I am pretty excited to get the chance to talk about the 1988 Disney movie, Oliver & Company. I have fond memories of this movie from when I was a kid. Not just of the movie, but I remember collecting all of the Mcdonald’s Happy Meal toys that were released to promote the movie.
How to Download Oliver & Company
You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you like want to see yet another Charles Dickens’s novel adaptation by Disney, check out our review of A Christmas Carol (2009).
The Movie Review
I recently watched this movie for the first time in many, many years thanks to Disney Plus and I was glad that it was still fun to watch. What we have here is a retelling of the classic Oliver Twist story, but this is a very radically different take on that classic Charles Dickens tale.
To start with, instead of being set in London, Oliver & Company is set in New York City, and Oliver is a young cat that is voiced by Joey Lawrence. Oliver is the only kitten of his litter not to be adopted and he ends up running into a dog called, Dodger, voiced by the legendary Billy Joel.
Dodger says that he will help Oliver steal some food, but in a quick lesson on life on the streets, Dodger screws him over and takes off with the food himself. This leads Oliver to track him down all over the city where he eventually comes across the place that Dodger calls home.
The thing is, Dodger does not live alone! Dodger lives with a human called Fagin and a bunch of other tough street dogs who are not too happy that Oliver has invaded their home. Oliver eventually earns the respect of the other dogs and Fagin and he is soon accepted into the family.
Fagin ends up owing money to some rather dangerous people and the dogs along with Oliver end up trying to pull off a con on a wealthy family with a little girl called Jenny. It is a fun kids-on-the-street style story, but told with dogs and it has that classic Disney charm about it.
Oliver & Company has a great soundtrack as you would expect with Billy Joel being on board. As well as Billy Joel, Bette Midler, Huey Lewis, and Ruth Pointer all have memorable songs in the movie. The voice cast is great all around with Cheech Marin as Tito being one of my favorite 80s Disney characters.
As far as the animation and look of the movie go, it certainly has that 80s Disney look to it which as I grew up with it, I really do like. I will say that the movie could do with being remastered a bit better as the version that is on Disney Plus feels like it has just been taken from the original DVD release and slapped on the service.
I am sure that there are not many people that would say that Oliver & Company is one of the all-time classics from Disney, but I think the movie does hold up pretty well. It is a fun take on a classic story and it has some fun and interesting characters. However, I may be looking at this with nostalgia goggles as I tried to get my son into this movie and it did not grab his attention at all.
- There is a great voice cast here
- It is one of the more underrated Disney soundtracks out there
- I like how it is a Disney take on Oliver Twist
- The movie actually held up better than I thought it would
- Perhaps it is a bit dated for today’s kids?
- The current version they have on Disney Plus needs to be cleaned up as the visuals are DVD quality at best