THE LAST UNICORN

2180
Price: $17.00
Museum Member Price: $15.30

The Last Unicorn Paperback –   Illustrated, January 1, 1991
by Peter S. Beagle

The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone…

…so she ventured out from the safety of the enchanted forest on a quest for others of her kind. Joined along the way by the bumbling magician Schmendrick and the indomitable Molly Grue, the unicorn learns all about the joys and sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of a despondent monarch—and confronting the creature that would drive her kind to extinction....

In The Last Unicorn, renowned and beloved novelist Peter S. Beagle spins a poignant tale of love, loss, and wonder that has resonated with millions of readers around the world.

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Ace; Reissue edition (January 1, 1991)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0451450523
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0451450524
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.8 ounces
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.28 x 0.63 x 8.1 inches

 
Shop our collection of exclusive product featuring the artwork from The Last Unicorn including limited-edition tees, accessories, animation cels, and skateboard decks.  Animated by some of the same team who would go on to work with Hayao Miyazaki at Studio Ghibli, The Last Unicorn is a jewel of a film that has been treasured for generations.
 
About the film:
 
Director and producer: Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass
Co-producer: Masaki Iizuka
Story and Screenplay: Peter S. Beagle (based on his novel)
Executive producer: Martin Starger

The Last Unicorn is a 1982 animated fantasy film about a unicorn who, upon learning that she is the last of her species on Earth, goes on a quest to find out what has happened to others of her kind. Based on the 1968 novel The Last Unicorn written by Peter S. Beagle, who also wrote the film's screenplay, the film was directed and produced by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass. It was produced by Rankin/Bass Productions for ITC Entertainment and animated by Topcraft.

The film includes the voices of Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Angela Lansbury, and Christopher Lee. The musical score and the songs were composed and arranged by Jimmy Webb, and performed by the group America and the London Symphony Orchestra, with additional vocals provided by Lucy Mitchell.

Peter S. Beagle stated that there had been interest in creating a film based on the book early on. Those who expressed interest included Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez of the Peanuts television specials, though Beagle had been convinced by one of their partners' wives that they were "not good enough", as well as former 20th Century Fox animator Les Goldman. At the time, Beagle believed that "animated was the only way to go" with regard to the film, and had never thought of making it into a live-action film. Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass' New York-based production company, Rankin/Bass Productions, had been the last studio that the film's associate producer, Michael Chase Walker, approached, and Beagle was "horrified" when he was informed that they had made a deal with Walker. Beagle stated that he has "…come to feel that the film is actually a good deal more than I had originally credited", and went on to say "There is some lovely design work – the Japanese artists who did the concepts and coloring were very good. And the voice actors do a superb job in bringing my characters to life…"

While Rankin/Bass provided the film's dialogue and story based on Beagle's work, the animation was done at Topcraft in Tokyo, Japan, headed by former Toei Animation employee Toru Hara, with Masaki Iizuka being in charge of the production. The studio, which previously animated The Hobbit (1977) and The Return of the King (1979, 1980), The Stingiest Man in Town (1978), Frosty's Winter Wonderland and other cel-animated projects from Rankin/Bass, would later be hired by Hayao Miyazaki to work on Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and their core members eventually went on to form Studio Ghibli. According to Beagle, the final film ended up being "remarkably close" to his original script, although one scene at the end involving an encounter with a princess was "animated but eventually cut."
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