Blu-ray Review “Oliver & Company: 25th Anniversary Edition”

olivercompanyActors: Billy Joel, Joey Lawrence, Robert Loggia, Cheech Marin, Dom DeLuise
Directors: Dan Hansen, George Scribner
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Run Time: 74 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

“Oliver & Company” and I go way back.  Back in 1988, I begged my  folks to see the film in the theaters but ended up missing out (due to my little sister – and I have never let her live it down since, 25 years later – insert maniacal laugh!) So I had to wait till the 1996 re-release to finally see this film and loved it (of course). In today’s standards, it is not the best thing to ever come out of Disney’s animation studio but it is fun and has some great music. It does features a great and talent voice cast including Joey Lawrence, Billy Joel, Dom DeLuise, Cheech Marin, Bette Midler and Robert Loggia. To be honest, I enjoy watching this on high-def Blu-ray but like “The Sword and the Stone”, it was not really up to Disney Blu-ray standards. I would recommend for fans of the film and though crazy Disney fanatics.

Disney has been releasing all the animated classics in their library recently onto Blu-ray. Along with this, “The Sword in the Stone” (1963) and and “Robin Hood” (1973) were released as well. In fact after looking into it they should be coming to an end shortly with only fourteen more theatrically released Disney Animated Classics left with two more set for this year alone. Next up we have “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” and “The Little Mermaid”.

Official Premise: Celebrate the 25th anniversary of a Disney classic with the stunning Blu-ray debut of Oliver And Company, featuring perfect picture and sound. Relive this charming animated adventure, packed with excitement, fun and unforgettable songs by Billy Joel, Bette Midler and Huey Lewis. 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.

Disney is releasing this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray and DVD but unlike “The Sword in the Stone” (1963) and and “Robin Hood” (1973) there is no digital copy included. I guess since this is only celebrating it’s 25th anniversary it didn’t deserve it. Who knows why. Similiar to “The Sword in the Stone”, this release didn’t really wow me. The 1080p transfer looks good in parts but terrible in others.  The colors well represented though, I just feel like they overdid it on the restoration.  This film was never perfect in terms of its animation and maybe they would have been better off leaving some of those endearing imperfections. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track does delivers with the dialogue, action and fun music from Billy Joel, Betty Midler and Huey Lewis.

The special features are ok but not really anniversary special. First off, we get a vintage behind-the-scenes look with “The Making of Oliver and Company”. There is another featurette called “Disney’s Animated Animals”, which talks about created our furry friends. There is also an alternate ending included. There is a sing-along mode for the film’s six fun songs. There is a bonus shorts including “Lend A Paw” and “Puss Café”. Lastly there is a TV spot, a theatrical trailer and re-release trailers.

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