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Parent reviews for The Adventures of Milo and Otis

Common Sense says

Lovable pet tale about friendship despite differences.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 34 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 27 reviews
Adult Written byRKrieg June 20, 2011

Cruelty to animals

This film is delightful to watch, until you realize all the cruelty that was certainly in play during the making of it. Real cats and dogs are depicted suffering and fighting for their lives against real opponents, situations engineered by the filmmakers. Children listening to the narration will not be aware of what is really going on, but it is obvious to any adult observer -- especially when the kitten is flung off a 40-foot cliff into the ocean, or at the top of a tree trying to evade a snake. Use your "common sense" and don't support this film.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 2 year old Written byJesseCaf March 30, 2013

not recommended

My wife and I cringed all throughout this movie as the animals were constantly in situations that you could tell were stressful/dangerous. Although that stuff all went over our 3-year-old's head, we won't watch it again. And they drop the poor cat off a cliff into the ocean...

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 7 year old Written byanne f November 24, 2009

Not recommended

While it is a cute tale, the cats used to play Milo clearly were put in harm's way for filming numerous times. Milo was filmed plummeting off a cliff and going over a waterfall in a box. These scenes were shot from far enough away that we can see that there are not crew members nearby to rescue the cat if need be. We rented this without realizing the controversy surrounding it.
Adult Written byJennifer S. October 22, 2017

No way around the animal cruelty

I remember seeing this movie in the theater when I was 5, and I remember being enchanted. Nothing but fond, sweet, innocent memories of a funny narrator and adorable animals. Decades later, I decided to put it on for my kids and relive the magic. ........Oh. My. Lord! This film is just scene after scene of horrific, REAL animal cruelty. There was no CGI, no creative cutting, they actually and really sic a bear on a dog! This isn't a joke: they put a snake in a small space with a cat and a bunch of kittens, and they filmed it! They actually threw a live kitten off a cliff! I felt sick to my stomach. We're not even vegetarian or anything, but we have pets and we would never treat them like this! There is just no redeeming this movie.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byheymaiabee January 2, 2015

Wish I had read user reviews instead of just Commonsense review!

I REALLY wish CommonSenseMedia's review of this movie had put a lot more emphasis on the "controversial animal cruelty" aspects of this movie- Perhaps it could have encouraged people to read some info about the making of the movie to get the real picture.... I certainly wish we had done so before selecting this movie based on the 5 stars given by CommonSenseMedia. My 5 year old son enjoyed it (thankfully, he is young enough that he didn't grasp the reality of how this was made), but my husband and I were horrified. Parts of this movie were genuinely upsetting to watch, as it was abundantly clear animals had been tormented in the making of this film. Pretty awful.
Parent of a 3 year old Written bycharlotteargon October 17, 2014

Animals Exploited for this Film and Subjected to Cruelty

I regret having the kids watch this movie. Though the different animals and the plot mesmerized my kids, the animals are in constant peril. I can't help but feel bad for the cat and dog (Milo and Otis) that had to star in this movie. The filmmakers made the dog get into a fight with a bear, a swarm of seagulls attack the cat, and the cat fall from a waterfall as it was inside a box. The worst scene was when the cat fell from a cliff into the ocean, and my 7-year old son worried about that cat and asked if this was real. Unfortunately, it was a real scene as you can see the cat struggling as it fell into the water. I don’t consider myself an animal rights activist, but you can see the fear in the cat and dog. Please don’t support this movie.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written bynduns March 3, 2012

I almost feel bad for liking this...

If you know the history surrounding this movie, you'd understand. See, 10 of the 30 of the cats used for this film died on set, like, for real. In other words, these animals were in REAL danger. When the bear and the Otis fight, that's not staged. It's real. Heck, check out the original Japanese version and you'll see a lot of stuff this version didn't want you to see. And even some of the stuff they do keep in makes it painfully obvious these animals are actually honest-to-god harming themselves to make this movie work. Yeah, it's enjoyable as a film, but it's hard to really support such a creation when you know how it was made.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent Written bydawnb5 February 20, 2016

Disturbing movie!

It would be a good movie if it weren't for the fact that you can tell they put the animals in terrible situations to make that movie!
Adult Written byA critical thinker March 21, 2012

Cute, but abusive to cats and not compelling

The seagull scene definitely counts as abuse. They terrorized that cat, then dropped into the ocean from a great height. That's not okay. My kids enjoyed the movie, but I thought it was pretty bad. These farm animals survived a snowy winter in caves without food, and the dogs' cave looked like something from an old Star Trek episode. My older son noticed, asking "what's that glowing green pool?" The pool was bubbling and emitting puffs of smoke; in a cave in the woods, really? It's easy to imagine the animals communicating to one another in Dudley Moore's voice, but some of the other implausibilities were too distracting.
Parent of a 1 and 4 year old Written bykbierma May 13, 2011

A delightfully sweet movie for kids, enjoyable for adults, too.

