|The Fearless Four|
German theatrical poster
|Produced by||Eberhard Junkersdorf|
Klausjürgen Wussow (German)|
Christopher Gaze (English)
|Music by||Péter Wolf|
|Editing by||Uli Schön|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Family Entertainment|
October 2, 1997(Germany) |
December 5, 1997 (United States)
|Running time||89 minutes|
The Fearless Four (German: Die furchtlosen Vier) is a 1997 animated film about four funny animals that all have one thing in common: they want to sing, but can't for whatever reason. The film was produced by Munich Animation and released by Warner Bros. Family Entertainment.
The film follows the carefree lives of easygoing bloodhound Buster, the woeful mule Fred, the graceful Siamese cat Gwendolyn and the self-assured rooster Tortellini. Originally intending to go to Paris to seek fame, Buster and Fred, and Tortellini and Gwen later, wind up going in the wrong direction — to Bremen. They only realize their mistake when they get lost in a forest and come upon an owl, who tells them they are, in fact, nowhere near Paris. She does however, point them in the direction of Bremen, the nearest city.
Setting up as street performers the next day, they attract the attention of a few people, and regardless of the apparent ordnance against street performers, get scouted by Mix Max (a mass media and food making company which is later revealed to be an animal genocide prison) managers, who refers them to the corporate head, who in turn agrees to sign them on. The Fearless Four (as they have dubbed themselves) agree to sign a contract, with only slight vocal reservations. It is perhaps worth noting that the caricature of one of the music managers is a stereotypical girly man, with a ponytail and a lisp.
Originally billed as a rock and "classic" (meaning 80s-esque) music group, the Four's rock songs send Mix Max stocks soaring in several newspapers (the Fall Street Journal among them). As they get tired of the public eye, things get steadily worse for the group, which isn't helped by their rebellious attitude. They end up being put in jail and Fred gets tickle tortured as punishment. They later plan a prison break (with the help of Mozart, who is just a little bat-eared mouse), discovers Mix Max's inside purpose to produce red meat by slaughtering animals, but they are apparently recaptured and then they finally get Mix Max out of buisness during an election.
The story was very loosely inspired by the folk tale of the Town Musicians of Bremen.
|Character||Original German||English Dub (Warner Bros. version)|
|Buster the Dog||Hartmut Engler||James Ingram|
|Gwendolyn the Cat||Sandra Schwarzhaupt||Oleta Adams|
|Fred the Donkey||Mario Adorf||B.B. King|
|Tortellini the Rooster||Joachim Kemmer||Zucchero|
|Dr. Greed||Peer Augustinski||Ian James Corlett|
|Dr. Sevenbrains||Ulrich Voss||Robert O. Smith|
|Animals' vocal effects||Frank Welker|
|Dr. Greed's Snake||Danny Mann|
|Narrator||Klausjürgen Wussow||Christopher Gaze|
CGI animation sequencesEdit
Home media and merchandise and international release Edit
In North America, the English version was released on Warner Home Video on May 7, 1998. The DVD was released on September 28, 2003. The most recent release was a re-release of the same DVD, but bundled with Rover Dangerfield, which was released on July 4, 2007. A Region 2 VHS was released in the United Kingdom on July 19, 1999. Greece, Russia, and Italy (as La Banda Del Rock - I Musicanti De Bremen) had a VHS release around or after 1998. France had a VHS release on September 15, 1999 (as Les musiciens de Bréme). Brazil got the film on February 20, 1998 and had a VHS release too. It was called Os Quatros Aventureiros there in the country. The film premiered in the Netherlands in 2002 as De Bremer Stadsmuzikanten on VHS. Other countries like Spain (called Los Musicos de Bremen) had a VHS and possible DVD release too. The film is very rare in North America, really now only available from sources like Vudu, YouTube, and the Xbox video and music app. the film in the English version will be available on Netflix in the fall of 2016
In places outside of Germany, such as France, the Netherlands, Italy, and North America, scenes were cut from the original version, like the scene where the animals celebrating and drinking wine after the Mix Max factory is destroyed, and Dr. Greed basically being reduced to a few cameos and being at the finale. This reduces the film's run time to about 81 minutes.
Stuffed animals, a soundtrack, BullyLand figures, books and other items were produced for the movie's release.
The film went on television in North America on Encore (Encore Wam) years ago. It went on television in France on channels like AB3 and in the United Kingdom on Cartoon Network, and in Canada on YTV in 2010 and Treehouse TV in 2013. and has also appeared on other channels internationally.
The film was a 1997 holiday season release with Anastasia, Flubber, Alien Resurrection, The Borrowers (1997), Home Alone 3, Titanic (1997), MouseHunt, Mr. Magoo (film) and the re-release of The Little Mermaid (1989).