BetteBack December 2, 1988: Oliver – Bette Gives It Her Brassy Best!

Frederick News Post
December 2, 1988


Not one of the great Disney animated movies, this revamping of Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” is nevertheless likable family entertainment.

The Dickens tale has been transposed from 19th century London to contemporary Manhattan, with cats and dogs standing in for the original humans.

The story follows the contours of Dickens. Orphaned kitty Oliver hangs out with a pack of pickpocket dogs led by the human Fagin. When Oliver is taken in by a sweet Fifth Avenue girl, Fagin’s boss Sykes seeks revenge, kidnapping Oliver and the girl.

This is Disney’s most urban-ethnic animated effort to date. Alas, the computerized drawing lacks the depth of field and handcrafted finesse of classic Disney. It’s the characters themselves who will have kids purring ^ith pleasure – especially since the voices are supplied by the likes of Billy Joel, Cheech Marin and Bette Midler.

Midler gives her brassy best to the part of a highfalutin poodle, and she warbles the best song, too.

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