Entertainment » Movies

Oliver And Company (25th Anniversary Edition)

by David Foucher
EDGE Publisher
Tuesday Aug 6, 2013
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Has it been 25 years? The classic 1988-feature film (Disney’s 27th) "Oliver And Company" gets a fresh coat of Blu-ray "paint" -- and it’s worth the investment.

The set comes complete with toe-tapping numbers that have never sounded better like "Why Should I Worry?" (sung by Billy Joel), "Once Upon A Time In New York City" (sung by Huey Lewis) and the diva-licious "Perfect Isn’t Easy" (written by Barry Manilow and performed by "The Divine Miss M" herself, Bette Midler).

The film is fun, fast-paced, at times funny and at other times forgettable, but it’s truly a must-own for fans of Disney film history. It’s particularly a win for parents whose toddlers have watched "The Little Mermaid" and "Bolt" to the point of degrading discs; those little ones will definitely not have seen this gem and they’ll be out of your hair for 74 minutes.

If you studied Dickens (or you’re a Musical Theater Major who studied over-emoting) you already know the story. Abandoned feline rascal Oliver (voiced by Joey Lawrence) is left in a box in New York City and happens upon a gang of misfit canines lead by the carefree and über-cool Dodger (voiced by Billy Joel).

While out with the gang, Oliver meets lonely little Jenny and is eventually adopted by her. Enter Sykes and his scary Doberman duo, who will stop at nothing to keep Oliver and Jenny apart in an effort to extort cash from Jenny’s well-to-do parents -- but not if Dodger and his rag-tag ensemble can help it. The rag-tag gang comes to the rescue while teaching us all about courage and the true meaning of home.

Joel is a knockout as the voice of Dodger, delivering the coolness and swag required for this popular pooch. Other standout voice work includes Cheech Marin as Tito (pre "Yo Quiero Taco Bell" -- just go with it, you politically-correct viewers), Richard Mulligan as the hilarious Einstein and Dom DeLuise as the neurotic Fagin. Do not miss Bette Midler as Georgette in a musical number you’ll want to put on repeat.

Go get a copy! It’s not "Lady And The Tramp," but it’s surely better than "The Great Mouse Detective." (Sorry Basil Of Baker Street)

Special Features:

- Bonus Short -- "Lend Me A Paw" -- The 1941 Academy-Award Winning classic Disney cartoon with Mickey Mouse, a very jealous Pluto and the most adorable little kitten since Figaro (you know, Gepetto’s lesser-known friend). This short is a "must-have" for fans of Disney history.

- Bonus Short "Puss Café" -- The 1950 animated short starring Pluto and two comedic cats is cute but ultimately forgettable.

- Disney Sing-Along Mode -- A must have for any Disney home-entertainment experience (especially if you have kids.)

- Disney’s Animated Animals -- Dated but fun.

- The Making Of "Oliver And Company" -- a must-see for fans of the flick.

"Oliver And Company"
Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack
$29.99
http://movies.disney.com

David Foucher is the CEO of the EDGE Media Network and Pride Labs LLC, a member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association, and is accredited with the Online Society of Film Critics. David lives with his husband and daughter in Dedham MA.

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