So, today is National Unicorn Day! (It was founded in 2015 by some obscure netizen for even obscurer reasons...) To celebrate here are my top ten unicorn movies for the whole family to enjoy. Just, you know, not necessarily together.
The Last Unicorn, 1982. Based on the novel of the same name by Peter S. Beagle, a unicorn learns from a butterfly that she is supposedly the last of her kind. She sets off on a series of adventures to find out it it's true, making both friends and enemies along the way... This classic film will appeal to girly girls everywhere. Not only is there a unicorn, she also spends part of the film transformed into a human wannabe princess!
Legend, 1985. 'Darkness (Tim Curry) seeks to create eternal night by destroying the last of the unicorns. Jack (Tom Cruise) and his friends do everything possible to save the world and Princess Lili (Mia Sara) from the hands of Darkness. Enter a world of unicorns, magic swamps, dwarfs and rainbows.' This is a beautifully shot fairy tale with plenty of unicorn screen time.
Black Moon, 1975. Lily (Cathryn Harrison) seeks solace from the wider world at a rural country estate but once there she encounters all manner of strange and surreal occurrences, not least a unicorn which keeps appearing in the gardens. A weird film, but worth watching.
For more unicorns who live in the imagination, try 2014's I Believe In Unicorns.
Lots of fantasy films, those aimed at kids especially, feature unicorns to prove their fantasy credentials. Here's a small selection including Ella Enchanted (2004), Fantasia (1940), Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001), Stardust (2007), The Secret of Moonacre (2009), and The Chronicles of Narnia films. Put all those unicorn clips together and, voila, one unicorn movie. ;)
Have Rocket, Will Travel, 1959. The Three Stooges are working as janitors at a space centre when they're accidentally blasted off to Venus where they encounter all kinds of weird and wonderful creatures - like a talking unicorn and a giant fire breathing tarantula. Typical stooges wackiness, then!
Nico the Unicorn, 1998. Based on the 1996 book by Frank Sacks, the film follows Billy's struggles to fit in after his mother decides to move them to rural Vermont from Boston after a car accident that killed her husband and Billy's father. One day Billy rescues a pony destined for slaughter - only for the pony to give birth to a unicorn! Billy names the unicorn foal Nico and spends the rest of the movie trying to protect it from all the unscrupulous types who want to make money out of it. Of course, there's a happy ending and all's well that ends well.
Central Intelligence, 2016. This action comedy stars Kevin Hart as Calvin Joyner, former coolest guy in school and current forensic accountant, and Dwayne Johnson as high school geek turned muscular CIA agent, Robbie Weirdicht. On the inside, however, Robbie isn't so different to the starstruck unicorn loving teenager he once was, and when he reconnects with Calvin he's convinced he'll be able to help him bring down a rogue CIA agent and clear his own name. Just because he's Calvin Joyner.
Okay, so it's not the most sophisticated film in the world. But it's good fun, gives a decent chunk of screen time over to the wonder of 'corns, and had a laugh out loud funny explanation of Calvin's new government job written for Yuletide 2016: Everything Is Better With Unicorns.
The Little Unicorn, 2002. When the eponymous little unicorn is captured by a circus owner, it's down to Polly Regan (Brittney Bomann) and her grandfather to rescue it. This direct to video film was not a critical success by any means, but if you have kids clamoring for more unicorn action then it will fit the bill.
My Little Pony: The Movie, 2017. Not content with something as mundane as a unicorn, MLP introduced 'alicorn' (winged unicorn) Twilight Sparkle when it relaunched in 2010. There are endless films, TV episodes, spin-off merchandise, and other associated junk to boost the brand these days and, apparently, there is a hardcore adult fanbase for it. I've yet to understand the appeal - they're not even cute like their 80s counterparts! - but, hey ho. That's parenthood.
For more animated unicorn fun check out Unico, an adorable baby unicorn created by mangaka Osamu Tezuka back in the 1970s, or the pre-school cartoons, Go Away, Unicorn! and Kleo the Misfit Unicorn. There is also the 1985 He-Man movie, The Secret of the Sword, which features Swift Wind, She-Ra's very own winged unicorn.
Porcelain Unicorn, 2010. If you're feeling a little unicorned out by this point, take a look at this award winning and tear jerking short. (Like, three minutes short.) Back in WW2 a uniformed member of the Hitler Youth found a little Jewish girl hiding in an abandoned house. Many years later he has a chance to return a porcelain unicorn to the girl he helped save from discovery.
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