Sunday, May 18, 2008
The Adventures of Milo and Otis (1989)
If you are seeking information about the treatment of animals that appeared in this film please read the first comment, which was left by a representative of the American Humane Association.
No, Miez und Mops was not the original version, but then neither was Milo and Otis! It was originally produced in Japan in 1986, and was known as Koneko Monogatari (A Kitten's Story) before it was re-edited and Dudley Moore's narration was added. My wife asked me if I wanted to watch it on the laptop courtesy of Netflix's Watch Now feature the other night and my first reaction was that I didn't want to waste 2 hours (it's actually 75 minutes) watching some corny Disney movie (it's neither) that I had already seen 20 years ago. I admitted that I loved it when I saw it as a kid but I didn't think I would be "into it" now. I was very wrong, and I urge you to see this film and if you've seen it already then see it again if it's been a while. I recently learned that it took 4 years to capture and edit these amazing scenes. I have never seen these kinds of interactions between different species anywhere else, even on cable TV. I sat there in awe wondering how they got the sea turtle to rescue Otis when he's stranded on a rock in the ocean, or how they got the deer or the cow or the pig (who also suckles him!) to snuggle up with Milo. There are some alarming posts on IMDB about rumors of several "Otises" getting killed during filming, about only 10 out of 30 "Milos" surviving (his scenes are a little bit rougher than Otis's), or about whether cats were thrown off cliffs into the ocean repeatedly until one of them survived and made it to shore. I wasn't able to verify any of these rumors (you won't be able to either) and the Wikipedia entry doesn't mention the alleged controversy. Some bloggers talk about a vast conspiracy that even involves a cover-up on the part of the American Humane Society (yeah, right). But until Errol Morris makes a documentary that investigates allegations of animal cruelty in Milo and Otis I will continue to love, share, and marvel at this incredible film.