“She will remember your heart when men are fairy tales and books are written by rabbits. Of all unicorns, she is the only one who knows what regret is… and love.”” — The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle
I can’t remember how old I was the first time I saw The Last Unicorn. It was just a magic tale that was always there, waiting for me in the shape of a battered VHS box at the local video store. While my mother would pick from the latest releases, I would go to the shelf and pick up the same empty box, carrying it up to the counter. [As time passed, I bought a VHS copy, before upgrading to DVD.]
I’d watch the movie endlessly, going on the same quest over and over, entranced by the characters. It was one of the first animated films I watched that didn’t have a happy ending, because in the words of Schmendrick the Magician, “There are no happy endings, because nothing ends.”
Those words are written by Peter S. Beagle. While I met the author briefly at Dragon*Con, I was too shy to actually speak to him, to tell him how much this beautiful film meant to me. When I heard his Last Unicorn tour was coming close to us — and to our friends — we instantly decided we had to go. This showing was originally slated to include miniature golf, of all things, but it was rained out. When we arrived at the theater, many were gathered in a circle, listening to Mr. Beagle telling stories, which I thought was so lovely. Later, we all took a group photo, and people broke up among themselves. We gravitated towards Mr. Beagle, and a friend helped break the ice by introducing us. I told him everything I meant to say — that whenever I was sick or sad as a little girl, I’d curl up and watch this film — and when I experienced some health problems in the last few years, a friend had called me a unicorn, jokingly, and for whatever reason that had helped me deal and that the film and the book still gave me so much strength, when I felt like I had none left. I dissolved into tears, and he gave me to the most wonderful hug and told me thank you and we talked a bit more. It was truly one of the most magical moments of my life, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity, and to be surrounded by friends.
The actual film showing was beautiful as well, with a German restoration print being shown this tour. I know this film like the back of the my hand and the new print made me feel like I was watching it for the first time, or in 3D. It felt like every brush stroke, every glittering motion was going to jump off the screen. If you love this film as much as I do–and most Last Unicorn fans do, I find–you’re in for a treat. You can find more about upcoming dates here. If it comes back my way, I will certainly go again, just because the film is so special and it was so wonderful to see so many other fans–unicorns and pirate cats alike–filling a movie theater.
My outfit, which is at best casual cosplay, is meant to evoke Lady Amalthea’s beautiful lavender dress. The locket I’m wearing is a vintage piece recalling the opening credits and the famous tapestries they are based off of. Also featured in this collage is my tattoo, which I got last year. It features the words Marry the Night, from my favorite Lady Gaga song, and a Starry, Starry Night style background, because I love Van Gogh. I hope to one day do a proper cosplay of this character.