The Last Unicorn (BLU-RAY)

The Last Unicorn

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Running Time: 
93 minutes

The riddle that befuddles Ruhk - "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" - is the famous unanswered riddle asked by The Mad Hatter in "Alice In Wonderland", by Lewis Carroll. Carroll wrote the riddle as nonsense; it has no answer. This has not stopped people, despite being repeatedly told that there is not, nor should there be, any answer, from trying to contrive one. Among the suggestions are, "because Edgar Allan Poe wrote on both" and "because the notes for which they are noted are not noted for being musical notes" (the second of which is very similar to a solution that Lewis Carroll himself wearily suggested when he grew tired of people asking him about it). ~IMDB

Peter S. Beagles fantastic fantasy tale of The Last Unicorn lives on with this Blu-Ray release which boasts not one but two audio soundtracks, for the first time ever a commentary track by Beagle himself, and a High Definition picture that goes above and beyond the films lackluster DVD releases. While its not everything fans could hope for in the HD department it is the latest definitive addition to the films legacy.


Sadly this release is not everything that it should be. Picture contains an unrelenting grain that is at times distracting and at others is a simple background nuisance and film scratches and white dots appear from time to time. Having reviewed such releases as Pinocchio and just recently Bambi, films that predate this one by forty years and by far surpass the picture quality found here, the technology is there and it seems like it all comes down to how willing a studio is to give their films the full on HD treatment. While it is a bit disappointing to find that The Last Unicorn doesn’t come at you in a flawless presentation it is a huge improvement over its DVD counterpart. Line definition in characters look sharp and color vibrantly blooms, sometimes immensely and sometimes just enough to outdo the look from DVD. I went back and grabbed the copy of the film that I own on DVD and, yes, if you love this film you have to buy the BD version which is greatly cleaned up.

Audio is fantastic though. The two audio tracks that are included in this version of the film include the 25th Anniversary Edition which is uncensored and the Original Theatrical Version, both in a rich 5.1 DTS-HD MA (the DVD included does not include the 25th Anniversary soundtrack and comes in an English 5.1 and 2.0 Digital Audio soundtrack). For a film that dates back to the early 80’s it is not marred by that hollow tin sound some features from that era have been known to have even after they find themselves released to BD. Dialogue is acutely present and some scenes really pop but its mostly a front heavy affair with very little environmental utilization in regards to full on surround sound capability.

~Immortal Characters: Kind of a whose who in the film and their significance.
~Audio Commentary with Peter S. Beagle and Publisher Connor Cochran: This is, I believe, the first time the film has seen a commentary track from its story creator.
~ 2010 The Last Unicorn Art Contest Gallery
~Peter S. Beagle and His Work
~The Tail of the Last Unicorn Minidocumentary
~Schmendrick’s Magical Gallery: This is an absolute must see feature. The kids and I had a blast looking through it.
~Trailer Gallery
~"Escape the Red Bull" Set-Top Game (DVD only feature)

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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