There’s not really anything I have to say about this movie. Another one of the Disney batch I have never heard of before. Oliver & Company was released in 1988 and that’s all I have to offer as a prelude. Onto the recap then!
The movie opens in the streets of New York, New York. A lot of people are fussing over a paperbox with kittens in them. At the end of the day, there is one poor little kitty left in the crate. To top it all, it starts to rain. Poor!Kitty nearly gets flooded into the sewers with all the rain, it really is sad. And as if that wasn’t enough, it also gets attacked by dogs that look like hyenas. Must really suck to be that kitty.
On a sidenote, the music in this movie is so 80s it’s incredible and I don’t mean it as a compliment. In all the previous decades, there was never a music style I could pinpoint so much to it’s decade of origin than this one and that from The Brave Little Toaster.
The next day. Poor!Kitty desperately tries to get peoples attention on the sidewalk hoping for someone to adopt it but nobody wants to.
Cut to two dogs flirting. Well, it’s more one dog hitting on another than mutual flirting but okay. When Hot Shots sees Poor!Kitty, he goes over to help it steal some hot dogs from a street vendor. Only it turns out that Hot Shots cheated and is not sharing his trophy hot dogs with Poor!Kitty even though it helped. Now that’s just not cool at all!!
Obligatory song montage through the streets of New York, New York about what a cool guy Hot Shots is.Poor!Kitty is following Hot Shots still hoping to get some of those sausages. Oh honey, just let it go, some people were just not made for sausages.
Sketchy boat. Now this is what I call a doggie reject collective. One of them is more sketchy than the other. There is an old one with a proper accent who is watching a movie and saying the dialogue alongside it. A dog after my own heart if there ever was one. There is also a little dog and a female dog. Just when I ask myself what this all has to do with the movie and what is this movie even about, Hot Shots comes strolling in with his sausages and starts to explain his adventures in procuring them. Of course he is leaving out Poor!Kitty’s help. Just then, Poor!Kitty falls through the skylight and right into the group, claiming Hot Shots didn’t get the sausages alone. Four for you, Poor!Kitty.
There is some back and forth that turns into a fight until some dude with a box of doggie treats comes in. He wants to see what the dogs stole in the meantime but there is nothing that satisfies him. So apparently the dogs are his stealing minions. I get it now. Moving on.Somewhere a car honks and Random Dude gets really nervous. Then a group of evil dobermans enter the boat to threaten Random Dude.
Outside we get to see a big car and Random Dude approaches someone he calls Mr. Sykes. Mr. Sykes apparently drives himself. Hasn’t he ever heard of a chauffeur? All the cool people that think highly of themselves have chauffeurs but okay. Sykes threatens Random Dude whose name is Fagin btw. Sykes is not happy with what Fagin presents him in order to repay his debt so he gives him a three day ultimatum and then pushes him into the water. Inside the boat, evil dobermans and the gang are having a contest to determine which of them has the longest sausage. Or something. You know, the things dogs do when they are left to themselves I guess. Or teenage boys. Or men in general. Sorry, this went off topic fast.
At night, Fagin reads his dogs a good night story. I’m sure this is all an elaborate way of showing us that Fagin isn’t so bad after all despite him being a pick pocketer and looking the way he does. He clearly cares a lot for his dogs. Afterwards everyone goes to their respective sleeping places but Poor!Kitty doesn’t have a designated place so she cuddles up with Hot Shots. Sweet.
Next day. Fagin drives the dogs into town on his scooter. In town, they come up with an elaborate plan to steal some money.
Insert inspirational song about turning your life over.
The car the gang has decided to attack, a chauffeur and a little girl are driving through the streets in. The little girl, Jenny, just got a letter from her parents saying they won’t get home in time for her birthday. Womp, womp. Way to manifest those stereotypes about rich parents. Just then soap opera dog hits the car and the chauffeur gets out to look after him. Meanwhile the others raid the car for what, I do not really understand. I’m sure they’re looking for something. Unfortunately something goes wrong and they have to abort mission. Poor!Kitty is somehow left behind in the car where Jenny finds it and wants to adopt it immediately. Hot Shots and the little dog follow the car all the way to where Jenny lives.
Fancy house. Chauffeur informs Jenny that Georgette will not be happy having a kitty at the house. Just when you begin to wonder who this Georgette is, we get to see a poodle who is really spoiled and vain putting on make up and that sort of thing just to show us how sophisticated she is. Naturally she sings a song about how hard her life is to underline the class differences even more. Georgette gets dressed with the help of birds which reminds me of Cinderella.
In the kitchen, Jenny is making a huge mess as she is preparing food for Poor!Kitty whom she has named Oliver. Then Jenny gets a call from her parents which gives Georgette enough time to get mad about Oliver eating out of her bowl. Jenny takes Oliver with her, plays piano and sings a sad song because that is what any self respecting character in a Disney movie does.
Later, the dog gang tries successfully to get into the house to free Oliver. After the ‘rescue’ Oliver is not happy with it because he felt at home with Jenny and they pulled him out of there. Whelp, this gives me Buffy feels. (Season 6 anyone? No, okay, then.) The others don’t get it as this is their family. They are family. This is sad.
Oliver is now wearing fancy tag and after Fagin sees this and realises what this means, he writes up a ransom note for Oliver’s new owner, not realising a little girl will answer his call.
When Jenny gets home after school, she can’t find Oliver anywhere but she does find the ransom note and decides to go to the meeting point. This is sure going to end well.
Fagin meanwhile visits Sykes which is probably also a terrible idea. Fagin tries to explain his plan to Sykes but something happens. I’m not sure what that something is but okay.
Jenny is following the instructions to where Fagin is waiting for her. He, however, is not alone and Sykes is watching this from a distance in his car. This man clearly loves his car. Jenny is all alone at night in the docks. Well, she has Georgette with her but we all know that ‘dog’ is no help at all.
When Fagin and Jenny finally meet, he is surprised and nervous and you can tell he instantly regrets this. See??! He is such a good guy. After not knowing what to do next, Fagin returns Oliver to Jenny only so Sykes can swoop in an kidnap Jenny. Now this has gotten dark. Hui.
Of course the gang goes off to rescue her which they of course succeed in. Don’t make me recap that part because it was long and boring and I just want this to be over already.
All is good that ends well. Jenny is safely returned home together with Oliver. She even celebrates her birthday with Fagin and all her new dog friends. Even Georgette gets a kick out of that. Then a heart warming good bye scene leaves us just in time for the end credits.
Wow, this one bored me from the start, sorry Disney. I didn’t like the story of the feel of the movie. In my opinion, it took forever to establish what we were about to do here and I can’t exactly put my finger on it but it just seems we have done this storyline to excess now. Poor underdogs fighting to survive. There is no art left in this but maybe I am too picky.