Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Contemplations of The Adventures of Milo & Otis

Milo & Otis

I have wanted to write a blog about the movie Milo & Otis for quite some time now.  In case you have never heard of it, The Adventures of Milo and Otis is a 1986 movie about two animals, Milo (an orange tabby cat) and Otis (a pug) who go on an adventure and interact with an assortment of other animals & sticky situations.  When I was a child I thought this was a fantastic movie.  I actually ended up re-buying it a few years ago before I ever had my son, thanks to a wonderful $5 movie bin.  During my entire life, I would have bet money that Milo and Otis spoke during the movie.  You can imagine my devastation when finally watching this movie in adulthood that there is actually only a single narrator (Dudley Moore) that tells the story and voices all characters throughout the movie.  I was highly impressed by the excellent story telling skills that had me convinced as a child that these characters were brought to life in my imagination.   From Milk & Otis hatching an egg, to traveling downstream, interacting with a bear, riding on a turtle’s back, meeting mates,  making it back home and many other little anecdotal adventures along their journey. 
Just a few weeks ago I got my son into Milo & Otis and we were watching it together.  I again saw this movie with a new set of eyes.  I started paying more attention to how amazing it was that the film maker had actually caught all of these animals on camera doing these amazing things.  There are a few moments of possible staging, but overall, it appears that the filming of Milo & Otis took quite some patience in following their journey throughout the movie to be able to catch such amazing animal interactions.  I began to look at the movie in a whole new way.  This brought about the question of whether these animals were set up into staged scenarios, and whether or not they were trained.  Then I began to wonder if any animals were harmed, especially since there are several scenes showing a black bear interacting with the main characters that could easily result in harm to the animals.  Keep in mind that this was originally a Japanese movie that was created in the early 80s and later translated into an American film and narrated by Dudley Moore.  No matter what the circumstance, it is still amazing to see the animal interactions and wonder at the man hours to capture all of this on film.  If you have never seen Milo & Otis, I recommend watching it at least once just for the sheer awe of 80s animal adventure cinema.  If you have seen it before, I invite you to revisit the film to see how a new set of eyes might view the story.  I still love it to this day and have been happy to have the opportunity to share it with my son. 
Please view this movie trailer to pique your interest or bring you back to memory lane.
*Disclaimer: this is a video borrowed from YouTube, I am not the owner nor do I have any rights to this video, this is for entertainment purposes only.

*According to Wikipedia, the entire movie was comprised of roughly 40.3 hours of film shot over a period of 4 years.
Now that is dedication if you ask me.

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