Small childhood delights.
The Last Unicorn came to Toronto on an across Canada tour with Peter S. Beagle leading the way to sign autographs and answer any questions you might have. I somehow managed to hear about it in time to buy tickets and convince the bestie to come with. Before the 4 pm showing at the Yonge-Dundas cinemas Peter and his highly entertaining manager answered our questions and gave away prizes: books, t-shirts, and some great art.* Peter answered our questions, and one that I found interesting, “Is there a character in the film that is based on anyone in your life?” The answer? The butterfly. Peter explained that he is the closest to someone he knows, and that someone is himself… at ~23-years of age when the story first came to life (before it was finally published in 1968).
The story? A lone unicorn learns she is the last of her kind, and through the help of a butterfly discovers what happened to the others (a red bull is involved). She sets on a quest, meets some interesting characters, makes friends along the way, and challenges the Red Bull to bring the story to a conclusion.
I first learned of the 1982 animated film at some point in the 80s —I am a child of the 80s after all— and have fond memories of watching it with my friends and fellow classmates at our cute and girly birthday parties. The interesting fact is that because I/we grew up in the Middle East, this childhood delight of a film made its way to us. And with that, nostalgia and obsession with unicorns were born.
While in line to buy a print, we noted some interesting cosplay, overheard some entertaining conversations, and felt altogether out of place. Regardless, I’m happy I went and very glad I bought a print and had it signed by Peter himself. I did share with with him and his manager that I grew up watching it overseas, and was told that for a new edition graphic novel they are coming out with (that will have fans’ stories of what The Last Unicorn meant to them) they want my story to be shared. Nice little ego boost. Nice little afternoon.
It plays today in London, ON, on to Hamilton tomorrow, and will end the tour on May 21 in Halifax, NS. Happy to be Canadian, happy to know the reason for the Canadian tour is because traction couldn’t be gained in the US, but Cineplex apparently loved the idea.
*Art like a 2014 poster for this Canadian tour. And for all you Game of Throne fans, we learned that Peter is friends with George R.R. Martin, and they gave away (and are selling) a signed print of a scene with Haggard sitting on the Iron Throne. I was conflicted. I didn’t end up buying this print, but went with the one pictured here.