Saturday, March 15, 2014



Oliver and Company is Disney's 27th animated feature. Inspired by Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist, but set in a contemporary environment, this movie is the starting point of what is known as Disney's Renaissance, and was really important for the studio. 

Following the success of Great Mouse Detective, the team working on Oliver and Company, including Glen Keane, Mark Henn and Ruben Aquino as Animation Directors,  had the pressure of producing a new hit to try to keep Disney's animated features alive. 

In a sense, the previous films from the decade where almost lost in a period of change, but this was a starting point for a new generation of films that would take over the next year with Little Mermaid. Oliver brings back great musical numbers (although they're not half as good as the songs that would come) which had been almost forgotten in the previous films, and every movie of the 90's except Rescuers Down Under would contain great songs.

I guess there is no better example of an 80's animated film than this one. The whole aesthetics, cast and songs are characteristic of this decade's animated features. We get to see, New York Yankee caps, a guy with a boombox and even Kodak and Coke ads on the street.

But for me this is probably one of Disney's weakest animated features in terms of character design. It's weird, being the predecessor of Little Mermaid, which has some of the best and most loved characters. It's just that for me the characters lack something that had always been in Disney's movies until this one: something different and appealing. Even Black Cauldron, which is also a weak one for me in terms of characters, had the Horned King.

Anyway, the movie was a great success, even having been released on the same day as Land Before time (Directed by ex Disney animator Don Bluth) and so, Disney was able to continue doing some great movies.

We've half way through with Disney's animated features! And we are leaving the 80's behind and getting into the 90's. Movies that came out when I was a kid, so I couldn't be more excited for the next period in the Disney Challenge!

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