Oliver and Company review
Disney’s “remake” of “Oliver Twist” is pretty darn adorable. Oliver, a tiny, helpless kitten, has been abandoned, unloved, unwanted, and unsheltered, on the streets of New York City. Alone and scared, the tiny copper-colored kitten seeks refuge in an area of the city that is frequented by The Artful Dodger, or Dodger, for short. Dodger is clever, street-wise dog who knows his way around the dangerous city, and it doesn’t take Dodger very long to con naïve Oliver into helping him distract a hot-dog vendor while Dodger grabs the goods and runs off. Oliver, however, follows Dodger back to his den of devious, downtrodden dogs and ends up becoming a part of the gang.
This particular gang is run by Fagin, who owes a man a lot of money and can’t seem to come up with the cash. Oliver and friends hit the Big City in order to round up any valuables that they can get their paws on to help their master out. When Oliver and the dogs discover Jenny, a young girl whose parents are loaded, they go in for the money, but unfortunately, things go wrong and Oliver ends up getting caught and the gang is forced to leave him behind.
As soon as the pups are able to, they head out in search of little Oliver, and eventually end up finding him at Jenny’s home. However, Oliver, having never had a real family, quite likes living with the attentive and loving Jenny, and doesn’t want to return with his pals. Not everyone in Jenny’s home is happy with having the kitten there, though, and things begin to take a turn for the worst for Oliver…and others. Oliver learns what true friendship means and what real family is and has some adventures along the way as this movie takes some fun…twists (hahaha…).
I really enjoy this movie, but mostly for the sentimental value, I suppose. I remember loving this film when I was rather young, and watching it as an adult, I can recognize that it’s not as good as I remember it being. The animation is so-so (though not bad for the time of the film’s release in 1989). Despite the “G” rating, this movie starts off pretty sad (a kitten about to drown in a cardboard box as rain pours in, the kitten about to get washed down into the sewer-drain, nearly getting trampled by people who pass, etc), and even scary for kids in some parts (car accidents, violence, blood). However, a lot of earlier Disney movies with darker situations were only rated “G” back then, so it’s unsurprising.
The voice-acting is decent and even good in some parts, and include songs performed by musical greats like Billy Joel, Huey Lewis and Bette Midler.
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