Oliver and Company
Oliver and Company shows exactly where Disney is headed with their animated features. It had a start studded cast, catchy songs, memorable sidekicks… It is everything that the Disney renaissance will be in the next handful of movies. Unfortunately for Oliver and Company, the box office isn’t as spectacular and the intellectual properties of the show are not used very often. There are no rides in the parks, no costumed characters walking around, you rarely even hear the hit song “Why Should I Worry?”.
The movie is loosely based on the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. It follows the story of an orphaned cat who befriends a street gang. The story takes twists and turns as it speaks about the importance of love, friendship and the need for different types of companions. The story is decent and doesn’t lag anywhere.
The characters are fun. Dodger is the cool guy from the wrong side of the tracks. Oliver is the cute but determined kitten. And Tito is the loveable little guy that thinks he is a monster. The group is a bunch of loveable underdogs.
The animation is starting to get that Disney feel to it. Although it lacks the personality of Little Mermaid or Aladdin, it does have its own feel. Where The Great Mouse Detective got lost in the style of the times feeling similar to Fievel or Nimh, Oliver and Company does not have the same issue. It makes itself distinct from its competitors in Land Before Time. But there are scenes, the action ones to be specific, where it feels very generic and dark.
“Why Should I Worry?” is a great song and should be on any Disney rotation, but it isn’t. It could be a great addition to any Disney parade. It feels like a song that was good enough for an Academy Award nomination, but it missed the mark. The last year would be left out for a while. Billy Joel did a great job and had this movie followed the Little Mermaid I feel it would be on the list of greats with Beauty and the Beast.
As good as the movie is, it still has its problems. The main one being it gets a bit lost as another cat/dog movie. It is the fifth in the twenty-seven movies so far. It is also a kidnapping movie which has also become somewhat of a trope for the Disney the films at this point.
Run Time – 74 Minutes
61st Academy Awards – 0 Nomination – 0 Wins
Disney Animated Canon so far in order of Quality
1. Lady and the Tramp 6-22-1955
2. Peter Pan 2-5-1953
3. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 3-11-1977
4. One Hundred and One Dalmatians 1-25-1961
5. Dumbo 10-23-1941
6. The Fox and the Hound 7-10-1981
7. Oliver and Company 11-18-1988
8. Cinderella 2-15-1950
9. Pinocchio 2-7-1940
10. Sleeping Beauty 1-29-1959
11. The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad 10-5-1949
12. The Jungle Book 10-18-1967
13. The Great Mouse Detective 7-2-1986
14. Robin Hood 11-8-1973
15. Make Mine Music 4-20-1946
16. Fun and Fancy Free 9-27-1947
17. The Aristocats 12-11-1970
18. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 12-21-1937
19. Saludos Amigos 8-24-1942
20. The Sword in the Stone 12-25-1963
21. The Rescuers 6-22-1977
22. Alice in Wonderland 7-26-1951
23. The Black Cauldron 7-24-1985
24. Melody Time 5-27-1948
25. Bambi 8-13-1942
26. Fantasia 11-13-1940
27. The Three Caballeros 12-21-1944