Mice Detectives

The Great Mouse Detective is a 1986 American animated mystery film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation.
It is the 26th Disney animated feature film and was directed by Burny Mattinson, David Michener, and the team of John Musker and Ron Clements.

The film was also known as The Adventures of the Great Mouse Detective for its 1992 theatrical re-release and Basil the Great Mouse Detective in some countries. The main characters are all mice and rats living in Victorian London.

Based on the children’s book series Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus, it draws heavily on the tradition of Sherlock Holmes with a heroic mouse who consciously emulates the detective; Titus named the main character after actor Basil Rathbone, who is best remembered for playing Holmes in film (and whose voice, sampled from a 1966 reading of “The Red-Headed League”[2] was the voice of Holmes in this film, 19 years after his death). Sherlock Holmes also mentions “Basil” as one of his aliases in the Arthur Conan Doyle story “The Adventure of Black Peter”.

The Great Mouse Detective was released to theaters on July 2, 1986 to positive reviews and financial success, in sharp contrast to the box office under-performance of Disney’s previous animated feature film The Black Cauldron (1985). As such, the new senior management of the company were convinced that their animation department was still a viable enterprise and this set the stage for the Disney Renaissance.

Dourado

Dourado
(Dane Maddock #1)
by David Wood (2008)

A sunken treasure. An ancient Biblical artifact. A mystery as old as humankind. The Portuguese brig Dourado sank off the coast of Indonesia, losing its cargo of priceless treasures from the Holy Land.

Back to the start of the series. This comes off a bit like a Nancy Drew adventure. Still a good read, but a lot of the subject matter was very specific to the USA and it’s war of independence.

 

Black Cauldron

The Black Cauldron is a 1985 American animated fantasy film produced by Walt Disney. It is the 25th Disney animated feature film and is loosely based on the first two books in The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, a series of five novels that are based on Welsh mythology.

Set in the mythical land of Prydain during the Early Middle Ages, the film centers on the evil Horned King who hopes to secure an ancient magical cauldron that will aid him in his desire to conquer the world.

He is opposed by a young swineherd named Taran, the young princess Eilonwy, the bard Fflewddur Fflam, and a wild creature named Gurgi who seek to destroy the cauldron, to prevent the Horned King from ruling the world.

The Cast includes:
Grant Bardsley as Taran
Susan Sheridan as Princess Eilonwy
Nigel Hawthorne as Fflewddur Fflam
John Hurt as Horned King
John Huston as Narrator

What’s amazing is the similarity in voice between Gurgi and Smeagol

Dead Ice

Dead Ice
(Dane Maddock Origins #4)
by David Wood & Steven Savile (2014)

Navy SEAL Dane Maddock leads a team of operatives in a race against Russian Spetznaz agents to find a lost nuclear submarine and recover a threat known only as Romanov’s Bane, but the frozen wasteland of Wrangel Island is home to more than enemy soldiers. Soon, Dane and Bones find themselves face-to-face with dangers thought long extinct.


This is the first of the David Books I have read as it was purchased as part of a story bundle. It’s a fairly standard military thriller. A group of solders embark on a mission to retrieve an egg. On the way they overcome the environment and an opposing force.

It’s fast moving and doesn’t waste time with unnecessary character backstory. At novella length the story isn’t complicated.

Of course, it turns out that they are destined to save the world from an unknown horror.

Will they make it ?

Well, this is a series of 10 books.

 

Chase Baker 8

Chase Baker & the Humanzees from Hell
(Chase Baker #8)
by Benjamin Sobieck (2016)

Fact: In the 1920s, a Soviet scientist attempted to mate humans and chimpanzees to create “humanzees.”

Fact: Forty years later, an apparent human-ape hybrid surfaced in the United States in the sideshow circuit, dubbed the “Minnesota Iceman.”

How are these two far-fetched and seemingly unrelated events connected? Adventurer and Renaissance man Chase Baker is hot on the trail…


This one veers into the horror and monsters genres. It feels a but like a Jeremy Robinson story. Still, the action is unrelenting and amid the quips, knocks to the head and bullets flying, Chase manages to survive to live another day.

