Kutztown’s Strand Theater is 100 years old. They are kicking off a series of classic films with a screening of the animated classic, The Last Unicorn. Peter S. Beagle, author of the tale will be there, Monday, Sept 23 for two shows, screenings at 5 and 7:30. Details here.
Jason of the Strand tells me The Last Unicorn is remarkable because even though was a U.S production, it animated by Japanese animators who went on to form Studio Ghibli and create animation masterpieces including My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke. The cast of voice actors includes Jeff Bridges, Angela Lansbury, Alan Arkin and Christopher Lee. The sound track features the one-hit wonders, America, best known for A Horse with No Name.
From what I’ve gleaned from Wikipedia, Peter S Beagle was none too happy about the way The Last Unicorn profits were divvied up and felt the home DVD versions were sub par prints. So he is touring the country with the authoritative digitally remastered hi-def Last Unicorn. He is happy to autograph books and loves if the audiences dresses in medieval garb.
Beagle’s tour is reminiscent of the early days of animation, when cartoonist Winsor McCay personally introduced his animated Gertie the Dinosaur (1914) to vaudeville audiences. McCay would begin his act with a chalk talk. Then the screen would open and Gertie would appear. McCay tossed a ball to Gertie. Through the magic of animation she caught it every time. Happy Birthday to the Strand! It is wonderful to have some old-fashioned magic, in the form of a unicorn, come to town.