Two words: Billy. Joel.
The movie is based on the story Oliver Twist (which I haven't read, so I can't really compare...). Oliver is a small orphaned cat who runs into Dodger (IT'S BILLY JOEL), a street-wise city dog. Oliver follows Dodger to his home, where he lives with a pack of city dogs and their master, Fagin. Fagin owes a huge amount of money to Sykes, who is very big and very scary. When the dogs are out collecting scrap to re-sell, they lose Oliver, who is then rescued by Jenny, a little girl who lives in the very wealthy upper east side of NYC. Oliver loves it there, but Georgette (OMG BETTE MIDLER?!), Jenny's best-in-show poodle, is not. However, Jenny and Oliver bond with a cute little montage which includes my favorite song:
Dodger and the gang think that Oliver's in trouble, so with Georgette's permission they "rescue" a sleeping Oliver and bring him back to their humble abode. Fagin realizes that Oliver is worth big money if he's returned to Jenny, so he makes a ransom note telling Jenny's parents to bring lots of cash if they want their precious kitty back. Unfortunately, only a crying Jenny shows up with her piggy bank. Okay, hold on. A girl under 10 years old is walking around creepy alleyways in NY at who knows what time and had nothing happen to her?! Wow, Disney, you impress me. Back to the story. Fagin's whole "OMG-I'm-gonna-be-rich" plan backfires which leads to chase scene in a subway track and over the freaking brooklyn bridge (again, Disney, WHAT?!) which then leads to Sykes getting run over by a subway. YAYY! Cut to Jenny's *best birthday of my life* party with every (good) character in the movie.
In all seriousness, I really like this movie. And I really like the special features on the DVD. One thing that bugged me was that EVERY video clip about Oliver & Comapny used the "Abs-a-tively Poos-uh-loot-ley" clip and the "If this is torture, chain me to the wall!" clip. Seriously, you've got a whole movie of clips to choose from. However, I loved the scrapbook and the two bonus shorts, "Lend A Paw" (which I have in book form), and "Puss Cafe". No, not THAT type of Puss Cafe...
The best Disney cartoon ever.
Actually, one of my favorite things about this movie is that they got so many interesting people in the cast. When I found out Joey Lawerence was Oliver, the little 90's girl in me swooned and said "BROTHERLY LOVE!!!!!!!" Yes, I'm so cool. Don't judge me. They somehow got Bette Midler to voice Georgette, and BILLY JOEL is Dodger. Can I please take Dodger home? PUHLEEEEZZ?!
But really, this movie is great. It pioneered a whole new generation of Disney movies, and it was one of the first animated movies to get help from a computer. One of my favorite Disney animated musicals.