Finding the Magic in a Forgotten Classic: The Last Unicorn

Have you ever wondered about when the last unicorn existed? Find out the journey of this last unicorn from one of literature’s classics.

Book Culture Classics Fantasy Recommendations
The Last Unicorn movie scene showing the unicorn looking up at the moon.

A lot of things happened in 1982. One of those events that aren’t recognized was the release of the movie adaptation, The Last Unicorn. I grew up watching this movie, yet no one outside of my family knew about it. The film stemmed from a classic novel, and it deserves more recognition- especially since it’s now 55 years old.

The Novel

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle is one of the most-known pieces of literature involving unicorns. Beagle writes about a unicorn who lives alone in the enchanted forest and finds out one day that she is “the last of her kind.” With this new information, she wants to find out for herself if she truly is the last unicorn to be walking the earth. During her journey, she meets unique characters such as Schmendrick, the magician, who becomes a true friend of hers. She learns the emotions of life on her quest, whether that be of a unicorn or human.

The cover of The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle; a green cover showing drawn earth elementals with a yellow unicorn shaped of line work in the center.

This novel is truly a fresh and classic fantasy that should be a must-read for fantasy and unicorn fans alike. The story feels like a truly original tale and is a classic fantasy compared to what most people read in the genre now. It will transport you into a magical world and may keep you constantly turning to each page to know what happens next. If you are a fan of classic literature, this is one piece to make sure you have in your collection — and it may be your new favorite!

The Movie

The film adaptation creates a spot-on storyline that keeps you hooked from beginning to end. The music fits with the theme, and the animation is a work of art of its own. We are welcomed into a world filled with darkness and light, mortality and magic. With about half and half of the characters being loveable to hateable, you will surely find a connection in at least one character’s story that they tell. It’s truly a beautiful story to follow, and you can choose to watch it before or after the book. The saturated colors throughout the whole film will keep you memorized and entranced through the last unicorn’s journey of a lifetime.

The last unicorn and Schmendrick the magician looking at each other.

There is a reason why I grew so attached to this film as I was growing up — it gave me hope for the creatures who may have been forgotten in this world, those who are assumed extinct while there could be some out there. The Last Unicorn makes you question if there can ever truly be “a last” of something.

This niche franchise is one for all ages to enjoy. It teaches you life lessons as well as gives some insight into the beauties of nature and its animals. They are all precious forms of life that may not seem as important until reading the book or watching the movie. I hope you enjoy this recommendation, and stay tuned for more at Bookstr!

To read another article about unicorns in literature, check out this article!