Initial Release (1996)
Rainbow graced us with its presence in the year 1995. It was the sophomore directorial effort for noted actor Bob Hoskins. It also happened to star Hoskins as an eccentric magician. As you might have guessed the film involves a Rainbow. And this Rainbow plays a very important role in the world in which this film is set. The color we see around us, the air we breathe, is possible because of the Rainbow. But when the Rainbow is tampered with by a group of kids (the 90’s version of The Goonies) they disrupt the flow of color. Inside the Rainbow there is gold. And when the gold is removed the Rainbow loses its power to produce colors. Everything turns black and white, trees can no longer produce oxygen, people get mean and grouchy, and the world basically turns to shit. It’s up to the same kids to return what they stole and restore balance.
Do you remember that episode of Futurama, where the crew pluck Chronoton Particles to create super monsters to play the Harlem Globetrotters in basketball? Rainbow is something like that, just without the time skips and showboating Globetrotter algebra.
The film was an unfortunate flop as it was never given a release in the United States. Distribution of the film in the U.S market was hampered due to the fact that the Canadian territory had been sold prior to filming. The major studios decided, in spite of their keen interest in the film and its A-List cast including Hoskins and Dan Aykroyd, that it was too much of a financial risk to invest in prints and advertising, in the absence of total North American Territory rights and their projected box office revenues.
My Full Experience
I was 9 years old. My mother took me to Video Quest (our local video store). Friday evenings after school was Movie Night. I loved Movie Night. But my brother and I couldn’t decide on what to rent so my mother picked for us. I wasn’t too thrilled with her choice and I let her know it. It was a film about a goddamn Rainbow! Last week we watched Dragon Heart. That absolutely blew my mind! And here we were about the watch a bunch of stupid kids try to find a stupid colorful half circle.
Rainbow reminded me very much of The Goonies. It had that tight group of friends with a passion for adventure, and connection to community and family. The lead character was even called Mikey, for-crying-out-loud! But The Goonies it was not.
I started to kick up a fuss around the time everything went black and white. I was bored. Disruptively bored. I began picking on my younger brother, acting undignified and disrespectful – a real dick. My mother decided she had had enough. She ejected the VHS (remember those?) from the VCR (remember these too?) and put the tape back into its box. Movie night was over. I crossed the line and ruined a very good thing.
I was sent to bed early for my indiscretions. But I couldn’t fall asleep. My mind was racing. Rainbow had somehow found a way into my thoughts and was running around like a maniac. I needed to know how the story ended. I need to find out if everyone went back to the way things were in the beginning. I needed to know the world was going to be saved.
It left an uneasy feeling in my stomach. I was sick with the thought that I’d never find out. But I was determined not to let anything stand in my way. I woke up early on Saturday morning, tip-toed my way to the living room, released the VHS tape from its prison, and slotted it into the VCR towards freedom. My mother had forgotten to rewind the tape and it played from where I left off.
A massive weight lifted from my shoulders when the credits rolled. I was genuinely satisfied with how the events played out. But Movie Night would not be allowed again for several weeks later due to my behavior. Sorry, bro. I can barely remember what happens in Rainbow, except for the main plot. But it is one of the films I vividly remember from childhood. I know that’s an oxymoron but let me explain. The film itself didn’t leave that much of an impact. It was my experience while watching, which made it memorable. If I hadn’t acted the way I did, and then crept down early the next morning, I don’t imagine I would have as powerful a memory of the film.
I would recommend tracking it down. It’s a fun, family film. Like Bow-Ties, Rainbows are cool!
Initial Release (1996)