The Rescuers Down Under marks a lot of Disney firsts for a second crack at the same main characters. Everyone’s favourite Rescue Aid Society rodents are back for the company’s only sequel in the official canon. With film production ramped right up to meet the target of one animated feature release per year, hours were long, talent was stretched and ambitions (and expectations) were high. After the massive success of The Little Mermaid one could hardly blame the company for wanting to spit out hit after hit.
The story follows Bernard and Miss Bianca to Australia where local boy Cody has been kidnapped by the evil poacher McLeach. McLeach is after an endangered golden eagle Marahute and he believes Cody can take him to the bird’s location. The supporting cast of characters are among some of the most charming the Mouse House has created. McLeach’s goanna lizard sidekick Joanna is a spunky character with an agenda of her own — the scene where she steals McLeach’s breakfast eggs one by one from right under his nose is quite comical. There’s also Jake, the smooth-talking, Outback kangaroo rat who throws a little wrench into Bernard’s plan to propose to Miss Bianca.