... Based on “The Rescuers and Miss Bianca” by Margery Sharp, ... “The Rescuers” was the first Disney animated film that brought together members of Disney’s “Nine Old Men” animators (including Milt Kahl, Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas) with a new crop of animators, including Glen Keane, Ron Clements and Andy Gaskill. ...
And Don Bluth was a directing animator (with John Pomeroy and Gary Goldman making sizable contributions). Also a host of other youngsters who went on to make major marks in the business.
Milt Kahl departed the studio before The Rescuers finished. Frank and Ollie left in '78 to write "The Illusion of Life," and Woolie Reitherman exited in 1980.
So the picture marked the final project on which much of the animation crew from the 1930s labored from start to finish. Nobody knew it at the time, but The Rescuers was the swan song for Lounsberry, Johnston, Thomas, Kahl, Reitherman, and Ken Anderson. And 1977 was the year that four decades of work with the animation department's long-time core came to an end.