My daughter was delighted with this movie. This is almost like a documentary story. There are no humans, just animals and a man's voice as the narrator through the whole movie. The scenery is beautiful and the animal characters are engaging.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Parent of a 4 and 5 year old Written byCaraH 1 August 6, 2015

Awful animal cruelty

I'm amazed this has received 5 stars from other reviewers. This is the first time Common Sense Media has given us misleading information. I was saddened from the start of this film, with the horrifying situations in which domestic animals are placed. It led me to read about the filming, which was incredibly disturbing. This should NOT be recommended for children of any age! More info in the following link, but if you're skeptical of my review, Google it for yourself. http://www.animalsmattertoo.com/articles/miloandotiscruelty.htm

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 5 year old Written byjbella April 13, 2011


i love milo and otis.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe September 14, 2010
I LOVED this movie when I was younger and still find it charming, although now that I'm older some of the scenes do worry me. There are several scenes which clearly put the animals playing these characters are put in harms way. There are scenes of finding mates and having children but there isn't anything graphic. Overall still a wonderful story for children.
Parent of a 3 year old Written byAmyWP September 8, 2010

Preschool daughter adores this movie

My 3.5-year old daughter loves this movie! She adores animals and she appreciates the friendship that develops between Milo & Otis. When she gets a little older, I plan to talk with her about how the movie was filmed and the controversy surrounding live animal performances.
Adult Written byRobertM April 9, 2008

One of our family's favorite movies!

This is one of the best children's movies about animals there is. Even adults can enjoy it. There is one scene where a brown bear threatens the cat but the dog "fights" him off. The fighting is not much more than splashing but some children may find this a little scary. Other than that this is a great film.
Parent Written byRenee86 November 19, 2017

Heart Broken

Milo and Otis has always been a favorite. I grew up watching and loving it and introduced the movie to my children who also fell in love. This afternoon it occurred to me to look up how the movie was actually made and naive as it sounds I couldn't believe the animal cruelty allegations. Look it up yourself and you will see. It is no longer a movie I even feel ok to own and I am bothered that so many are in the dark. This was not an adventure for these animals but a path towards pain and death. I am just stunned and heart broken.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byd y December 16, 2016
Im for good honest fun films to show childern and bring families together thats whats great about movies in general. But what i cant get out of my head is how many cats n dogs did this movie save or in other words kill in making the film? Making a movie about cats and dogs adventures is supose to be happy and loving not killing them to make a scene over and pver and over again. Killing animals to make a low budget film which didnt amount to anything to kids now.
Adult Written byjjburch February 6, 2015


Parents and kids need to know that this movie endangers animals. The situations that the animals are put in are frightening to kids and likely resulted in harm to the animals involved. My daughter adds: "I think the beginning of this movie is perfect, the other parts i don't recommend for kids who are sensitive in this situation."

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 2 and 5 year old Written bysandnmommy September 3, 2010

sweet movie

It can be a bit scary but overall my kids enjoy it.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Positive Messages
Adult Written bySpartanicus J January 19, 2018

But it looked so benign...

Like so many families with several kids, we went hunting last weekend for a movie we'd not all seen - a difficult task when balancing the needs of a five-year-old with that of an 11-year-old and a 14-year-old. After some deliberation, we selected "The Adventures of Milo and Otis." It was rated G, had a reasonably strong user review rating, and I thought: "How bad could it be?" Even if kitschy, who couldn't relax and enjoy 80 minutes of what I assumed would be banal cuteness. With the "G" rating, we didn't bother looking it up on Common Sense Media, which also gives it high rating. //// First off, the movie isn't particularly banal. From a storytelling standpoint, it's not half-bad: the characters get into real and frightening trouble, and the challenges just keep pouring in. When you think they've made it through the worst, the next bugbear (sometimes a real bear) rises up to alarm us. //// And that's when, about 1/5 of the way into the movie, as I grew more and more discomfited by what I was watching, my 11 year old said, "Just how many kittens did they have to kill to make this movie?" -- expressing exactly what I was starting to wonder. I now wish we'd turned the movie off - but like happening accidentally on the scene of a crash and glancing before realizing we should look away - we kept staring in disbelief as the horrors for the animal "actors" just became more horrific. I kept thinking, "Wow - I can't believe the director did that ... it can't get worse from here, can it?" ... and it did ... over and over, beating us around the head with animal actors who appear to be in real and actual danger in which they are clearly in fear for their own well-being. //// I like a good horror or R-rated action movie -- but I don't tend to share those movies with my kids. Since watching this film, I've felt ... grossed out about it. As others have noted, a kitten is dropped off a very high cliff into the ocean, a bear bites a cat's paw (ow!?), a bear smacks a dog's head (ow!!), a kitten falls down a serious waterfall in an open box (how many takes were needed to get that shot??) ... and with those painful moments as a backdrop, one wonders to what lengths the director went to get other scenes which seem more benign ... //// If this were an animated story, or if the most painful moments were not really filmed but implied, this would have been a cute but enjoyable film. There are some interesting (even impressive) moments between other animals and the protagonists, but due to the questionable treatment of the animals, the whole movie just ends up feeling uncomfortable. //// I've never written a bad review of a movie before, and I'm normally very lenient -- making films is no easy task -- but like other commenters, I wanted to give fair warning about this film.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness