Oliver & Company Movie Review

Disney's animated version of Dickens' Oliver Twist, Oliver & Company, is a true oddity in the Disney canon. For starters, the animation style is completely different from anything else in its repertoire. Obviously inspired by Ralph Bakshi (of Felix the Cat fame), the movie features garish perspectives, serious abuse of zoom (in almost every scene), and an attempt at urban grittiness which Walt Disney never knew in his entire life.

And yet here it is, Oliver & Company, wherein an orphaned kitten falls in with a crowd of dogs-cum-hustlers, only to end up adopted into a rich girl's house. A kidnappng and rescue plot (pushing the boundaries of the G rating) ensues -- ironically, it's the best part of the movie.

It's all very precious and, at 74 minutes long, mostly harmless, but the animation, story, and voice acting never unfortunately gel into a real movie. The static, flat backgrounds combined with the ridiculous, nonstop zooming make you think you're watching Saturday morning cartoons on access TV. And dig the voice cast -- Billy Joel, Bette Midler, and Dom DeLuise have probably never appeared in the same movie since -- and that's a good thing, I'm certain of it.

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Oliver & Company Rating

" Weak "

Rating: G, 1988


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