Disney’s version of The Rescuers came out way back in 1977 to be the 23rd animated feature film by the company. The plot revolves around the Rescue Aid Society, an international organization headquartered in New York City right alongside the United Nations. They are dedicated to helping abduction victims around the world. Oh, and its members are all mice.
We will have a review of the book that this film is based on soon, but suffice to say, the two have quite a few differences! But for the purpose of this post, we are going to focus on a wonderful piece of merchandise that was released to promote the film:
Aladdin Industries is well known for manufacturing metal lunch boxes featuring all of the most beloved franchises. If it was a television show, a movie, or a comic character, Aladdin slapped it on the side of someone’s lunch!
And speaking of sides, let’s have a look at the images on the sides of this particular box:
This box features many of the main scenes from the film. I like the level of detail and faithful renderings of the characters and how they are ‘on model’, so to speak. This is easier with cartoon or animated characters. I’ve seen some truly laughable renderings of human characters on lunch boxes!
The bottom of the box has perhaps one of the saddest scenes from the film. Penny has been passed over for adoption once again, and she feels that it’s because another girl, who was chosen, was prettier than her. Old Rufus the cat is there to cheer her up and says “Oh, why, she couldn’t be!” Get’s ya in the feels every time!
Whatever young child proudly carried this lunch box to school must have loved bananas! And variety! There are stickers from five different companies. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what does a banana a day do?
The blue sticker features Minnie Mouse and a young mouse who is either Morty or his twin brother Ferdie. The L4 and number 24 are a mystery, but then it says ‘Mickey Kin’. ‘Kin’ is defined as one’s family and relations. But Minnie isn’t Mickey’s wife although the boy is one of Mickey’s nephews. Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse first appeared in Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse Sunday comic strip in the story entitled Mickey’s Nephews (published in 1932). Maybe that’s not Minnie but Mickey’s unseen sister?
Another fun possibility, though unlikely, is a crossword clue Mickey and kin with 4 letters that was last seen on the January 1st, 1981, episode of Jeopardy. The likely answer to this clue is MICE.
Most of these old lunch boxes are missing the thermos, or if they have it, the thermos itself might be missing the stopper or cup. Sometimes a lunch box will have the wrong thermos for the set. This example does have the correct, and a complete, thermos.
However, if you go back up to the images of the inside of the lunch box itself, you will notice that the metal bracket that holds the thermos in place is missing.
Another nice feature of this thermos is that it has a flip-up ‘straw’ so that the contents can be drank without opening the stopper or using the cup. If you’re thirsty, it holds about 8 US ounzes.
The condition of this lunch box and thermos set is fair to good. I prefer this level of rust and damage to a mint condition example because I feel it gives it a bit of history and makes a better presentation piece. But that’s just me.
If you’d like to have more fun with The Rescuers, I have a book that continues the story of the team (but not the story from Rescuers Down Under) check out my earlier post on the Disney’s Wonderful World of Reading series. The book in question is called The Rescuers in ‘Trouble in Devil’s Bayou’.