 

Chase Baker 7

Chase Baker & the Apocalypse Bomb
(Chase Baker #7)
by Benjamin Sobieck (2016)

Humans think they’re the most advanced beings on Earth, but adventurer and Renaissance man Chase Baker just stumbled onto something that will blow the lid off that fantasy for good. As Chase discovers, an even more advanced species lives side-by-side with humanity, quietly ruling the world with incredible technology.

This is the second by Benjamin Sobieck in the Zandri series. And the brief for the sroty seems to have changed. Instead of intense gong-ho action the genre seems to change to humorous, satirical science fiction with an Alien.

An alien named Dave. And he really is an asshole,  Indiscriminately killing people, either adversaries of just members of the public standing watching. Things do get a bit silly. The number of times Chase gets knocked out only to come to and advance the plot is  unknown, but a lot.

So overall, completely nuts, but in a good way.

 

Foxy Hound

The Fox and the Hound is a 1981 American animated musical buddy drama film produced by Walt Disney Productions and loosely based on the 1967 novel of the same name by Daniel P. Mannix.

It is te 24th Disney animated film and tells the story of two unlikely friends, a red fox named Tod and a hound dog named Copper, who struggle to preserve their friendship despite their emerging instincts.

Featuring the voices of Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey, Jack Albertson (in his final film role), Sandy Duncan, Jeanette Nolan, Pat Buttram, Dick Bakalyan, and Paul Winchell.


Another beautifully animated film. The animal characters are often more human-like than the stereotypes used for the people.

Chase Baker 6

Chase Baker and the Da Vinci Divinity
(Chase Baker #6)
by Vincent Zandri (2016)

When a young woman by the name of Andrea Gallo claims to be a fan of his pulp novels, Chase can’t resist reciprocating in the lusty attraction. But that night, he is kidnapped by two thugs who work for Great Britain’s infamous MI-16 and Gallo.

When they tell him they desperately need his help to uncover a legendary cave in the Northern Italian forest before a team of Russian and Iranian hardliners do, he feels compelled to help out. It’s said to be the cave that Leonardo da Vinci discovered as a young man back in the mid-fifteenth century and where he learned the secrets behind his many inventions.


This story is closer to Dan Brown that any of the previous ones.

It’s the usual caper of spy vs spy and the race to find a secret that could change the world. Then, at the end it delves into a dream-like Sci-Fi fantasy. Very strange and different.

Rescuers

The Rescuers is a 1977 American animated adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions.

It’s the 23rd Disney animated feature film.

An international mouse organization headquartered in New York City is shadowing the United Nations, dedicated to helping abduction victims around the world at large. Two of the mice, Bernard (Bob Newhart) and his co-agent, Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor), set out to rescue Penny (Michelle Stacy), an orphan girl being held prisoner in the Devil’s Bayou by treasure huntress Madame Medusa (Geraldine Page). The film is based on a series of books by Margery Sharp, most notably The Rescuers and Miss Bianca.

Bob Newhart is not the best choice as a mouse hero. He is just too laid back to be a rescuer. Gabor is better as Bianca, sho brings a zaz and zip to the character.

The story is very simply; go on an adventure, overcome obstacles and get the girl. The best characters are the villain Medusa and her two crocodiles.

Of note is the sound design. Often there is no background noise at all. This is  interrupted by effects, voices or a song. It’s very strange and different to modern films.

Overall I though it was a very average film, however it received positive critical reception and became a box office success. The film was also successful throughout the world.

Due to the film’s success, a sequel titled The Rescuers Down Under was released in 1990, which made this film the first Disney animated film to have a sequel.

Chase Baker 5

Chase Baker and the Vikings’ Secret
(Chase Baker #5)
by Benjamin Sobieck
Vincent Zandri (Editor) (2015)

Did Chinese explorers arrive in the Americas before Christopher Columbus? Chase Baker is hot on the trail of this hidden piece of history in the woods of Minnesota, home of the famous Kensington Runestone. The alleged proof is scrawled on a runestone written by Vikings centuries ago. The only problem is it’s guarded by a mythical creature called the Wendigo at the bottom of a treacherous place called The Pit.

This is the first by Sobiech (and not the last) in Zandri’s series. It’s the same first person, breathless style of continuous action.

This time it’s Chase on his own and against all enemies, even governments. Still he has to make it alive to the end for the next episode. And still a good as the previous stories.