#269: Famous Last Worlds, Pt. 1: The Last Unicorn


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While the new RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON shares far more with its Disney Animation brethren than anything made by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass, those filmmakers’ 1982 animated adaptation of Peter S. Beagle’s THE LAST UNICORN shares RAYA’s interest in telling a story about humanity via the plight of a fantasy creature believed to be the last of its kind — it just goes about it in a much more idiosyncratic, often flat-out weird way. To dig into all the ways THE LAST UNICORN defies convention and expectation, we’ve brought in cultural writer and animation expert John Maher to help discuss some of the big literary themes crammed into this small and not very literary movie, the film’s penchants for both poetry and anachronism, and what to make of that Rankin/Bass animation style. Plus, we respond to some feedback about our recent discussion of JEAN DE FLORETTE, and where we personally draw the line between film and television.

Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE LAST UNICORN, RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to comments@nextpictureshow.net, or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.

Outro music: America, ‘In the Sea’

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275 episodes