Oliver & Company was panned by the critics back in 1988 but in recent history has found a strong fan base… and for good reason. The movie features a wonderful, Disney-fied twist on an old story and some decent voice acting.
Genre(s): Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Disney | G – 74 min. – $29.99 | August 6, 2013
Directed by: George Scribner
Writer(s): Charles Dickens (“Oliver Twist” book); 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 (story), Jim Cox & Timothy J. Disney & James Mangold (screenplay)
Voice Cast: Joey Lawrence, Billy Joel, Cheech Marin, Richard Mulligan, Robert Loggia, Dom DeLuise, Bette Midler
Theatrical Release Date: November 18, 1988
Features: Featurettes, Sing-Along Mode, Two Bonus Animated Shorts, DVD Copy, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Russian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 22.9 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
Plot Overview: In the heart of New York City, Oliver (voiced by JOEY LAWRENCE), a mischievous orphaned kitten, is befriended by Dodger (BILLY JOEL), a carefree pooch, and his ragtag family of misfit mutts (including BETTE MIDLER and CHEECH MARIN). Life gets even better for Oliver when he is adopted by a lonely little girl named Jenny (NATALIE GREGORY). But when tough guy Sykes (ROBERT LOGGIA) and his Doberman sidekicks try to keep Jenny and Oliver apart, the spirited kitten and his newfound friends discover the meaning of courage and find a home where they truly belong.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5
This release comes with a glossy and embossed slip cover. Inside is a standard DVD Copy.
The Making of Oliver & Company (5:31; SD) is an old featurette with a look at the movie recounting the story and characters.
Disney’s Animated Animals (1:29; SD) looks at the animals in animated Disney features.
There are also two animated shorts: “Lend a Paw” (8:08; SD) and “Puss Café” (7:10; SD), some Publicity Materials (a TV spot and Theatrical Trailer) and a Sing-Along version.
VIDEO – 3.0/5
Arriving on Blu-ray, Buena Vista Home Entertainment releases Oliver & Company is presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and now in 1080p high-definition. Looking at the picture further, it’s evident that some sort of digital noise reduction was used to make the transfer looking sparkling new and instead there is some edge enhancement. On the other hand, the colors are bright, albeit perhaps artificially pumped up. It’s another disappointing picture transfer.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track present on the disc is adequate but hardly awe-inspiring. The lossless track does have crisp and clear dialogue coming from the center speaker while the other elements, such as action or ambient noises, make use of the front and rear channels. It may not be a fantastic track but it is a step up from the DVD release.
OVERALL – 2.25/5
Overall, Oliver & Company was panned by the critics back in 1988 but in recent history has found a strong fan base… and for good reason. The movie features a wonderful, Disney-fied twist on an old story and some decent voice acting. The audio and video transfers look OK, though they are better than the DVD while the bonus material was, to say the least, lacking.