good ol' ev!

a tribute to
evinrude the dragonfly


You have chanced upon Good Ol' Ev!, a little tribute to the awesome little dragonfly Evinrude from Disney's The Rescuers (1977). Here, you'll find out who this little guy is, why he's so important to the movie's plot, and what makes him a fantastic character.


November 7th, 2016

I've tidied up around this site and smoothed out some rough edges--check and see what you think!

basics ❖ his role ❖ plot effects ❖ why evinrude?
songs ❖ further info ❖ site

the basic plot of "the rescuers"

The movie follows two mice, Bernard and Bianca, who are part of the "Rescue Aid Society" answering a call for help sent by a little girl named Penny. Penny ran away from the orphanage and was subsequently kidnapped by a woman named Medusa and her lackey, Snoops.

Medusa and Snoops are now holding Penny captive in a houseboat in New Orleans, forcing her to go down into tiny half-sunken mines to seek a fabled large diamond called the Devil's Eye.

Secretly, however, Penny has been smuggling out written cries for help in bottles, and one of these messages finally reaches the Rescue Aid Society. Bernard and Bianca answer the call and set out to find Penny.

Once Bernard and Bianca reach New Orleans (a stormy flying adventure in and of itself), they're faced with another problem: they cannot cross the great distance of swampy, gator-filled water to reach the houseboat.

But Ellie Mae, a local rodent, knows exactly whom she can call on: Evinrude the dragonfly, who pilots the fastest leaf boat in the swamp!

evinrude's role in the film

Evinrude accepts Bernard and Bianca's request for help, and uses his wing power to speed the two mice on toward the houseboat, getting them there in no time. They reach Penny's room to try to rescue her, but they soon realize they will not be able to escape alone--they need more help.

So Bernard leans out Penny's window and calls to Evinrude, asking the little dragonfly to "go get Ellie Mae" and presumably the rest of the animals to help them. Evinrude accepts, and flies off--but his flight is marked by several very hungry bats, as seen in the video clip above.

Dodging and weaving, Evinrude deftly avoids the bats, flying straight through a spider's web and hiding in an old bottle until the bats get frustrated and fly away...then, after a good while, he darts back out of the bottle and on to Ellie Mae's house to carry the call for help. He's near exhausted when he finally reaches the house, flying down the chimney and out of the pot-belly stove. A drop of alcohol soon revives him, though, and he leads the charge to the houseboat, which gets Bernard and Bianca the help they need to rescue Penny at last.

evinrude's effects on the plot

why he's a great character

tenacious He will not give up trying to fly even though he's exhausted and outnumbered
courageous He faces down a dragonfly's worst fears (spiders, bats), because others need him
good-natured He does what others request of him without complaint
dependable Others know him as the dragonfly with "the fastest boat in the swamp"
humble He does not brag or preen about his successes
clever He evades the bats with unusual tactics
adorable I mean, just look at that little sweater vest!

Without Evinrude lending his wings and effort, Bernard and Bianca would never be able to save Penny, not even with the help of the swamp dwelling rodents. Evinrude's specialized effort makes the rescue possible, even though he's only a minor character. He is a classic example of a "helper," as Fred Rogers describes in the video below:

"My mother used to say, whenever there would be...a catastrophe, 'Always look for the helpers. There will always be helpers, even just on the sidelines.'"

I love helper characters because they remind me of what kind of person I want to be for others. Helpers are often the unsung heroes, the ones who don't get a lot of fan attention but really should. Evinrude is one such character, showing us viewers that even if we think we're doing nothing much in our lives, helping only in small ways, we can in fact be changing others' lives just by doing what we do best.

character songs

I find the two songs below very fitting for Evinrude as a character; "The Call" fits his humbly heroic personality and actions, and "Home" draws on the Deep South blues of the swamp he lives in, combined with the idea of going home, which is what Penny desperately wants. The bolded parts of the lyrics fit him the best (in my personal view), but listen through and see what you think!

The Call - Regina Spektor; lyrics

It started out as a feeling
Which then grew into a hope
Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word
And then that word grew louder and louder
'Til it was a battle cry
I'll come back when you call me
No need to say goodbye

Just because everything's changing
Doesn't mean it's never been this way before
All you can do is try to know who your friends are
As you head off to the war
Pick a star on the dark horizon and follow the light

You'll come back when it's over
No need to say goodbye
You'll come back when it's over
No need to say goodbye

Now we're back to the beginning
It's just a feeling and no one knows yet
But just because they can't feel it too
Doesn't mean that you have to forget
Let your memories grow stronger and stronger
'Til they're before your eyes
You'll come back when they call you
No need to say goodbye
You'll come back when they call you
No need to say goodbye

Home - Marc Broussard; lyrics

Rolling down the road
Going nowhere

Guitar packed in the trunk
Somewhere round mile marker 112
Papa started hummin the funk
I gotta jones in my bones before we know
We were singing this melody
Stop the car pulled out the guitar
Halfway to New Orleans

Said take me home
Take me home

Could feel the sun about to rise
When I realized we had nothing to fear

It's just me and my daddy and a kid named Cope
Making music that nobody would hear
And then the sun let up and it split the night
Spilling over our jubilee

Ten thousand cars by the side of the road
Grooving far as the eye can see

Said take me home
Take me home
Said take me home
Said take me home

This greyhound is delta bound mama
Baby boy done finally found
Said this greyhound is delta bound mama
Baby boy done finally found his way home
Said take me home

Hot damn you should have felt the groove
Like I was swimming in a sea of soul
The sun was rising and the day was hot
And we was all about to lose control
My daddy turned his face up towards the sky
And I knew that there was nothing to lose
I felt the crowd breathe in and I closed my eyes
And we disappeared into the groove

Said take me home
Said take me home
Take me home
Said take me home

Straight from the water
Straight from the water children

[Repeat x3]
You don't know nothing about this

Take me home
Said take me home

further info



Solstice - Anna & Elsa (Frozen) Mr. Green Christmas - Heat Miser (The Year Without a Santa Claus) Change for the Better - Beast (Beauty and the Beast) Bellringer - Quasimodo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) Racer - Vanellope Von Schweetz (Wreck-It Ralph) Fly Again - Queen Clarion & Lord Milori (Tinker Bell) Nightmares - Pitch (Rise of the Guardians) Ardor - Lumiere (Beauty and the Beast) Dynamic Family - The Incredibles Warmth in Winter - Elsa (Frozen) Photosynthesis - EVE (WALL-E)

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