This post is going to be something a little different from what I’ve been writing recently, but I hope you enjoy it just as much, I’ve written this post in collaboration with my good friend Amy and her blog Scariel’s grotto which of course I’d recommend checking out! When she asked if I’d like to join her to write about a Disney classic I decided Oliver and Company was the one film that stood out to me that I could be passionate about, so here’s why I think the film is so underrated and what it means to me.
Oliver and company was first released into cinemas in 1988, 2 years before I was born, the film is inspired by the Charles Dickens novel “Oliver”, it came out the same year as, and in fact it shared it’s opening weekend with the Don Bluth production The land before time, which is another film I have incredibly fond memories of from my childhood and I’m not ashamed to say I own the boxset, even though the later sequels lacked what made the first films great.
The film wad fairly successful at the box office, however critics were less convinced with many feeling it was a poor effort compared to previous Disney classics, the film didn’t make it to VHS until 1996 when it was re released theatrically to compete with the film All dogs go to heaven 2.
It must have been around the time of the re release that I saw Oliver and Company for the first time, it had everything I wanted from the film, Kittens, dogs, catchy songs, I’m pretty sure I was sold from the first time I saw it. As a child I don’t think I appreciated what the story was based on, and this is possibly why as an adult I enjoyed re visiting this film so much, it’s such a unique re-telling of a classic story that made it feel fresh and yet familiar.
In my opinion, the songs are what make this movie great, when I think of classic Disney films I remember the music most of all, and Oliver and company is no exception, my favourite song from the film is “Why should I worry” which is probably one of the most well known songs from the film, it’s fun, up beat and catchy and even after all these years as soon as I hear the opening, I suddenly remember all of the words!
And then the characters, Dodger was probably the peoples favourite, the funny cool leader of the pack, street wise and fearless he kept the gang in line and looked out for Oliver, but for me, Oliver was always my favourite, maybe I felt sorry for him, I’ve always had a connection with Disney cats, from the moment I watched Lady and the Tramp I wanted Si and Am, I could easily have given a home to all of the Aristocat kittens, so of course Oliver was no different, if anything, he was just the cutest.
Fast forward a few years, and you meet my Oliver. Ok I know he’s not a cat, but that’s who he’s named after, he’s the best friend I longed for and I know I would be just as lost and upset as Jenny was if he ever went missing!
Oliver is a Jack Russel, he’s 14 now and I’ve honestly never met a dog who’s more like a cat than him, he loves nothing more than to curl up in the arm chair at home and sleep by the TV, he is the kindest, softest daft dog, and I love him for it.
I can’t imagine what my childhood would have been like without Oliver and Company, and I can’t imagine life now without my little dog around, and for me, that’s what makes this film so special, it’s stuck with me for all these years.