As one of Tezuka's more mild and childfriendly concepts, Unico has its cuteness factor rising to soaring heights in its secod installment, but has a small tragedy hidden beneath the exterior.
That does not stop it from being a very cute and childish fantasy.
The story of Unico is a little different than the first film, starting with the backstory of our little hero. Unico is a small unicorn who has the power to spead happiness to all living creatures. The gods become angry at this, however, for they feel that happiness should be earned and not given. They order the West Wind to banish Unico to the Hill of Oblivion, where he will remain in solitude forever. The kindhearted West Wind decides to place Unico elsewhere instead, and from there, Unico's adventures begin.
The plot is generally easy and follows the same formula; Unico is banished, the West Wind brings him to some new place or world, he goes on an adventure and makes new friends, and in the end, when the gods find him, he must go with the West Wind to find another hiding place, losing his memories of the friends he has made and the adventures he has gone on. For all three movies, this happens, but this movie is the only one that has, essentially, three "parts" or "sections" to them, and ties them in altogether in the end. The first is Unico meeting the Demon of Solitude, Akuma-kun (or Beezle to those listening to the dub), and trying to become friends with the selfish devil. The second is Unico meeting an abandoned cat named Chao (or Katy), who wishes to become a witch and desperately tries to find a witch to teach her magic. The last part deals with Chao/Katy falling head over heels for a mysterious lord, Danshaku (or Baron de Ghost), but she soon finds she is in danger, and Unico must help her, with the assistance of Akuma-kun and the West Wind. While all three are generally paced fine, the last part seems the most rushed. The first two did not need much time, and because they were given more time, they were paced much better. The last part is a little forced but its not bad; its just very noticeable in a well paced movie. Aside from that, the premise is simple and aimed at children more than anything. There are, however, some surprisingly violent and scary scenes towards the end of the film, some that can take one by surprise in a fluffy movie like this. But even though it is simple, its a pretty enjoyable, but ultimately heartwrenching, ride.
The animation in the movie is nothing spectacular but its done pretty well for the time it was made. The designs were close to the ones from the manga, and Tezuka's style transfers over well into the movie.
The soundtrack is really not memorable. There are a couple of songs that might get stuck in your head, and some are sweet, but in the end, the soundtrack is not something recognizable. The Japanese cast does a great job in the film and is the better of the tracks. The English dub is pretty okay, but rough at the same time. There are some actors who do not do as well as others, but its tolerable.
Nearly every characters is two-dimensional. There is the obvious villain, the obvious hero, the wishful girl (in this case, a cat). Akuma-kun is really the only one with a larger personality; he wants to make friends, but he is selfish and does not know how to, and can often act aggressively, but does have a kind heart underneath. The rest of the cast is pretty much straightforward, and they are all mainly tolerable (if you can get past some of Katy's whining).
While nothing complex or exactly gripping, Unico does what it needs to do; explain a simple and fluffy story that'll be appealing to the children. But, for what it is worth, it is pretty enjoyable to anyone of any age, and should be given a try at least once.
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