Parents' Guide to

Oliver & Company

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Can't compete with Disney classics, but still fun.

Movie G 1988 74 minutes
Oliver & Company Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 8+

Dated, dull, sad, scary, and not appropriate for kids.

This popped up on Disney+ and I was excited to watch a movie with my 5 year old and 2 year old that I remember enjoying as a kid. The main theme “Why Should I Worry” And first 10 minutes were enjoyable but after that it was pretty bad... I was surprised at how inappropriate it all was in 2020 standards. There’s a scary, sinister male villain, a little girl hanging out alone at night with a homeless male stranger, and the little girl’s parents aren’t in the movie ever (why would Disney even act like that’s safe or ok for a little girl to hang out with creepy dudes like that?). And at the end the little chihuahua dog is insinuating that he’s going upstairs to his new dog girlfriend Georgette’s place for sexy stuff. So not necessary. Disney, I know this is an old flick and thankfully standards have changed but I’m ashamed I even made my kids watch this. Please keep the inappropriate and sexy stuff out of kid movies. It’s so unnecessary, and kids are smarter than you think. Do better. I’ll stick to newer movies with better messages of true friendship, female empowerment, and not trying to hide adult themes / innuendo / and sexual messages in kid animated movies.
age 5+

This is a great film, if you use your common sense!

I found it very funny that so many parents were scandalized by the story. It is a modern retelling of classic literature: Dickens' Oliver Twist! A good gauge to tell if your child is ready for it is whether or not you would consider screening OLIVER! (another G rated musical based on the same story) for them. Otherwise, this is a terrific little film. The characters are engaging, and now, 30 years on, it captures the look and feel of 1980's New York City brilliantly. The opening sequence, depicting Oliver's struggle to find shelter to the lovely tune of "Once Upon a Time in New York City" never fail to bring me to tears. I appreciate that Jenny, the little girl who adopts Oliver, is portrayed as a real little girl, kind and loving, but also a tiny bit willful as well. The characters, aside from Oliver, Jenny, and possibly Jenny's faithful butler Winston, are not the best role models, but in the real world, none of us are perfect. However, like Fagin and his gang, we can all be our best selves when we need to be.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14 ):
Kids say (22 ):

While not up there with the Disney classics, OLIVER AND COMPANY has some real pleasures. Most memorable is 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 (Dom DeLuise).

Movie Details

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