Favourites Friday – The Last Unicorn

I thought I’d introduce a regular feature into my blog and so, every now and again, I’m going to explain why I love a particular film. Call it  ‘Favourites Friday’ if you will. First up is a film I have loved for a long, long time…

The Last Unicorn (1982)

Directors: Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr.
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Alan Arkin

Released in 1982, it was based on the novel by Peter S. Beagle, who also wrote the screenplay. It features the vocal talents of Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Christopher Lee and Tammy Grimes. Angela Lansbury makes an appearance as, looking back now, quite a scary individual.

I’ve always loved horses and anything mythological so maybe it was pretty obvious that I’d like The Last Unicorn. I love the graphics, the characters and I especially love the music. The film’s music was composed and arranged by Jimmy Webb, though the songs were performed by America. The lyrics fit perfectly within the film and, apart from the title song, the song ‘Walkin Man’s Road’ evokes strong memories for me. The music can be described as ‘fantasy-folk’.

While for some people Jeff Bridges will always be remembered as the man from Tron or, more recently, Crazy Heart, Jeff will always be Prince Lir to me — his soothing, charming voice being one of my favourite parts of the film.

The Last Unicorn has been described as “an unusual children’s film” and I agree. The film, through mystical and fantastical characters, deals with very moving subject matter. This creature is the last of her kind and she is very lonely. She wants to find the others and her journey leads her to experiences and emotions she would never have been able to have before.

Whenever I decide to watch The Last Unicorn, I dig it out from my ever-growing tower of DVDs and I am always touched by the ending. Call me sentimental but my heart smiles and, especially for an animated children’s film, I struggle to think of a film which is as touching, tender and beautiful as The Last Unicorn.


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