“When I wrote The Last Unicorn, I had no idea that my story would someday have so many devoted fans.” Peter Beagle is ever so humble. (And kind and generous.)
Indeed, 47 years after publication of the original novel and 33 years after the film, The Last Unicorn makes its debut on Blu-ray, thanks to the fine folks at Shout! Factory.
If you’re unfamiliar with the story, I’m not sure what to tell you–other than I hope it was pleasant living under that rock for so long. The Last Unicorn tells the story of a unicorn who thinks she is the last of her kind and sets out on a quest to discover what happened to the others. Along the way, she teams up with the bumbling magician Schmendrick, gets attacked by the demon Red Bull, becomes human, falls in love, attacks the villainous King Haggard, and saves the kingdom.
The 1982 Rankin-Bass film is a classic of ’80s animation, and the new blu-ray version (dubbed “The Enchanted Edition”) is simply gorgeous. Presented in stunning 1080p and in 5.1 surround sound, this Blu-ray edition obviously surpasses previous DVD releases.
My kids did a totally scientific and legit comparison between our old DVD copy and this new release, and the verdict is as you would expect. Kid-tested, kid approved.
The Enchanted Edition comes with both Blu-ray and DVD discs, just in case you want to do your own comparison, and extras include:
- A brand-new audio commentary with author Peter Beagle and four others
- A 45-minute documentary on the history of the book and film
- An 11-minute spot on the worldwide screening tour
- Animated storyboards
- The original trailer
Yes, the all-star cast (including the late, great Christopher Lee) still shines. Yes, the songs by America are still cheesetastic. Yes, the film still triggers strong waves of nostalgia. Yes, the Blu-ray is worth the grab (particularly since it’s priced about the same as one movie adult ticket nowadays).
(Disclosure: Shout! Factory provided GeekDad with a review copy of the film. All opinions remain my own.)