Oliver & Company (USA, 1988)
Directed by George Scribner
Starring Joey Lawrence, Billy Joel, Cheech Marin, Richard Mulligan
This year marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth, and many commentators have speculated as to the reasons for his staying power as an author. Some point to his biting social commentary, which still rings true in our capitalist society. Others look at his unique and playful characterisations, which have given us a whole pantheon of memorable heroes and villains. And others still believe that it's simply because we were forced to study him in English lessons, and have been unable to shift him from our collective consciences.
The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron all requiring approximately four years' work. After The Black Cauldron flopped at the US box office, the Disney executives decided on a new approach: to make more films faster, releasing at least one a year with intensive marketing and merchandising, to create a regular presence in the crowded film market and rebuild their dwindling brand recognition.
Dumbo is a genuine success, and that's largely because its story isn't all that time-specific.
101 Dalmatians and Peg, Jock and Trusty from Lady and the Tramp. I spoke in my review of The Rescuers about the recurring role of mice in Disney films, but here, as there, you cannot put their presence down to any kind of continuity - it's plain and simple laziness.
Verdict: Caught between a rock and a Renaissance