constant load of kids movies with absolutely no point.

That being said, children under 6 shouldn't watch this film, no matter how appealing the movie may seem to young eyes. The animators have created some very scary characters for the film which all have the potential to plague a young child with horrible nightmares. Mommy Fortuna's twisted, snaggle-toothed visage and gigantic, piercing eyes are enough to cause a stir, but she is nothing compared to the Harpy; a twisted take on the commonly accepted half-human female, half-bird present in Greek mythology, resembling a three-breasted, gnarled old vulture with vicious eyes and a spine-chilling shriek. When the Harpy is set loose by the Unicorn, the terror builds to such palpable levels that it's all way too much for little children to bear. Even the Red Bull is a pretty powerful image for young eyes, though I suspect most kids will find it far more awe-inspiring than truly terrifying.

The Blu-Ray version of the film corrects several major oversights from the 25th Anniversary DVD release. First (and most importantly) there is no censoring of language anymore. The original theatrical track is present, and retains two instances of the word "damn" that were originally present. Visual censors have been removed as well, particularly on the Harpy. For a movie with such powerful thematic and dramatic elements to be censored was a crime in the first place. That being said, the Blu-Ray treatment is gorgeous. The opening scenes retain a lot of dirt, but that quickly clears up within the first few minutes and suddenly comes to life with crisp clarity and warm, saturated colors. In short, the Last Unicorn has never looked this good before. Not by a long shot. The soundtrack has been given a lossless HD 5.1 treatment, and although it won't blow the doors off of your house, it is noticeably better than any previous release so far. Care and attention has been put into this release, and it shows. As for extras, several of them have been recycled from the 25th Anniversary DVD, but the audio commentary track featuring Peter S. Beagle is worth the price of admission alone.

The Last Unicorn is a product of an era long since forgotten, where children's films could be unsettling and dark, and still be beautiful to behold. The film is a 92 minute morality lesson with a strong (if not quirky) visual style and all the classic fantasy literary themes one could ask for. Beware of who you're showing it to, but be proud that you've done so.
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If you like this classic movie, as my family and I do, then this is the DVD version to get. I'm speaking of the "Enchanted Edition" released in 2015. Previous DVD releases of this film were far less than enchanting. The first had a poor transfer that looked no better than the VHS. The next release was cleaned up a little but also had some minor cuss words edited out. This latest release is beautiful--nice and clean looking, and complete and unedited. So don't hesitate in purchasing it--especially at such a low price of under $10!
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on July 13, 2004
This is a very good film that has yet had a decent video release here in the US. This DVD release is a disaster.
This particular print has several major defects. First this movie suffers more than most when cutting it from widescreen to full screen. But the pan-and-scan job (the technique used to make a widescreen film fit on a regular television) was also totally botched leaving many scenes showing only half a face or character.
There is also many color problems. The print is biased to red. Dark scenes, of which there are many, show a red tint. Related to this is that the greens are subdued. Many objects that should be green show as blue.
The print is also grainy showing more video noise than normal.
The soundtrack is extremely harsh sounding making it dificult to listen to.
I'd recommend you seek out the widescreen version which has none of these problems.
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on April 24, 2001
I have had this movie for quite some time on VHS (where's my DVD!!) but with a cover different from the one shown here on Amazon. I get teary eyed everytime the princess is torn on whether she should stay transformed, and be happy with Lir.... oh, what a wonderful story. Animated movies like this where you can be part of the story and actually relate to the characters are a wonderful thing. The character are all quite real in their behaviours and are all very in the grey in their decisions. They have lives, not just missions.
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on June 9, 2009
I respect Mr. Puzak's opinion very much. He makes a few wonderful points about a fantastic movie that no one should miss. I must, however, contradict his idea that this is not a movie for very young children. There is nothing in this film that will scare a pre-school child any more than the Wicked Queens, and Ursulas of Disney fame. I have watched this movie since I was a child myself, and found no problem with it; and I was always scared of the "pig-tranforming" scene in the movie "Willow". To say that scenes in "The Last Unicorn" will give children nightmares, and have them in tears is a huge disservice to one of the most artistic G-rated films out there. To parents: Yes, if you had a problem with the off-screen death of Bambi's mother, and the Wicked Queen being crushed at the end of Snow White, then I would steer clear of this film; but if no Disney film since the dawn of the company was inappropriate for kids to you, then this film will be just fine.
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on March 20, 2004
I remember seeing this movie at the Drive-In when I was a child. I used to have it on VHS until it was destroyed. I couldn't wait till it came out on DVD. However, once I got my copy I became rather disappointed with the quality. The colors look faded, It's Full-Screen only, It even seems to be slightly crooked and there are distortions at the very top of the screen..... What a horrible way to release such a classic.
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on March 20, 2004
I cannot believe this movie was released in such poor condition. it's fully screen only. The audio sounds like a cassette tape. The picture is dark and blurry. There is distortion along the top of the picture. There are no special features whatsoever. Such a tragedy that this great movie was treated like this.
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on March 18, 2004
While in Germany recently, I purchased the DVD release of this movie and was overwhelmed by the picture quality (widescreen) and sound (English track). The artwork was also very well done. I was also able to play the DVD on my home computer using a region free player.
But after purchasing this DVD here in the states yesterday, I couldn't believe how Carlton/Artisan was allowed to release this incredible movie by simply copying an old VHS version onto DVD. The sound is horrible and so is the picture. Plus no mention of Christopher Lee on the cover? Christopher Lee not only has a major role in the film, but his name alone will sell more copies. Starring in the last two Star Wars flicks and the first two Lord of the Rings trilogy, his name will be instantly recognized by anyone interested in the genre. This release was a huge mistake on part of Artisan. The film deserves a better treatment that it was given. The artwork looks like it was drawn by a ten year old. Anyone who is a real fan of the film should purchase the German release (available from Amazon) and buy a region free player and watch the film on their computer.
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