DVD Review (Posted on 10-11-2013)
Farfetched this will sound: I believe this film was where one of my favorite cartoons from Nickelodeon CatDog
likely derived from. Nothing but a sweet, nice film featuring adorable animals, in this case a cat and a dog, pursuing an adventure that we'll never forget. Because cats and dogs are natural enemies, like a snake and a mongoose, seeing two of them doing whatever it takes to save the other marks what true friendship really makes, portraying such in this classic film.
First scene sets in a barn where the animals sleep soundly. Introduced by the narrator is the farm cat who gave birth to kittens, all of whom are well behaved...except one. It's Milo—the most mischievous kitten of all, getting into trouble. Outside the cat family, Milo met a pug puppy named Otis, and without a doubt, both became true best friends. Once the kittens aged a bit, they all left the hayloft to go out, as the mother cat goes to the dock to tell the kittens not to play around that area. Milo continues to play along, then falls into the river off the dock! Mother cat was aggravated but dives in to save Milo, and does. Milo thought that was fun but mother cat didn't want Milo to push on with any more trouble.
Like how we were during youth, Milo grew old enough to play by himself, as he and Otis play a funny game of hide and seek. Afterward, the duo hear trouble in the Hen House, where a chicken kicks out the whole flock out of the place. It's Gloria the Chicken, and she wanted to be alone. She suddenly lays an egg, in which Otis was assigned to take care of it. Meanwhile, a frog warns Otis that Milo is up to trouble once again. Milo climbs atop a tree when he hears annoying sounds. It's a bird who can't stop tweeting (no, not the Twitter Bird) as Milo comes over and hilariously smacks the bird to shut up. Suddenly, Milo finds a crab and plays around with it. Smacking and slapping it, the crab clamps Milo's lip leaving the poor cat in pain. A realization struck the duo when both Milo and Otis forgot about the egg!
Running back to the barn, they find a trespasser observing the egg—a hedgehog. After kicking the hedgehog out, Milo witnesses the egg shaking. It begins to hatch! Peaking through, it's a hatchling! After getting out of its shell, it first sees Otis thinking the pug is its mother. Otis informs the chick he's not the parent but it thinks he is. With Otis teaching the adorable chick to be a dog, it joins up the chickens to finally figure out its real identity (we've all got to deal with reality some time).
Milo runs at the dock where his mom first showed him and the other kittens. Otis isn't up for anything knowing trouble is near. Milo runs into a crawfish in the dock wondering if he could eat it (Milo, if you travel to Louisiana, they'll be happy to tell you how to eat crawfish). Otis, deciding to hang around the dock, gets pinched on the butt, flying in the air and into the river as the ducks all laugh! Otis runs into land and dries up when he noticed his best friend Milo is missing. Milo popped up from the wooden box stationed near the dock, playing another game of hide and seek. However, the box Milo is in begins sailing through the river, as Otis grows uneasy about this. Twice, Otis tried to swim and save Milo but no good; Milo continues to sail and sail until he himself starts feeling lost, unable to find his way out and back to the farm. Along the way, he fiddles with a hungry bear when the day turns into night. In the morning, Milo finds cows but doesn't recognize them from the farm.
For Otis, he's still sniffing the trail alongside the river to search for Milo but to no avail. He eventually runs into Deadwood Swamp—an area so barren with trees dry and crackled. Otis finally found the box where Milo was sailing in, guarded by a bird. Barking the bird out of the way, Otis finds nothing in the box besides a black feather. Milo is gone!
Having escaped unscathed, Milo runs into a field trying to find food having gone hungry ever since. Up a tree, he sees a fox from afar who's stuffing its food—muskrat—underground to save for dinner. After running away, Milo sneaks by and digs the ground to get a few bites from the fox's dinner! On the other side, Otis continues to search when he asked mussels on the beachside for help, as the mussels didn't even want to talk. The winds begin picking up and the tides ashore start raging in; It starts to rain. Milo found a place to stay dry, hoping to see Otis; However, Otis is trapped on a rock surrounded by water! When the water calms a bit, a nice sea turtle offers Otis some help, and swims him to shore riding on its shell. After thanking the turtle, Otis runs into a familiar animal: the fox! It wanted someone to play with and jokes with Otis for a bit.
