Author Peter S. Beagle and co. set off on an amazing worldwide tour adventure in 2013, bringing the beloved classic The Last Unicorn to theaters and to the fans. This tour will stretch into 2016, crossing oceans and spanning the better part of three years. The Last Unicorn, penned by Beagle in 1968, finds a wide and loving audience in its’ 1982 film adaptation featuring the voice talents of Mia Farrow, Jeff Bridges, Alan Arkin, and Tammy Grimes.
The devotion to all things The Last Unicorn is staggering. Fans the world over hold Schmendrick, Molly Grue, Prince Lir, and the Lady Amalthea close to their hearts, a childhood story that passes effortlessly into a grown up tale of inspiration. The tour allows fans a chance to join together in this appreciation. Sold out theaters, gorgeous cosplay, and thankful fans have met the writer and faithful crew at every turn. The official facebook page has countess examples of fan dedication around the world.
The story of The Last Unicorn can be categorized as downright magical, but there’s a realness to it, lessons to take away that will resonate long into adulthood, that will inspire wonder in the everyday and hope when there is little to be found. That’s what it’s done for me.
“Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed. It is all part of the fairy tale.”
Cue the excited bouncing when my fiance presented me with tickets to see the 10:30AM West LA showing at the Laemmle Royal Theater because hell yeah I was going to a screening for my all time favorite. That, by the way, ended abruptly as I realized that I would go on to spend roughly 75% of the film crying in a theater full of people, because everything about this story is upsetting and beautiful and I am guaranteed to cry over it. Oh well. Still excited.
Every screening includes an appearance by Peter S, Beagle himself, and it seems like there have been amazing surprises all along the way. Our showing included a giveaway that provided fans with some beautiful prints and other merchandise. Recently announced was a Last Unicorn Broadway adaptation, helmed by Fergie and Josh Duhamel, who popped in to speak a little on the subject. We were also witness to Connor Cochran, a familiar face to anyone who frequents Beagle’s table at conventions, and producer Lauren Sands adding their names to the official contract. Now we’re just crossing our fingers for a live action film!
Many of the giveaway items could be found for sale after the show. Guest creators have been spending time with the tour as it travels, and the Southern California branch was attended by a brand I fell in love with some months back, NewBreedGirl, who created a line of The Last Unicorn inspired clothing to help fans wear their love with pride. The entire line is gorgeous, which made limiting my spending unbelievably difficult. Peter S. Beagle was also on hand for a Meet and Greet. I’ll never be over what a fascinating, patient, and giving man he has been on the occasions on which I’ve had the pleasure to speak to him (including, unfortunately, our first encounter at a convention wherein I made a bumbling fool of myself because I couldn’t handle being in the presence of greatness).
Do yourself a favor: if this tour is stopping in your parts, pick up a ticket. Get to that theater and listen to Peter S. Beagle’s words make your life a little better. Whether it’s the first time or the hundredth, experience a film that not only looks gorgeous on the big screen but inspires the whimsical fantasy that runs rampant in children and very lucky adults.