Friday, January 24, 2014

DVD Movie Review #56 Unico in the Island of Magic

Yet again we are back with another DVD review. I have been in the process of reclaiming my childhood memories though things I watched when I was young. HBO at one time had gathered a rather large supply of anime licensing with many children's shows such as Jack and the Bean Stalk and the Wizard of Oz anime series. Unico was one of those series. I remember watching both Unico movies when I was little but this one made the biggest impression as the creepiest.

This is the story of Unico who is one of the world's last unicorns and therefore intended by the gods to be banished from reality for all time. The West Wind took Pity on Unico and decided to drop the little guy off in the middle of nowhere probably also destined to die. Unfortunately Unico is destined to be left in the middle of situations where the critter will likely starve to death. Unico meets an interesting cast of people and animals and has to confront an evil wizard who wishes to make a magic castle out of living dolls eventually hoping to turn the world's population into his personal playthings.

The voice acting in this is actually pretty good for the time. The sound quality on the DVD release is better for the Japanese sub though. The Sound quality is fairly standard for children's animation in Japan. The Animation quality is actually pretty high level for the time that this animation had occurred almost giving it a studio Ghibli feel though it is very likely that many of the animators at Ghibli saw this at one time. The story is very creepy to any little kid who of course is the intended audience. I also find it fairly clever going through various twists and turns with fun characters to guide you along the way. The world itself is very imaginative such as the end of the earth where all unwanted things in the world end up.

The voice acting's sound quality isn't that great when it comes to the dub and some of the voices in both can be a little grating on the ears due to the high pitch. The sound quality is probably the weakest part of this series.

Rating:     8/10

I have the standard Eastern Star Release of this film.

Used:     $13.98    Amazon Marketplace
New:     $14.09

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