“Why should I worry? Why should I ca-a-are. It’s just bebopulation. And I got street saviore faire”
I was 8 years old when Disney’s Oliver and Company first came out, and from the moment I saw the jazzy cartoon about a cat who ends up on the streets and is befriended by a street-savvy dog who shows him the ropes I was in love with Disney soundtracks. In fact, Oliver and Company was the very first Disney soundtrack I owned — on cassette — and, even though I have nothing to play it on, I still have it. Perhaps Santa will bring
me my daughters a CD for Christmas (still no MP3 available).
Another thing that resulted from my love of the Oliver and Company soundtrack, a lasting fondness for Billy Joel. Which lead to my very first concert, River of Dreams, in the early ’90s. Ahhh yes, Oliver and Company brings back lots of memories.
But the musical talent doesn’t end there. Bette Midler is Georgette belting out the song “Perfect Isn’t Easy” and the melodic “Once Upon a Time in New York City” is sung by Huey Lewis. (Is it any wonder I fell in love with this soundtrack?!?)
For those who don’t share my musical memories, the movie is also a cherished treasure. Replacing the characters from Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist with a gang of street dogs and a cat, Disney turns the classic in to a sweet story for kids and the entertainment value is high.
In the heart of New York City, Oliver, a mischievous orphaned kitten, is befriended by Dodger, a carefree pooch and his ragtag family of misfit mutts. Life gets even better for Oliver when he is adopted by a lonely little girl named Jenny. But when tough guy Sykes 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.
Not surprisingly, my daughters’ favorite parts were the songs (I didn’t even tell them my backstory!). As usual, they hopped up and danced in front of the TV bringing a smile to moms face. In between numbers, they sat fixed to the screen. There are a couple of parts that are a little scary for a moment, and the bad guy smokes like a chimney, but overall it is very kid-friendly.
One more name that will ring a bell for parents my age — Joey Lawrence. Whaoo!
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Disney’s Oliver and Company is now available on Blu-Ray and DVD combo pack.