Oliver & Company

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Oliver & Company
Directed by George Scribner
Screenplay by Jim Cox
Tim Disney
James Mangold
Story by Vance Gerry
Mike Gabriel
Joe Ranft
Jim Mitchell
Chris Bailey
Kirk Wise
Dave Michener
Roger Allers
Gary Trousdale
Kevin Lima
Michael Cedeno
Pete Young
Leon Joosen
Starring Joey Lawrence
Billy Joel
Natalie Gregory
Dom DeLuise
Cheech Marin
Bette Midler
Robert Loggia
Richard Mulligan
Roscoe Lee Browne
Sheryl Lee Ralph
Music by J.A.C. Redford
Studio Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Feature Animation
Goldcrest Films (UK)
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date(s) November 18, 1988 (1988-11-18)
Running time 73 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Money made $74,151,346[1]

Oliver & Company is a 1988 American animated movie. It was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the twenty-seventh movie released in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. The movie was released on November 18, 1988. It is loosely based on Charles Dickens's book Oliver Twist. The book has been used many times for the screen and television. In this version, Oliver is a cat, Fagin's gang is made up of dogs, and the story is set in modern-day New York City.

It was re-released in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom on March 29, 1996. It was then released to video later that same year, and again in 2002 and 2009 on DVD. It is Disney's fifth animated movie to take place in the present day of its release (1988) and being set in New York City. It is the second movie to feature the Walt Disney Pictures logo.

The story[change | change source]

The movie starts with Oliver, an orange orphan cat, who is lost in New York City, when a street-smart Jack Russell terrier named Dodger, finds him. Dodger tricks Oliver to get some sausages for him (from a hot dog seller named Louie), Dodger leaves the cat behind and runs to the barge of his poor owner, Fagin the pickpocketer. Inside Fagin's barge are four other dogs, which he also owns: Tito the chihuahua, Einstein the Great Dane, Rita the Afghan Hound, and the serious Bulldog Francis. When Oliver breaks in, those dogs (including Dodger) go into a fit of fighting and confusion over their visitor. After Fagin breaks it up, he goes outside on a quay, only to find out that he must pay his agent, Sykes, some money within three days. In order to get the money, Fagin, his dogs, and Oliver set out into the city streets the next day. While the poor man is unlucky trying to sell his useless stuff, the animals encounter a limousine that is driven by Winston, a butler. They put on an act to get his attention. In the end, Tito gets "barbecued" after interfering with the limousine's dashboard, and Jennifer finds the kitten, who is tangled up in the wires nearby. Taking Oliver home at Fifth Avenue, she makes friends with him. She names him Oliver. Oliver discovers true friendship and love. The next morning, Fagin's dogs return in order to get Oliver back to their barge, much to the upset of Winston and his pet poodle, Georgette. But as they do so, Oliver feels he cannot leave Jenny. Yet he is Fagin's best hope, because of the gold tag on his collar. So he writes to the "Very Rich Cat Owner" at Oliver's address in hopes of getting Sykes' money faster. As Jenny reads that letter after she comes home from school, she and Georgette go to the docks to get Oliver. Jenny gets him back, thanks to Fagin, but then Sykes kidnaps her for the sake of the ransom that the pickpocketer has to pay in 12 hours. It is up to Fagin and his dogs to save both Jenny and Oliver from the wrath of Sykes and his Dobermans, Roscoe and DeSoto.

Production[change | change source]

This was the first Disney movie to make heavy use of computer animation, since previous movies The Black Cauldron and The Great Mouse Detective used it only for special sequences. The CGI effects were used for making the skyscrapers, the cars, trains, tunnels, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Fagin's scooter-cart.

It was also the first animated Disney movie to create a whole bunch of new sound effects to replace many of their original classic sounds, which would be used occasionally in later Disney movies. This included some sounds the audience was familiar with for years, including Pinto Covig's original Goofy yell. However, the Disney television animation studio continued extensively using the classic Disney sound effects for several years.

Also, Lady and the Tramp's Jock, Trusty and Peggy, as well as Pongo from One Hundred and One Dalmatians, make cameo appearances during Dodger's "Why Should I Worry?" musical number at the start of the movie.

Cast[change | change source]

  • Joey Lawrence as Oliver
  • Billy Joel as Dodger
  • Natalie Gregory as Jennifer "Jenny" Foxworth
  • Dom DeLuise as Fagin
  • Cheech Marin as Ignacio Alanzo Julio Fredrico De Tito
  • Bette Midler as Georgette
  • Robert Loggia as Sykes
  • Richard Mulligan as Einstein
  • Roscoe Lee Browne as Francis
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph as Rita
  • William Glover as Winston
  • Taurean Blacque as Roscoe
  • Carl Weintraub as DeSoto
  • Frank Welker as Louie

Crew[change | change source]

Awards[change | change source]

Soundtrack[change | change source]

The instrumental score for Oliver & Company was composed by J. A. C. Redford, and the movie's music was supervised by Carole Childs. The first song heard in the movie, "Once Upon a Time in New York City", was written by lyricist Howard Ashman. Billy Joel, in addition to voicing Dodger, fittingly performed the character's song in the movie.

The track list below represents the 1996 re-release of the Oliver & Company soundtrack. The original 1988 release had the same songs, but with the instrumental cues placed in between the songs in the order in which they appeared in the movie. Using the numbering system in the list below, the order the tracks on the 1988 release would be: 1, 2, 6, 7, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11.

1996 soundtrack listing[change | change source]

  1. Once Upon a Time in New York City - Huey Lewis; written by Barry Mann and Howard Ashman
  2. Why Should I Worry? - Billy Joel; written by Dan Hartman and Charlie Midnight
  3. Streets of Gold - Ruth Pointer ; written by Dean Pitchford and Tom Snow
  4. Perfect Isn't Easy - Bette Midler ; written by Barry Manilow, Jack Feldman, and Bruce Sussman
  5. Good Company - Myhanh Tran ; written by Ron Rocha and Robert Minkoff
  6. Sykes (instrumental)
  7. Bedtime Story (instrumental)
  8. The Rescue (instrumental)
  9. Pursuit Through The Subway (instrumental)
  10. Buscando Guayaba - Rubén Blades
  11. End Title (instrumental)

Songs[change | change source]

  • "Once Upon A Time In New York City"
  • "Why Should I Worry?"
  • "Streets of Gold"
  • "Perfect Isn't Easy"
  • "Good Company"

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]