Oliver and Company Cover

This was an animated Disney feature which was a free re-working of Oliver Twist, set in modern New York. It seemed to vanish without a trace after it’s initial release, twenty years ago – which was a pity, for although the animation work is pretty pedestrian – the first to rely heavily upon computers, and not much above the level of a Saturday morning cartoon feature, the voice work was amusingly several cuts above. Where else to find Billy Joel doing the voice of a shrewd street mutt named Dodger, Bette Middler as an extravagantly pampered poodle, Georgette, Cheech Marin as (of course) Tito the Chihuahua, Dom Delouise as the hapless Fagin – and then-teen star Joey Lawrence as the impossibly cute (yet feisty) kitten, Oliver? There are even heartbreaking glimpses of the World Trade Center towers, in some of the cityscapes. The villainous Sykes and his menacing Dobermans are perhaps a little too frightening for very small children – but on the whole, it is an enjoyable outing, if a very, very short one, being only a little over an hour of viewing time.

Of the extra features, I found the most watchable to be a pair of classic shorts featuring Goofy and cats: “Lend a Paw” and “Puss Café”, with Goofy alternately rescuing a kitten, and defending his yard, his milk bottles, and his fish-pond from a pair of hungry moochers. (Slight detour there, while I reminded my daughter that milk used to be delivered, and homes would have bottles of milk actually sitting on the porch. Just for fun, I wondered what breed the invading cats (Siamese?) and Goofy is supposed to be, exactly? Mastiff? Great Dane? Dog of no breed?) Another feature, the obligatory ‘making of’ featured a look at the then-latest word in desktop computers, which now look quite clunky and huge. Nothing dates so fast, as the very latest in technology, I guess.

Oliver and Company is now available through Amazon.com and other retail outlets.


Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book project – The Adelsverein Trilogy is also available through Amazon.com. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com.

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