Page 8 -The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, February 19, 1992
Disney cashes in with
a Baker Street Mouse
The Great Mouse Detective
dir. John Musker et al
by Michelle Phillip
Those guys at Disney are at it again. Apparently the powers that be de-
cided that the 100 million-plus that they're raking in from Beauty wasn't
enough. The greedy bastards have re-released 1986's The Great Mouse
Detective, in hopes that it will coast in on the coattails of Beauty.
Fortunately for them, this little trick is going to work.
The Great Mouse Detective is a charming tale based on the Basil of
Baker Street series. The evil Ratigan (a rat with the voice of the consum-
mate villain, Vincent Price) as part of a sinister scheme to become the
ruler of Mousedom, kidnaps Faversham, a kindly toymaker.
Mind you, Ratigan does it in front of Faversham's daughter, Olivia -
if this doesn't play with your fear of abandonment, I don't know what
does. Lonely and terrified, Olivia befriends Dr. Dawson (a.k.a Watson)
who introduces her to Basil (a.k.a. Sherlock Holmes). Together the three
are off to rescue Faversham.
Along the journey, Basil stumbles and bumbles his way to clues. He
never can seem to remember Olivia's last name, and if it weren't for the
Deus ex Algebra, he never would have been able to save Dawson and
himself from Ratigan's death trap. But Basil manages to stay ahead of the
game, making for many amusing moments in Mouse Detective.
Thesfilm has a well-written and well-paced story. Mouse Detective's
plot has no major holes, and achieves dramatic tension nicely by showing
what the bad guy is up to while the hero is busy tracking him down. It's
impossible to lose interest, unlike some non-animated features that cost
$100 million in which we don't see the antagonist for 45 minutes, viz. 12.
And there's lots of juicy violence, including a cat that eats the
Ratigan's foes who dare to make the mistake of calling him a rat
(obviously playing on that old mouse/rat dichotomy).
The Great Mouse Detective was made at a time when Disney wanted
to recapture the splendor and glory of days past. Although Mouse
Detective is good, it's not as lavish as The Little Mermaid or Beauty and
the Beast. There are only two musical numbers (well, 2 1/2 if you count
the recording of Ratigan's farewell death song), and neither the songs, nor
Henry Mancini's score are very memorable.
The backgrounds aren't very elaborate, and if you watch closely, half
of the characters don't move most of the time. But Disney draws very
hard on the golden days in this one, making references to its past magnifi-
cence (Watch for the Dumbo hommage). In its attempt to regain the
crown as reigning champ of animation, Disney succeeds.
Although animation has been regarded as light children's fare, The
Great Mouse Detective has all the sophistication necessary to attract adult
audiences and shouldn't be overlooked.
THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE is playing at Showcase.
If Teenage Fanclub is homely, then Primal Scream is fuckin' ugly, right? But one member's cool enough to wear a Teenage Fanclub T-shirt.
by Emily Manriont
Continued from page 5
When it comes to the subject of
rock music, Duffy is very animated
about what he sees as a lack of
glamour and exoticness, which to
him is personified by people like
Iggy Pop and Sid Vicious
"We are our own heroes. There's
too many businessmen making
records these days. No one's real
anymore. I respect the Happy Mon-
days and Kate Bush. People that are
honest. At the same time, I respect
Buddy Guy and John Lee Hooker.
They're still making good music."
Duffy is equally animated when
the subject turns to drugs, the one
topic that is the focus of just about
everything ever written about Primal
"I think people get lazy, don't
know what to write, so they focus on
(drugs). I mean, when we were just
touring in Europe, we would get
complete strangers coming up to us,
doing interviews, and the first thing
they would say was, 'What drugs are
you on?' They could be secret ser-
vice police or something! It's per-
sonal. Everyone's got their own
drug. When we say 'Get high until
the day you die,' to us, it's a very
There's more to music education
than sitting in practice rooms and
orchestra rehearsals. The School
of Music's Annual Concerto Com-
petition allowed the most talented
to shine in their diverse musical
styles and instruments.
The goal of the Concerto Com-
petition was to present to the pu-
blic outstanding undergraduate
and graduate performers at the
School of Music, and to give stu-
dents the opportunity to appear as
soloists with an orchestra. Though
all students have the opportunity
to perform as soloists, a winners'
concert is a prestigious showcase
of the cream of the crop.
