I recently had the pleasure of getting to see Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn in theaters, and better yet, meeting the man himself! For many of us older Gen-Y’s The Last Unicorn is as rare and magical an animation as they come. The somewhat illusive film that had a huge impact in Germany of all places, has been a quiet favorite for some of us for over 30 years. After wrapping up it’s final screening in the US, The Last Unicorn Tour will be heading to Europe, South America and Asia for the next year in this amazing two-year long meet and greet adventure.
If you missed it the screening tour, fear not! I have good news about the future of this beloved tail. But first, a little history for those readers who have never heard of, or seen The Last Unicorn, and may wonder why it’s important that a 33 year old cartoon is traveling the world.
For those of you who didn’t know: “The Last Unicorn is a 1982 American animated fantasy film directed and produced by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass. It was produced by Rankin/Bass Productions for ITC Entertainment, and animated by Topcraft. Based on the novel The Last Unicorn written by Peter S. Beagle, who also wrote the film’s screenplay, the film is about a unicorn who, upon learning that she is the last of her species in the world, goes on a quest to find out what has happened to the others of her kind.” – Thanks Wikipedia, your explanation is perfect.
One reasons why this film is has such a cult-following may be attributed to the beautiful animation, which interestingly enough was made by the same people who would later team with Miyazaki and become Studio Ghibli. So if you thought the animation style looked a little like an anime, you were right.
The other reason this film has touched people world-wide for decades is because it’s hands-down magical. If you’re a fan of the movie and haven’t read the original book, I would really recommend it. Peter’s writing style is as whimsical as the man himself. And the best part is, we can all rest assured the whispers of a live-action movie are in good hands: Peter’s hands.
It has always been a dream of mine to see this movie made into a fantastic live-action film, but it has also been one of my biggest fears, until now. After getting the privilege to ask if Peter feared for the future of the story in the hands of Hollywood, he assured us all that he would indeed be working closely with the writers and producers of the impending remake. (Fingers crossed that the CG will not kill the magic by being too obvious.)
So, in celebration of the upcoming live-action version that is bound to be made in the somewhat near future, I have put together a “dream cast” of the movie’s biggest roles, as follows:
Ben Whisaw as Schmendrick the Magician.
(How much more Schmendrick can you get?)
Billie Piper as Molly Grue.
(Raw yet charming)
Chris Hemsworth as Prince Lir.
(It’s all about that frock)
Helena Bonham Carter as Mommy Fortuna.
(Because who else could rock that manicure?)
Christopher Lee as King Haggard.
(Christopher Lee IS King Haggard, then and forever)
Krysten Ritter as Lady Amalthea.
(So inhumanly pretty it fits)
And my cat Bandit as The Cat:
(Book version of the Cat is Tortoise-shell, I nominate Bandit)
Let’s not forget the soundtrack…. What are your nominations?
This article was written by Alethea Cho, a writer for dusk magazine.