Having dried up, Milo is lost again running into what looks like a railroad track. A train is coming by and Milo is in the tracks, but luckily ducks safely and continues on. Looking for more food and drink, Milo runs into a deer. The deer helps the sweet cat by guiding him to a small pond for a drink. Yet another long day, Milo rests up right next to his new friend—possibly the sweetest scene ever! While Otis continues on search for Milo, it's nighttime and Milo, atop a tree, is eye-to-eye next to an owl telling him that he's trespassing. After a quick exchange, the owl kindly let Milo cozy up to its nest, where he began having a dream—a dream where he was back in the farm with Otis (dreams do come true, Milo).
It is then Milo hear cries for help. He thought it was a field rat, who was snatched for dinner by a night owl. Milo followed the cries as he ran into a piglet! The piglet is lost and needs to find its way back to its family, which Milo kindly and successfully did! To repay the kindness, the mother pig let Milo sleep with the family back at their residence and gave him breakfast. Milo, appreciating the kindness to his new friends, strolls along hanging around another stream. He wanted some trout and catches one, while a raccoon looking onward steals it from Milo! The bear smells the fish and wanted it as well, but instead, wanted Milo! Quickly hanging on a branch, Milo shoves away the bear as it fell from the tree.
Hunger kicks in once again, and Milo sees and decides to snatch seagull eggs. The seagulls sense a cat in the area looking to steal some eggs, when the whole flock begin attacking Milo! In desperation, Milo escapes jumping off the cliff and dives right into the water. Running back to shore, Milo finds a shack where he could finally be safe and sound...only to find the bear yet again! The bear tries to catch Milo through the drawers but no good. With no choice, sitting on top of the cabinet, Milo jumps onto the shelf where a heavy ball, likely a bowling ball, rolls down and hits the bear on the head! The bear, confused on what hit him, runs away, as Milo exhaled a sigh of relief. Milo climbs into another tree thinking he's safe...when a slithering snake crawls up behind him! Milo, toying with the snake, then falls into a hole and is trapped! Crying and meowing for help, Milo could not be heard except one: Otis! Breaking off tree branches, and using a piece of rope, Otis successfully saves his best friend Milo from the hole!
The duo is back together again, when they both hear a cry: it's the cry of a beautiful, white cat named Joyce. Milo was head over heels as Milo wanted to bring Joyce back to the farm. Otis, not being comforted enough with attention by his best friend, decides to leave and go on his own. Winter hits and Milo and Joyce settle inside a small cave underneath. On the other hand, Otis decides to go on his own running through the cold when he heard a cry from afar—it's Sandra! Otis was being silly, gone head over heels for Sandra, finally figuring out why Milo acted in such way when he met Joyce (see what Love does to a man when they see a woman they like?). Otis also finds a residence where he and Sandra stay in for now, until the Spring season arrives.
Knowing the simple process of how we fall in Love, something happens: Joyce is pregnant and gives birth to kittens! Oddly enough, that very same day, Sandra, too, is pregnant and gave birth to pups! Otis was so happy and proud, he kept running in and out of their habitat. Looking to support his family, Otis goes out in the cold to find food for the family, when Sandra, waiting, is a bit nervous because Otis has been out for so long. Otis nearly gave up and froze to death, when he got back up determined to help his new family, then runs into a cabin. Calling for food, someone pops up from the window: it's Milo! Like best friends, Milo pre-prepared a long rack full of fish that Otis happily takes, as he runs back to his family to feed.
After agreeing prior, both Milo and Otis meet in the Spring season to introduce their families together. Shy at first, the pups and the kittens got along, much like how Milo and Otis got along when they were young. Milo then stops all the fun and talk, when he finally runs into the main road—the road that leads back to the farm! The film ends with credits and soundtrack.
