'Rescuers Down Under' features first-rate animation

HOME VIDEOS

September 29, 1991|By New York Times News Service

New releases of videocassettes; reviews by New York Times critics.

The Rescuers Down Under. 1990. Disney. $24.99. Laser disk, $29.99. 1 hour, 17 minutes. Closed captioned. G.

Borrowing some Indiana Jones-style maneuvers, Disney animators send the mice Bernard (Bob Newhart) and Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor) into the Australian outback to help the human child Cody (Adam Ryen) deal with a huge, ill-mannered green thing named McLeach (George C. Scott).

Seems Cody has befriended a very large eagle and McLeach wants to feed the bird's eggs to his pet lizard, Joanna. "The animation is indeed first rate, but the story and settings are somewhat incongruously threatening" (Janet Maslin).

Les Enfants du Paradis (Children of Paradise). 1944. Home Vision. $79.95. Laser disk, $89.95. 3 hours, 15 minutes. In French with English subtitles. No rating.

Ranked among the finest of all French films, Marcel Carne's classic explores the irony and pathos of life through the crisscrossed passions of a troupe of street performers in 19th century Paris. Jean-Louis Barrault is the mime Baptiste Deburau, helplessly in love with the beautiful Garance (Arletty), who gives herself to various members of the troupe before deserting them all to marry an aristocrat.

The story moves back and forth from the streets to the troupe's stage, and the alternation of humanity and fantasy helps to elevate the performances and move the spirit.

Twin Peaks. 1990. Warner. $79.99. Laser disk, $34.98. 1 hour, 53 minutes. Closed captioned. No rating.

Pressed into solving the murder of Laura Palmer in under two hours, this European version of the David Lynch-Mark Frost series pilot ambles up to a quick denouement.

The convenient finish only disrupts the languid, spooky mood of the American original, however, and emphasizes once more Lynch's indifference to who dun it. Was it Bobby, Audrey Horn, James, Ed, Donna, Dr. Jacobi, Benjamin Horn? Their guilt or complicity, if any, doesn't seem to matter.

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