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Oliver & Company (1988)

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A lost and alone kitten joins a gang of dogs engaged in petty larceny in New York City.


George Scribner


Jim Cox (animation screenplay), Tim Disney (animation screenplay) (as Timothy J. Disney) | 20 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joey Lawrence ... Oliver (voice)
Billy Joel ... Dodger (voice)
Cheech Marin ... Tito (voice)
Richard Mulligan ... Einstein (voice)
Roscoe Lee Browne ... Francis (voice)
Sheryl Lee Ralph ... Rita (voice)
Dom DeLuise ... Fagin (voice)
Taurean Blacque ... Roscoe (voice)
Carl Weintraub ... Desoto (voice)
Robert Loggia ... Sykes (voice)
Natalie Gregory ... Jenny (voice)
William Glover William Glover ... Winston (voice)
Bette Midler ... Georgette (voice)
Frank Welker ... Carlo / Louie the Sausage Vendor / Animal Sounds (voice)
Deborah Gates Deborah Gates ... Additional Voice (voice) (as Debbie Gates)


Inspired by Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist". A homeless kitten named Oliver, roams the streets of New York, where he is taken in by a gang of homeless mutts who survive by stealing from others. During one of these criminal acts, Oliver meets a wealthy young girl named Jenny Foxworth. This meeting will forever change his life. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The first Disney movie with attitude.


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

18 November 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Oliver and the Dodger See more »


Box Office


$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,022,752, 20 November 1988

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR


Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Originally the opening was going to be darker in which Oliver's parents were killed by Sykes's dogs Roscoe and DeSoto and Oliver seeks revenge by joining Dodger's gang. See more »


After snagging the hot dogs, Dodger and Oliver walk through the cement. The string of hot dogs is clearly dragging through the cement. When they show Dodger from a distance, only paw prints are present and there is no sign of the hot dogs being dragged. See more »


Tito: It's newspaper burritos for breakfast again, man.
See more »


References The Aristocats (1970) See more »


Fast Lane
Written and Performed by Rocky Pedilla, Michael Eckhart, and Jon St. James
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User Reviews

A fun movie from my childhood filled with 80's nostalgia.
11 April 2018 | by ryanbennatonSee all my reviews

When I was a little boy this animation replaced my entire Cable TV regimen and Toy Story all together (until the VHS broke and I chose to do something else) . This movie was a fun film to watch. I loved the characters and the drama. But is it well balanced? We'll find out.

-PLOT/STORY- Oliver and company is losely based on the Charles Dicken's novel "Oliver Twist". I saw the musical when I was 9 and let me tell you. It is nothing like that. Honestly I could say that knowing Disney they could have easily gone with the watered down version of a British novel. But as lose as it is it still gets the general outline of the novel down. A Kitten named Oliver is out in the large brooding New York City (the most cliche place in film) who gets discovered by a cool talking dog named Dodger. Dodger leads Oliver to a stray pack of dogs who are actually owned by a homeless man on a dock named Fagan. Fagan, is apparently owes money to a scaryass loneshark named Sykes. So the only way to get back money is not by raising it or getting anyone to help but to steal... Now I must stop right there but what is this teaching anyone? Nothing. I cannot tell if this is being ironic or not but teaching kids to steal is not the way okay? What a bare bones lesson. Anyway, Oliver gets adopted by a wealthy little girl who's daddy is gone and he is loved. Sykes discovers this and kidnaps the little girl. Now Fagan and his gang must save her. This leads to a violent chase scene. This leads to one of the most traumatic Disney death's of my childhood right next Mufasa dying (which I didn't care for) but it wasn't Syke's death but rather his two Doberman and I love Doberman. This is graphic for the kids. I mean Gaston's death was just and like no one cared but holy crap dude. 1980's Disney has edge! So it ends up in happiness as the gang forget the climactic chase and eat birthday cake ending up in song and dance and plenty of fourth wall breaks. If that part in the climax wasn't with the 2 dogs death this movie would be a perfect 10.

-CHARACTERS- The characters in Oliver and company are cute and lovable but they are mostly archetypes and stereotypes. Oliver- a shy little kitten who must grow to be confident. Dodger- The coolest Jack Russle you'll ever see in this side of NYC. Fagan- Based off Fagan from the original movie. Fagan is a dirty frantic yet caring homeless man. Rita- A Saluki personified as a foxy black chick who wants to help Oliver grow. Penny- A young rich girl who has talent and loves animals. She is the American in this 3 cheese slice of a schmaltzy film. Has daddy issues Tito- A wise cracking Chihuahua voiced by Cheech Marin. He is the funniest and is better than any actual Chihuahua you'll ever see. Georgette- The most stereotypical poodle character you'd probably seen 100 times in any Looney Toons short. Many uppity girls will relate to her.

There are forgettable ones like

Francis- A snobby Bulldog. Einstein- A dopey Great Dane

And the worst one of all Sykes-A bruding protagonist that you'll love to hate. Has the balls to threaten a little girl and a homeless man. A lone shark mafioso who smokes a cigar and has two Dobermans.

There are some Cameos you'll see.

The characters are stereotypes but still good and likable.

-ART/ANIMATION- This was before Disney's grand renaissance of the 1990's and it shows. The characters aren't realistic, they feel more like out of a Loony Tunes cartoon lacking anatomy in someways and feel too tooned up on some of them but still very cute. But that isn't the problem really, no. The character alone are good. What the problem is that the line work feels very sketchy and Xeroxed. But the physics and overall animation make up for this as they are quite detailed.

But what's even more unbalanced is that this was the first animated film to ever use cel shaded CGI on automobiles and environments. Now I can forgive this if it was the 1960's and this was rotoscoped like in 101 Dalmatians. But this simply looks out of place. The cars have way too much perspective, physics and fluidity than the 2D characters themselves. It feels video gamey. As if they took 2D sprites and layed them over a 3D backdrop in a Nintendo Gamecube game. Just flickey neon cardboard in an otherwise realistic fluid world.

The backgrounds don't try too hard. They are nice pleasent yet sketchy images of New York City set in watercolor. They are filled with product placement which to a negative think makes them think this is just a cashgrab but to me (a positive thinker) it makes it look more grounded in reality.

Some locations look more realistic than others but your stupid kid brain can't tell the difference.

Overall though, it is a pleasent to look at movie.

-MUSIC/VOICE ACTING- Since this is a musical. It's going to have to have good music and boy does it deliver. In my opinion, Oliver and company has the best music of all time in a Disney film. Hand in hand it has good voice actors. First off you have Billy Joel singing Why Should I Worry. Which is a fun soundtrack filled. Streets of Gold- Sung by Ruth Pointer as Rita Huey Luis doing his Once upon a time in New York City which sets the sad mood of Oliver's orphan experience. Penny's Good Company sung by someone who no one knows With this kind of Talent singing pop songs (better than Zootopia trash By Shakira) Overall I love it. Lots of other soundtracks to set the mood. The music for some will trigger nostalgia to kids and tweens of that time. But to adults it may not. Because some of them who where in their 20's probably didn't even like those artists of that genre.

Oliver and Company's fun can only last son long. But do to it's inconsistent mood, strange take on a classic tale, bad climax, somewhat outdated . It will turn off some viewers and scare little kids. But over all, pretty charming. And that's all I need to say.

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