In a fix? In a bind? In a jam? In a scrape? Maybe you need the assistance of the Rescue Aid Society!
Disney’s 23rd animated feature, “The Rescuers” introduces us to this wonderful (and hopefully fictitious) organization of United Nations mice! Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s start with the background info.
Released in 1977, “The Rescuers” was an important time in Disney history by becoming the highest grossing animated film of its time, the first animated Disney hit film since “The Jungle Book”, and the end of a golden era that started with “Cinderella” in 1950. It also seems to appear that Walt was involved with the production of this film, albeit minutely.
Apparently the book series on which the film is based, was brought to Walt’s attention in 1962, but Walt didn’t like the original idea of two mice saving a poet from a prison; so different adaptations were thought up and worked on, including an idea of the two mice saving a bear from the zoo voiced by Louis Prima.
In the end, the final film as we know it, was worked on and released way after Disney’s death!
The film is about a young orphaned girl named Penny,
who is taken from her orphanage by a Cruella de Vil wannabe named Medusa.
They had originally wanted Cruella de Vil to be the villain of this film, but decided against it because they weren’t interested in making sequels.
She wants Penny to find a valuable and huge diamond for her that’s stuck underground and only Penny is small enough to fit down the hole. When Penny can’t find it and hates her slave-like life, she tries to escape by running away futilely and by sending “Help” messages in bottles hoping somebody (or some bodies) would find it and come to her rescue. One bottle is successfully captured by some mice,
and sent to the Rescue Aid Society which is like the United Nations for mice! After reading the letter, they decide to send two of their members to rescue Penny: Bernard (well, their janitor actually) and Miss Bianca.
And that’s pretty much the story!
When deciding on a forgotten/minor character for this movie, I really had two choices: I could have either chosen one of the bayou animals that help Bernard and Miss Bianca later on in the movie,
or I could choose a character who’s arguably the most important part of the movie: Euripedes Mouse! And seeing as the latter was more important (hence, having more to write about), I chose him!
Who is Euripedes Mouse, you may ask? Well, he’s the official founder of the Rescue Aid Society! Ever hear the Aesop fable of the mouse who helped the lion take a thorn out of its paw? Well, he’s that very mouse!
If Euripedes hadn’t founded the worthwhile rescue organization, there probably would never have been any! And if there wasn’t any organization, the message in the bottle would have gone unanswered, and Penny would never have been able to get rescued since only the help of 2 mice was the only thing that could have saved her!
Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but you have to admit, the mouse world would have been a much different place if the Rescue Aid Society hadn’t been founded. The world would have been more like…Don Bluth’s imagination!
So, our thanks goes to Euripedes Mouse for his excellent idea and vision! Hmm, I wonder how he got the idea to found the RAS anyway!
Anyway, Disney’s “The Rescuers”, although personally not a favorite, does deserve to be mentioned and remembered as does its forgotten/minor character: Euripedes Mouse!