I was chatting to arawr earlier and she happened to be lurking on our own blog. That what a good time we had blogging and how we should just change our blog name to M.W.W.W. Manga whenever we want. I Loled so hard.
But save that for later. Allow me to reminisce about The Last Unicorn. Or more like fake reminiscing since I never watched or heard of it until last week. Isn’t the Renaissance style picture of The Last Unicorn so befitting for M.W? Since we’re almost non-existent.
I came across The Last Unicorn when I bought a shirt with the poem from the novel embroidered on it. It was thought provoking deep and also plain depressing. But, I was never a bunch of sunflowers anyway. On the shirt contained part of the poem called Eli’s Song and here it is below:
What is plucked will grow again,
What is slain lives on,
What is stolen will remain—
What is gone is gone.
What is sea-born dies on land,
Soft is trod upon.
What is given burns the hand—
What is gone is gone.
Here is there, and high is low;
All may be undone.
What is true no two men know—
What is gone is gone.
Who has choices need not choose.
We must, who have none.
We can love but what we lose—
What is gone is gone.
If this isn’t the epitome of beauty and sadness merged into one, I have no idea what is.
I knew this poem had to be from somewhere, so I researched and found out it was from The Last Unicorn. There’s something extraordinarily dangerous about the topic of unicorns. From my experience, the idea of unicorns always induces jokes or other ‘nasty’ connotations. Say the word unicorn and I think of this large teenage boy attempting to fly screaming “I’m a unicorn,” as a joke between his friends. But basically, I was a bit taken back. When I first saw the poster picture of The Last Unicorn, it felt incredibly nostalgic, it was the same feeling I got when I re-watched Fern Gully except I never even heard let alone watched The Last Unicorn before. This was the type of movie we all watch as kids and hold onto because we grew up with them. Forget the Disney movies, these movies were more in lined with the Ghibli films because of one thing, they don’t exactly have a happy ending which I believe contributes hugely to their epic-ness-ness.
Then fate happened, you could watch The Last Unicorn on Netflix! And so I did and it was exactly as I how imagined.
Here are the essential info:
Directed & Produced by: Jules Bass & Arthur Rankin
Screenplay by: Peter S. Beagle
Based on: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
Blurb: This animated tale follows a unicorn who believes she’s the last of her species and is searching high and low for someone just like her. All the while, she must avoid the evil Red Bull, who may be the one who killed off the rest of her kind.
When I was watching ‘The Last Unicorn,’ the movie gave off a very distinctive Japanese animation feel that I can’t really point out or describe(I’m probably just lazy) but as soon as I saw the animation credits, it explained why. TopCraft were responsible for a lot of the animation done in the movie and dial 411, their dissolution would later form what we all now know as Studio Ghibli after the creation of ‘Nausicaa: The Valley of the Wind.’ The voice acting along with the quality contributed so much to that nostalgic experience, I hope they will never change the quality because it just plays such a big role even though it is imperfect.
The movie overall is really fast paced. I guess in that manner you can tell that it’s leaning more towards the children market since the love story scene literally happened within a sequence of 1-2 minutes; but the story as a whole is really quite…deep. Least in my opinion.
The soundtrack is real beautiful, performed by America, known for their folk music, it was a really good fit with the rest of the movie since it adds that whimsical air. This is the OST:
I’ve had this constantly on replay. I highly recommend looking into the lyrics of this song, I thought it was genius. I’m having a folk music moment this winter, there’s something about it that’s just so familiar yet you’ve never come across them before. Tons of Bon Iver.
The core of ‘The Last Unicorn’ for me was the way it interpreted love and regret, the two experiences which humbled the Unicorn. Love and regret are two experiences that are unique to us humans as well as a couple of animals that I can’t really specify at the moment. In many ways, we can see the Unicorn in ourselves, sure the Unicorn is majestic and maybe some of us might not feel the same way, but one thing in common is that we both bow down to the heels of love and loss. Perhaps that’s why God made us mortal beings the same way the Unicorn was made a human, even if it was just for a while. To feel regret, yet not to regret the feeling of having something of value even if it is now lost. It makes me wonder whether “what is gone is gone” really is “gone is gone.” The Unicorn can be seen to have been done evil, yet she accepts it and never regrets it.
In many respects, it is about life, whether we should follow our sense of duty or our own hearts. How the Unicorn struggled to remember yet did not want to remember her original purpose during the final days of her quest. Should she choose the love of her life over the unicorns? Isn’t her life her own to choose? Why should she feel obliged to make herself unhappy for the sake of others? It was life for us, full of conflicts and dilemmas. Yet there is no right answer as Eli’s Song suggests, “what is true, no two men know.” The Last Unicorn can be interpreted and carry such heavy thoughts yet it is done beautifully, looking into a beautiful kaleidoscope of colours. We may think that love, loss and regret makes us feel horrible, but I guess that we should also remember that the withered flower too has it’s own beauty.
Although the movie was made in the 80s, the screenplay has moments where there is some contemporary humour, it brings such freshness and substance into the movie which some might hate, but I enjoyed. It was almost like expecting characters to say “you’re daft!” Or “you scoundrel,” yet the character instead uses “you idiot!” There is also this subtle substance within the humour of the movie. Just as the Unicorn asks the wizard-wannabe guy whether he was finally happy since he was able to use proper magic, and he simply replies “well…men don’t always know when they’re happy.” That single line is so deep, paradoxical but so true.
I’m looking forward to read the original novel itself and I’m glad to have made such a wonderful discovery.
Thus this concludes my post. Happy 2013.