Okay, okay, I can here you grumbling as I write this. Why is my favorite Pulp writer reviewing a movie about unicorns? And an animated movie at that! Has he gone crazy? He must not be a very well adjusted person. Well, I must admit, I have stopped taking my medication. And some people, most notably my esteemed editor, would not consider me the finest example of a useful member of society. But dammit, I used to be a kid, and I'm going to talk about unicorns. At the least it will balance out all the zombie nonsense in this newsletter.
So. This movie is essential about one unicorn’s quest, a quest to find herself and the other unicorns. She is a creature that can feel no regret for things that have happened, no regret for that which has gone by. She can feel sorrow, but not regret. In other words, her will and her actions are the same. She will never look back at something and say "if only I had done this". She is the representation of pure will, the Superman in unicorn shape. When threatened by the Red Bull (a big, bad, very scary and Halloweenish fiery bull), she is transformed by the Smendrick the magician into human form. When she comes to after the transformation she screams "what have you done? I can feel this body dying all around me!" She is no longer immortal - she learns what it is to be human. Smendrick the magician is a half competent magician who never casts the right spell, until Molly Crow tells him to look within for his true self. Once he looks within, he can become a true magician. Molly Crow is the wife of an outlaw king, a sad woman who had hoped for a unicorn when she was younger. Together, the three journey to the kingdom of King Haggard, to search for the unicorns. After escaping the Red Bull, they meet Haggard and his son, Lear. Haggard is an old unhappy man, who does not keep anything that does not make him happy. He needs to own, to possess, and of course that is why he keeps the unicorns.
This is a movie about life, immortality and possession of others. It is about regret and love, and all those mushy feelings. But most notably, it is not a movie about Halloween. Everyone wants to own the unicorn because of her beauty, and because they want a little piece of her immortality for themselves. Smendrick the magician is a loser who has no magic until he looks into himself for the true power, and it is only then that he becomes a magician. Molly Crow is a bitter woman who regains her innocence, in the form of a renewed sense of faith that the world is still new. King Haggard is a bitter old man who must control beauty for it to make him happy. He is not content to let things be as they should. (Early childhood education anyone?) Lear is the king’s son, and it is he that allows the unicorn to feel regret, regret that she cannot love him, as a unicorn, only as a human.
All in all, The Last Unicorn is a children’s movie for adults. Watch it. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Trash it and I won’t write back. Offer me a job writing for a major magazine and I may write back. See you next week.
Editor’s Note: I don’t know why I put up with this crap