The Adventures of Milo and Otis Reviews
Milo and Otis are best friends on the farm. One day, Milo embarks on an adventure he believes is all his own; however, Otis will not allow him to stray from the farm on his own. Otis tracks down Milo and saves him on several occasions without Milo even noticing. Eventually they meet up and finish the adventure together, as best friends.
"At least he finally found out he's a chicken."
Masanori Hata delivers the Adventures of Milo and Otis in his directorial debut (and this is the only movie on his resume). The storyline for this picture is very fun and the film feels like a children's book. The animals and the way they interacted were amazing and very well done by Hata and his team.
"Milo was trouble from the very beginning."
We came across this movie on Netflix and recently got a puppy so I thought this would be a fun film to watch with my daughter. She giggled throughout the film and found it fairly entertaining. It definitely kept her attention. This is borderline worth adding to your DVD collection.
"Dreams will surely come..."
Before I learned of the controversy surrounding this film and the alleged crimes from the international animal rights community, I noticed some images that just didn't seem right. First of all, these animals look scared as fuck!!! If you look carefully, there are about 4 or 5 different cats that play Milo and about 2 or 3 different dogs that play Otis. You begin to think that maybe a few of these "stunts" didn't go all that well for our two animal heroes.
There was one "stunt" where Milo had to leap into the ocean from a small mountain. They never showed the cat land in the water. Instead, director Masanori Yota showed the cat falling in slow motion with its stiff arms and legs spread as wide as can be as it braced for impact. Did the cat survive the jump? Probably not. The cat probably didn't survive the horrible attacks from the seagulls that preceded the water leap!
There was a very memorable scene where Otis "leaped" into the water to protect his furry friend from a hungry black bear. The scene was quite amazing to watch. It actually looked like Otis was throwing punches with his little paws and protecting his best bud. But really, that poor dog was fighting for his life. That bear wanted to tear Otis up and eat him. I wish I knew if the director or one of his crew threw the dog into the bear's way or made him swim that way for effect. I can only speculate because there simply isn't any proof. But what small animal would swim towards a hungry bear?
The cat looks mortified as it is cornered on a tree branch by the black bear, then again, on another tree branch by a boa constrictor where it is bitten in the face. Remember, we are watching a manmade movie. These kind of interactions only happen when they are forced. The animals' distress and misfortune become our entertainment because Yota and his millions of dollars wanted it that way.
There are many happy moments in this film. Little blobs of life squeezing out of cat and dog vaginas, a baby fawn licking one of the Milos and sleeping with him, a hoard of pigs suckling a giant momma-pig's teets with one of the Milo's being one of them. I was happy to see a giant sea turtle carry a scared Otis through the water to shore. The animals both had very confused looks on their faces, but the scene worked. We even got to see little Milo babies and little Otis babies.
It turns out the film actually used 27 different Milos during a span of 4 years to create this film. Masanori Yota is a well-known children's book author in Japan and owns his own island where he has hundreds of different species of animals. It was here where he created Koneko Monogatari (A Kitten's Story). This original film was edited down to 75 minutes for Western audiences. I am interested in watching the original to find more evidence of animal abuse that I will never be able to prove.
The film makes no claim at the end of the movie that no animal was hurt during filming. The controversy that this film stirred as well as the secret deals that must of went down between the industry and the Humane Society set a new standard for movies that followed. "No animals were harmed during the making of this picture" is now what we see with movies that have real animal characters. If you don't see that disclaimer, then it is worth questioning and maybe an investigation.
I am not a member of PETA. I admit I enjoyed Dudley Moore's voiceover and the cute animals running about in this movie. The editing was probably a tall and challenging task but it worked for the 2-6 year old age group. For those of us older than 6 the blunders are obvious. At one point we ask, "why did Otis go from standing in a puddle of water to being stranded in the middle of the ocean?" I wish I knew the truth about these rumors of abuse but since I live with a small child and wife who likes to let her inner small child come out to play every now and then, I will choose to let this one go. Innocent until proven guilty I guess. I won't be able to watch this without speculating some and being critical of the director's motives. When I put the drama and politics and conspiracy aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie experience. I would never have watched it without my child, but it still makes the grade in my book.