Video Review

Pegasus (1990)

EW's GRADE
C-

Details Genres: Animation, Kids and Family; With: Mia Farrow

While there is no known record of a Mr. Ed in Greek mythology, it is clear the ancients knew full well that a horse need not always be a horse, of course. Take Pegasus, for example. Not only could he trot, canter, and gallop, he also could taxi, climb, and level off at 20,000 feet.

In Pegasus Mia Farrow, as the muse Urania, is unobtrusive yet affecting as she narrates this generally unappealing version of the story of the winged horse born in a pool of blood left after Perseus cut off Medusa's head. (Medusa was the lady who had snakes instead of split ends.) Although many kids will no doubt be fascinated by such violence, the scenes depicting it are wisely understated. Even when the young Bellerophon, Pegasus' keeper, rides into battle to slay the Chimaera, a multiheaded monster, the mayhem is minimal.

The dramatic orchestration by Ernest Troost expertly matches music with scene, from the moment Urania first sees Pegasus, when he's a foal, to the climactic finish, when the old and embittered Bellerophon tries to ride Pegasus to Mount Olympus to join Zeus and the gang.

Unfortunately, the animation, in the simpleminded Saturday-morning TV style, is disappointingly unimaginative and careless. Faces frequently lack expression, and there's too much reliance on motionless drawings. In some scenes, Urania's eyes are black; in one, they're greenish-brown. The white anemone she says she put on Pegasus' mane is blue and brown. The golden bridle Bellerophon slips over Pegasus is golden in one scene, black in the next.

Perhaps the biggest flaw is in the depiction of Pegasus during takeoffs. He's a klutz. No wonder Zeus wouldn't let him join the club. C-

Originally posted Jan 18, 1991 Published in issue #49 Jan 18, 1991 Order article reprints