The Adventures of Milo & Otis

Aww this will be adorable OR
"Milo is one lucky cat. He's got nine lives and a best friend."
Hello everyone, welcome back to The Tagline! Initially it had been my plan to take some cheap shots at a crummy movie. Then, I thought to myself "hey you should do another action movie, you have a never-ending supply of THOSE" but finally, during a conversation with a friend I was reminded of this film, which sparked all sorts of long repressed emotions and is now forcing us all on a trip down the misty and fogged lane that is my distant memory. Once upon a time, there was a little boy (me) who by some turn of fate ended up with this movie on VHS (I was very little, and VHS was still a thing) and as I was wont to do with any film or anything I owned, I watched it all the time, regardless of how it made me feel, because when you are a small child you don't really think about why you are doing things too much. You just sort of do them. Oh this movie is in front of me? THEN I WILL WATCH IT OVER AND OVER. For those who do not know (until I did some basic research I did not know) The Adventures of Milo and Otis was a film originally released in Japan in 1986 as Koneko Monogatari, where it was apparently the most popular film of that year (wow.) and it was later totally revamped and released in 1989 in the US, as the Adventures of Milo and Otis, with an English voice-overs, reworked music and film etc. etc. it was a very different movie. Either way, the film follows Milo (who is a cat) and his friend Otis, as they grow up on a farm and then have adventures out in the wide world. It is tagged (as above) as a lovable joyous romp of adorable animals. See Milo, being the cat, is the one who gets into trouble and floats in a box down the river, and Otis, sensible fellow he is, follows dutifully after to try and find his friend. That sounds nice right? WRONG, THAT DESCRIPTION DOESN'T MENTION THE EMOTIONAL DESOLATION MY YOUNG HEART WAS TO EXPERIENCE.

Friendship lasts forever OR DOES IT OH SHIT.
You see, a thing you should probably know about me, and that you've no doubt begun to deduce, is that I am a quasi-functioning persona emotionally, and nothing could mess me up worse than a movie about tiny animals growing up and growing apart, except maybe if one of the animals then died in a heroic battle afterward, and the other animal read about it and was suddenly all sad. That would really do it, and also would probably be the saddest movie ever made NOT THE POINT. You see, as I alluded to just now, This is a story where they go on adventures. Not together though. They go on adventures separately, one following the other, and over time they grow up, and they find girlfriend animals, and gosh by the time they reunite, well it isn't as if they don't like each other anymore or anything, but SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED that things just can't ever be like they were. Apparently the truism put forth by Thomas Wolfe, that you can't go home again, holds for tiny adorable animals who have voice overs. There's no going back to the happy, carefree times on the farm, just an endless future of not staying in touch and sort of being friends HOW AWFUL IS THAT.

I guess he doesn't LOOK sad. I'm sad enough for us both.
So awful, that's how awful it is. So unexpectedly this film served up what could have been my first dose of existential anguish, grappling with the concept of time inexorably sundering all human (and animal) bonds, until we are all dust blowing in the wind.  That being said, my five year old self obviously would not have experienced these tormenting emotions if this movie was not doing a pretty good job at what it was doing. While the ending might have worked me over something fierce, there is a lot of fun and friendship, some adventure, a few bits that for a small child are genuinely scary (Milo gets lost in this totally fucked up swamp, it is no good man, I think that place has lodged itself in my subconscious somewhere) and of course it teaches us that sooner or later, kitty, puppy, or man, we must all grow up, go on a journey, and find ourselves. It also features a lot of great cinematography, culled from a truly mind boggling amount of footage, so you know they spared no expense in shooting a movie about a kitty and a puppy. If you want to entertain a small child with some adorable animals, and maybe have them learn something about being a person, these small animals actually can be a real help.

Well, I believe I've acted insane about this movie for long enough, that's all for today, and now you know something new about me. Join me Thursday, when I review a movie I probably don't feel as strongly about (unless I decide to talk about Treasure Planet, that does evoke strong feelings of nausea).


  1. This was one of my favourite movies as a kid, and I so know what you mean about feeling that child version of existential despair watching it.

  2. Right? Same here, I loved this movie when I was little but it also forced me to confront things I had hitherto not dealt with in my 6 years of life xD


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