What better timing for The Great Mouse Detective to be re-released on DVD as the latest Sherlock Holmes adaptation starring Robert Downey Jr. also arrives for home entertainment. They go well together, though one is a cartoon mouse version. The Great Mouse Detective is based on the book series, “Basil of Baker Street,” a rodent adaptation of the ever-popular fictional detective. Adults can find the humor in the connections, whereas children will still be engaged by the slightly frightening storyline which is filled with sincere suspense.
The filmmakers involved in this 1986 forgotten classic went on to make some of the most memorable Disney films of the 90s, not to mention The Princess and the Frog. There is a classic blend of animation with the newer style that was starting to take over. This was one of the first films to implement computers in the creation, though hand-drawn was still used for a majority of the picture.
The technical achievements and the story based on the most adapted literary character aside, The Great Mouse Detective has one last trick up its sleeve. The villain is often every bit as important as the hero, and this one was created in the image of the vocal actor, Vincent Price. The musical number “The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind” is a delightful addition to the film, and an extra in the special features of the new DVD edition.
The “Mystery in the Mist” Edition DVD includes a sing-along version of the mentioned musical number, as well as a new game based on the sleuthing elements of the film. There is also a traditional making-of featurette with interviews from key figures in the film’s creation.