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Oliver & Company (1988)

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A lost and alone kitten joins a gang of dogs engaged in petty larceny in New York City.

Director:

George Scribner

Writers:

Jim Cox (animation screenplay), Tim Disney (animation screenplay) (as Timothy J. Disney) | 20 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joey Lawrence ... Oliver (voice)
Billy Joel ... Dodger (voice)
Cheech Marin ... Tito (voice)
Richard Mulligan ... Einstein (voice)
Roscoe Lee Browne ... Francis (voice)
Sheryl Lee Ralph ... Rita (voice)
Dom DeLuise ... Fagin (voice)
Taurean Blacque ... Roscoe (voice)
Carl Weintraub ... Desoto (voice)
Robert Loggia ... Sykes (voice)
Natalie Gregory ... Jenny (voice)
William Glover William Glover ... Winston (voice)
Bette Midler ... Georgette (voice)
Frank Welker ... Carlo / Louie the Sausage Vendor / Animal Sounds (voice)
Deborah Gates Deborah Gates ... Additional Voice (voice) (as Debbie Gates)
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Storyline

Inspired by Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist". A homeless kitten named Oliver, roams the streets of New York, where he is taken in by a gang of homeless mutts who survive by stealing from others. During one of these criminal acts, Oliver meets a wealthy young girl named Jenny Foxworth. This meeting will forever change his life. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The first Disney movie with attitude.


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 November 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Oliver and the Dodger See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,022,752, 20 November 1988, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$74,151,346
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Oliver & Company was the favorite film of Bailey Kane, a traumatized corporate lawyer in the book Bittersweet Symphony (ISBN 978-1975874513), which she mentions as being a film she went to see as a child when it hit theaters. See more »

Goofs

In shots of the front of Jenny's house, there appears to be no mail slot, nor a place for a mail slot. Later in the movie, Fagin's note is placed in a mail slot which we see from an interior shot. See more »

Quotes

Oliver: What kind of work do we do anyway?
Tito: Investment banking, man. Didn't you read about us in the Wall Street Journal?
Oliver: Really?
Francis: [chucking] Yes. Captains of Industry.
See more »


Soundtracks

Perfect Isn't Easy
Written by Barry Manilow, Jack Feldman, and Bruce Sussman
Produced by Barry Manilow
Performed by Bette Midler
See more »

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User Reviews

The rhythm of the city...
19 April 2012 | by jimjo1216See all my reviews

This movie has an unmistakable 1980s vibe that gives it a certain charm. Viewers familiar with "Oliver Twist" will find it interesting how Dickens's story is adapted around dogs and their owners in modern-day New York City.

Billy Joel impresses as the voice of Dodger, a mutt with New York attitude. He's joined in the cast by Cheech Marin, Bette Midler, and Dom DeLuise (as a derelict Fagin).

The best character, in my mind, is the city itself. This is definitely a New York City movie, tapping into the city's personality and capturing many of the landmarks in the animation.

The movie has a visual aesthetic that is not quite like the style of other Disney films, which is kind of cool. There's some great character animation, such as with the imposing villain Sykes (Robert Loggia). CGI framework is used effectively throughout the film to animate cars and things.

OLIVER & COMPANY is definitely a product of its time: the late 1980s. The movie is dated by the clothing worn by the humans, the models of the cars, the music (smooth and synthesizery, with the main title song sung by Huey Lewis), the gritty urban look, and even the character designs (see the hot dog vendor or the hairspray-loving canine Rita).

In a superficial way, OLIVER & COMPANY reminds me of THE RESCUERS. Both have a unique aesthetic "feel" that strays from the classic Disney style and seems to capture the sensibilities of the times. OLIVER is as quintessentially 1988 as THE RESCUERS is 1977. (Both films also portray contemporary New York City, involve animals helping a cute little girl, and explore some dark and emotional territory.) OLIVER & COMPANY is dated, but gloriously so.

The next animated film released by Disney would be THE LITTLE MERMAID (1989), which launched the company's 1990s renaissance of timeless masterpieces, shaped by Alan Menken's Broadway-influenced musical direction. It's interesting to see the quaint, contemporary style of OLIVER, knowing that Disney would soon go off in a different direction.

With no nostalgic ties to this film, I can say that it's a decent flick, although it wouldn't crack even my top 20 Disney movies. Love the NYC stuff. Joel's "Why Should I Worry?" is a musical highlight. The story has a surprising emotional impact and the climax is both dark and exciting.


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