On Monday night, half of the
winners presented the pieces with
which they competed. They were
accompanied by the University
Philharmonia Orchestra. The so-
loists were Todd Craven,- trumpet;
Joel Hastings, piano; Scott Hol-
den, piano; Robert Bracey, tenor;
and Jeffery Lyman, bassoon.
On Wednesday, the University
Symphony Orchestra will accom-
pany the second set of soloists.
This evenings' performers are
Marjorie Bagley, violin; Robert
Tuttle, clarinet; Shun-Lin Chou,
piano; Katherine Oliver, bassoon;
and Soo-Reyon Kim, piano. They
will perform works such as Rach-
maninov's Piano Concerto No. 3,
and Copland's Clarinet Concerto,
student Leslie Hogan's com-
THE ANNUAL CONCERTO
COMPETITION WINNERS will
perform at 8 p.m. tonight at Hill
Auditorium. Admission is free.
Continued from page 5
the music, but I don't really like
Robert Plant's vocal. I think some
days, you do something musically
and it seems a bit crazy to stick a
vocal over the top, you know ...
"I think a lot of bands mess
around with instrumentals but they
never really use them because they
don't think they should. We just
think, 'Oh, well, we'll just do it' ... I
don't think you should feel like you
have to use a formula for what you
'We're not afraid to
do. If it seems like an instrumental,
then just do it."
But is it cool to "just do it," to be
in TFC, or to like TFC (or MSP for
It's possible that Primal Scream
is just more honest about their drug
use than other bands, especially in
this almost Victorian era of "Just say
no." There's probably other bands
that do a lot more drugs than Primal
"I don't know about that one!"
Duffy replies with a hearty laugh.
He continues, "For us, the music is
the real drug."
PRIMAL SCREAM plays St. An-
drew's Friday as part of "3 Floors
of Fun." Tickets are $7.50 at.
TicketMaster (p.e.s.c.) .Doors open
"Of course, yeah. But we're not
afraid to be uncool," McGinley,
states."I think the good thing about
anyone is not being able to blow
your cool on occasions. And we've
blown it on quite a few things. I
think we got away with it."
TEENAGE FANCLUB plays with
SUPER CHUNK at St. Andrew's,
Hall on Saturday. Tickets are $5.50
in advance at TicketMaster (p.e.s.c.).
Continued from page 5
there were questions for Rapanos,
Pollack, and Sederburg. Many in-
quiries dealt with how well legisla-
tors and members of the MCACA
represent the interests of the average
person in matters of art.
The panelists' replies reflected a
trust in the democratic system: the
elected are accountable to their
constituents, and it is they who ei-
ther make decisions about public art
interests, or appoint those who do.
Rapanos also pointed out that the in-
put of arts professionals is sought
when making policy and funding de-
cisions. The concern was again
raised that those "professionals" rep-
resent an elite group, whose tastes
don't necessarily represent those of
Participants then split up into
small"brainstorming" groups, where
they exchanged ideas about how to
influence policy making. They came
together thirty minutes later, with
most of the groups having reached
similar conclusions: to affect a
change in government policy toward
the arts, it is first necessary to edu-
cate people - all people - in the
arts, and to make them available to
everyone. Not a surprising conclu-
sion by any means, but one that
needs to be affirmed and reaffirmed
again and again.
But there is a vicious circle at
work: less public money spent on
the arts means that a shrinking elite
becomes the only group who has ac-
cess to the arts, which means that
fewer orchestras, theaters, and mu-
seums can reach out to those com-
munities that can't make private do-
nations; the smaller number of pa-
trons an institution attracts, the less
funding it receives from public
The other conclusion is perhaps;
the most important. The "arts
community" isn't just made up'of
opera singers or abstract artists wh'
dress in black turtlenecks. They are
the engineering majors in Men's
Glee Club; they are members of a
community orchestra; they are
people who visit the University Art'
Museum and kids who finger paint;,
they are people who write poetry, or,
go to poetry readings; they are the,
people who watch films as well as~
those who make them; writers about,
the arts, and just as importantly,.
those who read about them.
As a 'theater-going, record-buy-
ing, "Wayne's World" fan, YOU
TOO can participate in the arts and
determine what kind of impact they
can make on the rest of society.;;
Don't let anyone with season tickets
to the Bolshoi tell you different.
With your host
and studenvt comedians
UNIVERSITY Dino Markus
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