Oliver & Company Reviews
The plot of Oliver Twist is essentially the plot for Oliver & Company but with animals in the main roles. It swaps the human Oliver and the human gang with a cat as Oliver and dogs as the gang. Oliver seeks shelter and friendship from a gang of dogs but at first is subjugated and treated unwantedly but as the bonds between them grow tighter, their friendship grows until Oliver is taken to a home to live with a young girl who adores him. The confliction Oliver therefore feels is quite an adult matter but the film does not explore this inner confliction adequately. Yes it is meant to be a film for younger viewers but the great Disney classics deal with adult issues more in-depth and effectively.
Even though there are both human and animal characters, it feels like it is more about the dogs and we tend to prefer it this way. The owner of the dogs just like the novel is Fagin who is of human form, and even though he is a thief we empathise with him because he is good natured and looks after the dogs, but in truth, he is not that likeable because his ruggedness and slack looking stature is quite repellent. Unquestionably, there is something about Fagin that tells you he could have been a better character. There are countless number of Disney films that are successful in partnering humans and animals in the same film together such as The Jungle Book. However, Oliver & Company‚??s problem is that it has too many humans and too many animals in it to even allow it to become intimate. Oliver & Company falls in to the Disney realm of Brother Bear rather than The Jungle Book because we are not able to mould a connection to the characters. Come on, tell me Mowgli and Baloo are not classic human and animal characters!
Animation-wise, there are lots of drab colours and plenty on the screen considering it is set in high-rise New York, but the visuals are not that strong compared to animated films made a quarter of a century earlier. The images are not that striking at any glance; they each don‚??t have any individuality about them making the pictures forgettable.
On the topic of voice acting, Billy Joel as Dodger, Cheech Marin as Tito the Chihuahua and Bette Midler as Georgette the Poodle are standouts amidst a crowd of chaotic voices and sounds. Well, Joel‚??s singing, especially for ‚??Why Should I Worry?‚?? is dizzyingly catchy, Marin‚??s Tito just never stops talking but does bring excitement and vibrancy to the proceedings, and Midler‚??s Poodle is majestically different and probably the most intriguing animal in the film.
Joel‚??s ‚??Why Should I worry‚?? is probably the only song out of all of the ones heard in the film that can actually make the annals of greatest Disney songs. It will play on your tongue over and over again that is how memorable it is. The overall flaw of Oliver & Company is that the first half builds up well and it is more about introducing and developing the animal characters. The songs are catchy and fun and it is representative of Disney‚??s best work, however, the second half of the film starts off to not live up to the first half with its sorrowful tone and disinteresting human characters and therefore the film does unfortunately take a descent into commonness.
Oliver & Company follows in the same steps of previous Disney films by recycling great literature for its storyline but regrettably does not follow in refashioning it in their own transcendent way. Nevertheless, still an enjoyable film for all the family.
Just go to YouTube for the songs.
The animation is adequate but a bit archaic, and the story has very little to do w the original story - IOliver Twist.
But all that aside, it's ok for bored kids on an uneventful rainy Saturday.
Better yet, just send the kids out to play in the puddles - much more memorable than this flick.