Monday, May 30, 2011

The Adventures of Milo and Otis (1989) "So it finally happened!"

“I'll pull you in by your nose!” -Milo

I don’t think it was my nose that was pulled in, but I was none-the-less. This movie is soooo cute! It is about the adventures of a cat (Milo), who gets lost far from home, and a dog (his best friend, Otis), who must go find and rescue him. Their adventures are filled with lots of cute animals and, of course, a cute, happy ending. Did I mention that this movie is really cute? Well in case I did not get this point across…it is adorable!

I think the recommended age of this movie was about 4, but truly that is ridiculous. I think the recommended age should be 4-104, even if the intro song sounds like a sing-a-long song! Just because there is no violence, vulgarity, or exposed skin does not mean people who can tie their own shoes should not watch it. The structure of the film was actually very creative. The animals were followed without any digital altering and each animal’s voice and the narration were all done by Dudley Moore. So one minute he would put on the voice of a sneaky raccoon and the next he would be a girly, free-spirited deer. It was obvious that they were all done by the same person, but this made it seem like an actual comforting story with illustrations. Even with a straight forward plot and filming, the camera work helped to make sure that it did still come across as a movie with different angles. So, the scenes would sometimes be shot from an animal’s perspective, giving the impression of running at ground level or swimming underwater.

If only the world could be this way, with everyone getting along so easily! This movie definitely disproves the phrase ‘fighting like cats and dogs.’ Not only do all the cats and dogs get along and play, but Milo is such good friends with the chickens that they allow him to walk across their backs. It is too bad that all the different people of the world cannot take after these dogs, cats, and chickens and put aside their obvious differences.

I always knew that bunnies plotted revenge, and a movie that points this out has to be perfect, right? Well, there was one thing that put a damper on the movie for me. All over the internet there are accusations of animal cruelty in the filming process. Now this sparks arguments because it was never proven and people claim that it untrue, but it stuck in my head while I watched the movie and really bothered me. I am extremely supportive of the equal and ethical treatment of animals, so even the thought of this was nauseating to me and almost ruined the movie completely (if it is true, the movie is on my despise list). Scenes such as the one where Milo is falling off a cliff into the ocean and is being pinched by a crab had to be real. He even hits a poor baby bird and I could see the sheer panic on his face when he is stranded in the middle of the river, soaking wet. I hated these scenes and their horribleness stayed with me. Maybe that is why it was recommended for four year olds; they do not know what is really happening between the animals and what the critters were put through to get the shots.
Milo thrown off a cliff into the ocean:

I honestly can’t decide if I would recommend this movie. It seems as if it could have been made at any time, as animals cannot have 80’s hair, but this is not the deciding factor. I love animals, so I enjoy seeing a movie all about them being adorable out in nature and want to share this. But the fact that it was made in the 80’s in Japan and had a lot of trauma in the final product (which makes me wonder what footage did not make the cut) makes the possibility of animal cruelty quite real, so then I want no one to ever, ever see it (and frankly, would want it burned). I just don’t know; I’m conflicted.

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