Loosely based on Dickens’ Oliver Twist, this animated Disney release is the story of an orphaned cat named Oliver who is befriended by vagabond dogs led by the the dashing rapscallion, Dodger. Oliver is adopted by lonely rich girl Jenny, whose prize-winning poodle, Georgette (voice of Bette Milder), has a world-class case of jealousy. First Oliver and then Jenny are kidnapped for ransom, but are saved from wicked Sikes by the clever animals.
While not up there with the Disney classics, this movie has real pleasures, especially Dodger’s “Why Should I Worry” musical number (written and sung by Billy Joel) with Dodger leaping and dancing through Manhattan traffic.
There are also some scary moments, but kids will appreciate the way that Oliver takes care of himself, and the way that the dogs take care of him, of each other, and of their human friend, the hapless Fagin (voice of Dom DeLouise).