Yes, that’s right, the first move I ever watched that left a lasting impression on my innocent mind was, “The Last Unicorn” (1982). I’m not ashamed to admit that I own a DVD version of the film that has never been open. I found it on Netflix and thought I could watch it sometime… and I just finished it.
IMAGINE MY SURPRISE
As I re-watched it, I found out everything I hadn’t noticed the first time around! From the innuendos and the jokes to the tips for the magic and dangers. What a surprising and, somewhat, terrifying realization I came to when I found out how dirty and weird the film actually was. NOTHING prepared me for that!
The Lasting Impressions
I don’t know how better to write this post without comparing it to what I had known of before to what I now know. So, going back to 1992, around the first time I watched it, and comparing it to 2017, my now over 30 year old brain… here we go!
Sexual Implications 
First was that butterfly that was love-struck and inappropriate with the unicorn. I mean, he was reciting lines like a drunkard, totally ruining the image of the butterflies. Although he did seem to help the unicorn and give her some direction to finding the others, dude, what a buzzed and horny little guy he was. Then, the tree with boobs and even Prince Lir. He fell for the unicorn and she grew all hot and bothered because of him. In the end, it was a twist of fate and emotional manipulation.
I think, the lady… “Molly Grue”. I never knew what she really was. I didn’t know she was a prostitute or something like that. I’d always thought she was just a poor woman tagging along with the men who thought they were Robin Hood’s Merry Men. I wasn’t sure who she was or what she was doing with them. And to find that she found out the secrets to tracking down this red bull, I was shocked with all this.
Racist Crap 
Everyone was white. … Even the unicorn, the purest of all mythical animals, and there was no mention of other types of people in the world. And… I just stopped wondering why I always thought I was inferior… Isn’t it obvious? Everything good was pale or white and everything evil was of a different color. How odd is that?! (Sarcastic, guys!)
The greed in this film is UNREAL. Because King Haggard wanted to dominate all of the unicorns, he asked the red bull to drive them into the sea so that only King Haggard could see them. Because Mommy Fortuna wanted money and power, she caged and charmed animals and dangerous mythical ones that ended up being her downfall and killing her. Also, with Schmendrick wanting to be a “real” magician, he turned the unicorn into a human to hide her and then back to a unicorn to save the rest of the unicorns. How complicated but… he seemed the one who grew the most, despite the unicorn growing greed and then learning love and regret. How human…
Resentment & Regrets 
Everyone seems to have regrets. Schmendrick regrets joining Mommy Fortuna and her carnival. Molly regrets meeting the unicorn so late in life but loves her anyway. Prince Lir regrets not knowing sooner what was going on. The unicorn, Lady Amalthea, regrets not searching for unicorns sooner, growing feelings for Prince Lir too late, and not fighting back to being turned into a human and then, a unicorn again. It’s a long list of issues that the characters deal with but it all works out, to some degree, in the end, in the most bittersweet of ways. Ugh.
Scary Weird 
There was a harpie in Mommy Fortuna’s carnival. I had always thought it was a big eagle and, the harpie killed MF and her son, as there was a red glow when that happened. The red bull was evil and red, but people drink it for energy so… which came first, the movie or the beverage company? And, well, King Haggard looked haggard, Prince Lir looked lean, and Lady Amalthea was… too unreal to be human. I mean… most of it was a freak show on display with so many underlying racist ideas and corrupt concepts. It was weird and scary watching it.
I’m a bit annoyed with how different things were this time compared to when I was a kid. I mean, I prefer the kid memories more than what I know about it now, that’s for sure! By the way, this post was inspired by watching “Moana” with my niece and having to skip over all the scary parts, for her. It makes me laugh because she will, one day, realize how scary the movie she loved as a child was.