Oliver & Company
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +2

OLIVER & COMPANY, inspired by Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, has been recently re-released by Disney. It is an animated musical tale of a kitten named Oliver (voice of Joey Lawrence) and a dog named Dodger (Billy Joel) who befriends him. Dodger teaches Oliver the ways of the streets and takes him home to meet his family of street dogs. They include Tito (Cheech Marin), a spitfire of a Chihuahua, and Francis (Roscoe Lee Browne), a sophisticated bulldog. This motley crew lives in a dilapidated shack with Fagin (Dom DeLuise), a bum who owes a great deal of money to the evil Sykes. The dogs try to find junk worth something to help Fagin pay off Sykes. The plot thickens when Francis pretends to get hit by a limousine carrying Jenny, a very wealthy little girl. When Oliver accidentally gets caught inside the limousine, Jenny takes him home for her pet. Fagin decides to kidnap Oliver and hold him for ransom, but the villainous Sykes kidnaps Jenny. Now the straggly mutts must rescue the little girl. During the chase and kidnapping, Tito and Georgette (Bette Midler), a snooty poodle, provide much of the comic relief. OLIVER & COMPANY is cute, sometimes hilarious, and sure to keep the whole family chuckling.

Although the action includes rough treatment, no one suffers serious injury. But some children may be disturbed when Sykes grabs Jenny, pulls her into his car and ties her hands together. However, her captivity is short-lived as the dogs and Oliver stay hot on their trail. Sykes has two vicious Dobermans who are eventually thrown off a rapidly moving car before Sykes' car crashes, and presumably killed because they are never seen again. A hotdog vendor and Sykes both mistreat animals, kicking them or throwing them out of cars. Also, Sykes tries to hurt Fagin by rolling up a car window to catch his head. A hint of romance blossoms when Tito kisses Georgette, and she then invites him to her room. The dogs, Fagin and Oliver become like family as they join forces to help each other and rescue Jenny. Even snooty Georgette becomes part of the team. With these positive messages about family and friendship and good overcoming evil, OLIVER & COMPANY can be recommended for the entire family.

Preview Reviewer: Sherry Oswald
Distributor: Buena Vista Distribution, 3900 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 91521

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Many - Mild and Moderate (kitten nearly washed down drain, chased by mean dogs; animals thrown out of car, kicked, pushed down stairs, shocked; car crashes into train)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Two dogs kiss, female dog invites male dog to her room
Drug Abuse: Men smoke cigars
Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Children 3 and older

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