Set against the skylines, streets and subways of modern day New York City, Walt Disney Pictures 27th full-length animated feature, Oliver & Company is a contemporary re-telling of Dickens’ classic story.
Oliver follows the misadventures of an orphaned kitten (Oliver) who is taken in by a pack of pickpocket dogs, headed by Dodger, the coolest quadruped in Manhatten and their human master, Fagin. When a little girl from Fifth Avenue finds Oliver and takes him uptown to live with her rich family, Fagin’s evil boss, Sykes, steps in and kidnaps the pair. His plan to keep Oliver from having his customary nine lives is foiled however, when the kitten’s canine pals decide to use their street ‘savoir faire’ in order to rescue him.
Oliver features one of the largest casts in recent animation history. The models and guidelines for each of the leading characters were created by Mike Gabriel, Andreas Deja and Glen Keane.
“In designing the character of Dodger,” recalls Deja, “there was a natural tendency in the beginning to model him after Tramp since both are happy-go-lucky street dogs.