With a doubt, the most heart-cozy film one can ever watch. The music, the cinematography and the animals themselves are a joy and fun to watch. The dialogue blended well with the actions, and it's a lot of fun.
Only a few things: even though it was a quick shot, I didn't want to see Joyce actually giving birth; The same for Sandra. This may not sit well with some folks, especially kids, but I'd thought I'd mention; It's very much like seeing an actual woman giving birth. And although seeing women with their legs open casts an aroma for eroticism, women with legs wide open when giving birth can be hard to watch (though for us men wanting kids someday, we'll have to overcome it). Also, with the narration, the film audibly felt like an audiobook with no voiceovers covering for each animal. Nowhere in the credits did it state that this may have been based off of a book/novel, but it felt that way. Nevertheless, it worked and it wasn't too big a deal.
In the credits, if any of you read them, the sounds were "rerecorded by" the Toho Sound Center
. Yes, Toho
is the production company known for their popular film series Godzilla
On the back of the DVD, it says "Mastered in High Definition." This IS NOT
in high definition widescreen, although it was later remastered for Blu-Ray.
Whether it's for your kids, or you're simply an animal lover, this is an excellent film to add to your DVD collection. There are NO
signs of people in the film whatsoever, so you'll get fun, dramatic and hilarious bits from the adorable animals out of this film.
I also highly recommend fighting off breast cancer, brought to you by GreaterGood
© 2008-2019 written and reviewed personally by Kris Caballero.
Executive in Charge of Production
Based on an
Original Story by
Production Planning Masaki Miyauchi
Assistant Director Takashi Ueno
Story Consultants to Mr. Hata Taizo Minamikawa
Production Coordinator Sumikazu Okazaki
Cinematography by Hideo Fujii
Edited by Chizuko Osada
Additional Film Editing Peter Verity
Sound by Minoru Mobuoka
Rerecorded by Toho Sound Center
Art Direction Takeharu Sakaguchi
Lighting Reijiro Yamashita
Animal Supervisor Mikio Hata
Music Editors Nancy Fogerty
Assistant to the Producers Akira Sakai
Assistants to Mr. Hata Shinji Mita
Assistant Camera Operators Kenji Shibuta
Sound Assistant Nobuhiro Shibayama
Editing Assistants Miho Itoga
Assistant Art Director Kiyoshi Honda
Lighting Assistants Masaru Iwasaki
Special Effects Yoshio Kojima
Negative Cutter Chie Aoki
Production Staff Yoji Itagaki
Orchestration by Thomas Pasatieri
Animal Trainers Toshiaki Ishikawa
Animal Care Supervision Mutsugoro Animal Kingdom
With Special Thanks to
The Mutsugoro Committee
Tokyo Commercial Film
TOA Domestic Air
Written by Dick Tarrier
Performed by Dan Crow
Film Processing by Tokyo Laboratory, LTD.
Post-Production Services Provided by The Burbank Studios
Titles and Optical Effects by Cinema Research Corporation
Filmed in Panavision®
Color by Eastman®
Prints by Deluxe®
Copyright © 1986 Fuji Television Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 1989 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
The characters and incidents portrayed and the names
herein are fictitious, and any similarity to the name,
character or history of any person is entirely
coincidental and unintentional.
The animals used were filmed under strict supervision
with the utmost concern for their handling.
This motion picture photoplay is protected pursuant
to the provisions of the laws of the United States of
America and other countries. Any unauthorized
duplication and/or distribution of this photoplay may
result in civil liability and criminal prosecution.
A Columbia Pictures Release
Talents & Filmographies
Born April 19, 1935, Dagenham, Essex, England
Actor, pianist, composer
TV series: "Beyond the Fringe" (1964), "Not Only...But Also"
(1965), "Dudley" (1993), "Daddy's Girls" (1994)
Oscar® nominee: Best Actor, ARTHUR (1981)
Golden Globe winner (Best Actor, Musical Comedy):
ARTHUR (1981), MICKI & MAUDE (1984)
Director, zoologist, author
Pen name: Mutsugoro
Former occupation: documentary filmmaker