Oliver and Company

With a shamed little sigh, I confess that I’m thinking about buying the 20th anniversary edition of Oliver and Company. As the commercial for the re-release flashed across my TV screen this past week, a wave of guilt washed over me as I thought about adding Disney’s 27th full-length animated feature to my DVD library. When it comes to choosing which Disney films to purchase, things are usually pretty black and white with me; the rules are clear and simple and I seldom waver over which selections to label a “classic” and are worthy to join my collection. While some might call my standards harsh and judgmental, a few key indicators have come in handy as I’ve built my collection:

Straight to DVD? Not Okay With Me: If it doesn’t play on the big screen, it probably won’t be playing on my small screen. Jafar is not allowed to return, Pocahontas won’t go to the New World and Cinderella’s dreams will not be coming true.
It Might Get 86’Ed If It Was Made in the 80’s: Anyone else remember “Totally Minnie” besides me? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fYm_ceB-BY) While it wasn’t a feature length film, if the Black Cauldron and the Great Mouse Detective didn’t give you reason enough to question Disney in the 80’s, Totally Minnie will.
Questionable Casting Choices = Question Purchasing: Roseanne Barr in Home on the Range. Rosie O’Donnell in Tarzan. Joaquin Phoenix in Brother Bear. Yikes. Enough said.

While the cons are overwhelmingly apparent – after all, Oliver and Company falls into two of these three categories (made in the 80’s and stars Joey Lawrence) – I’m still questionably drawn to it. Maybe it’s because the first time I went to the movie theatre sans-parent. I still remember my mom dropping off my freckle faced partner in crime, Kelly Lockhart, and myself for an afternoon showing at the local Cineplex; that matinee was our first step on the road to adulthood and Oliver was just the cat to lead the way. Maybe it’s the catchy, bebopulation musicality of Billy Joel. Maybe its just nostalgia. Whatever the reason, odds are Oliver and Company will soon hold a place in my collection of Disney Classics. Why should I worry, why should I care? Sometimes the magic of Disney can’t be explained, but just enjoyed.

Kristen

Mousetalgia Kristen may be best known for her color commentary, but she also brings her inquiring mind and insatiable appetite for new and exciting Disney-related experiences to the podcast. In addition to her on-the-scene reports, Kristen is also the Mousetalgia house musician, and often records various themes and tunes for the show on her accordion (or her concertina, her piano, her banjo, or some other various rhythm instrument she finds laying around her home), putting her degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to good use. After having spent a season in sub-Saharan Africa as a professional storyteller reporting on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Kristen has a special insight into the value of humor and perspective, and Kristen brings this joie de vivre to Mousetalgia. As a member of D23, the Cartoon Art Museum, and the Walt Disney Family Museum, Kristen rarely misses an opportunity to report on West Coast-based Disney happenings.

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