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The Adventures of Milo and Otis Review

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The adventures of a young cat and a dog as they find themselves accidentally separated and each swept into a hazardous trek.

★★★★★

Successful wherever it’s was shown, this movie defied critical judgement. Never mind that the action is described à la bedtime story in a voice-over narrative that is relentless and banal, spoken in the less than alluring voice(es) of Dudley Moore: kids won’t notice these deficiencies, and it’s a wonderful movie for children. After that, it’s a cinch for cat fanatics who will ooh, aah, gurgle, giggle and shriek as Milo, an adorable ginger moggie with a spirit of adventure, gets into a number of amazing scrapes.

These begin when, during a game of hide-and-seek with pug-dog Otis, his devoted friend, Milo jumps into a wooden box floating on the river and is catapulted downstream, surviving the rapids before coming ashore many miles from his farmyard home. Otis sets off to rescue his missing pal, which, of course, he succeeds in doing to ookie-kookie yelps of satisfaction from the audience.

The most intriguing aspect of the film lies in a cast of animals acting out situations that seem impossible, without a single visible sign of trickery. Director Hata, a zoologist and the overseer of something called Mutsugoro’s Animal Kingdom, has a special relationship with animals, but any cat-lover knows that they don’t enjoy swimming, and would be unlikely to survive an encounter with a hungry bear or a threatened snake.

Five stars for cute and courageous Milo and the intrepid and loving Otis, but any adult who isn’t a devoted animal lover is warned to stay away.

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