A comedy filled with tenderness as a baby raccoon snuggles his way into the life of a lonely boy. He becomes the boy's only companion during his father's frequent absences. Because of Rascal, both father and son realize their responsibility to each other.
Steve Forrest ... Willard North
Bill Mumy ... Sterling North
Pamela Toll ... Theo North
Elsa Lanchester ... Mrs. Satterfield
Henry Jones ... Garth Shadwick
Bettye Ackerman ... Miss Whalen
Jonathan Daly ... Reverend Thurman
John Fiedler ... Cy Jenkins
Richard Erdman ... Walter Dabbett
Herbert Anderson ... Mr. Pringle
Robert Emhardt ... Constable Stacey
Steve Carlson ... Norman Bradshaw
Walter Pidgeon ... Sterling North (voice)
The year was 1969 and everything was groovy. Even Disney released "The Love Bug" which became the biggest domestic hit of that year. Squashed into uniplexes somewhere between "The Love Bug" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" kids were treated to a quiet little bit of Americana called "Rascal." About as Disney as you can get, "Rascal" is the story about a boy and his raccoon. We've seen it before and after, a boy domesticates a wild animal, animal causes mischief, neighbors blame for every mishap in the area, and by the end of the film the boy must release the animal back into the wild. No computer generated whales, talking pigs, or alien visitors, just the Disney crew doing what they did best. Disney has made a ton of these and they work. "Rascal" is one of the best. Considering the Sterling North classic novel is still popular and in print I wonder why it hasn't been released on video and/or remade. At the time of this writing odds of seeing this film at all are very rare and that is a shame considering the inferior product being released direct-to-video for kids today. Considering the Disney label it would seem this would be ripe for a release on video. Add to that the cult following of star Bill Mumy ("Lost in Space," "Babylon 5") and you have a winner.
This movie is based on an autobiography of the same name. Searching up Brailsford Junction, WI, however, will yield very few results. As it turns out, I live in the original town, Edgerton, and we are proud of Sterling's story, and the history it has added to our city. I was able to watch this on DVD recently, and I must say, I wish films like this one were made more often today. I found it entertaining even though there were no swears, no jokes about drugs or bodily functions, or violence, not that there's anything wrong with it. But it's certainly a welcome change to see this film pull it off so well. Maybe it's my general slant towards the back-story of the film that makes me able to appreciate it more, but it sure is fun to say, "Hey; I've been there!" I give this film a five...out of five.
I have just seen Rascal for the first time and found it very enjoyable. One reason for me purchasing this movie was for two of its stars, who have played two of the most well known characters in science fiction: Billy Mumy, who played Will Robinson in Lost In Space and The Bride of Frankenstein herself, Elsa Lanchester who plays a school teacher in this.
A boy has just broke up from school for the summer and he finds a raccoon which he takes in as a pet and names it Rascal. The boy is on his own for most of the holiday as his sister and dad are working away. His mum is dead. So he, Rascal and his pet dog get up to all sorts of adventures, and cause chaos in the process. But time comes eventually to send Rascal back into the wild and does so at the end and meets a fellow raccoon.
Rascal is nicely shot in colour and contains some good scenery.
Also in the cast are Steve Forest and Pamela Toll. Narration is provided by another star who is well known for one of his sci-fi movies: Walter Pigeon (Forbidden Planet).
Rascal is a nice way to spend an hour and a half one evening. Excellent.
Rascal, the Sterling North novel that has been a longtime fixture of Scholastic Magazine book clubs, was given Tiffany treatment by the Disney studios in 1969. Bill Mumy plays young Sterling North, whose Wisconsin childhood is enriched through his friendship with a stray raccoon. Though lacking the emotional depth of the novel, the film is distinguished by the lovingly detailed outdoor photography that has always been a Disney hallmark. Likewise a "regular" in the Disney canon are scenes of animals wreaking comic destruction and wild chase sequences, and Rascal does not flag when offering these. A favorite of the Saturday matinee circuit, Rascal has in recent years become a standard weekend TV offering whenever a sports event is rained out or otherwise delayed.