The Adventures of Milo and Otis

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Koneko monogatari
The Adventures of Milo and Otis

North American theatrical poster
Directed byMasanori Hata
Produced byMasuru Kakutani
Satoru Ogata
Written byMasanori Hata
Narrated byShigeru Tsuyuki
Music byRyuichi Sakamoto
CinematographyHideo Fujii
Shinji Tomita
Editing byChizuko Osada
Distributed byToho
Release date(s)
  • June 27, 1986 (1986-06-27)
Running time90 minutes
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese
Box office$13,299,749 (USA)
 
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Koneko monogatari
The Adventures of Milo and Otis

North American theatrical poster
Directed byMasanori Hata
Produced byMasuru Kakutani
Satoru Ogata
Written byMasanori Hata
Narrated byShigeru Tsuyuki
Music byRyuichi Sakamoto
CinematographyHideo Fujii
Shinji Tomita
Editing byChizuko Osada
Distributed byToho
Release date(s)
  • June 27, 1986 (1986-06-27)
Running time90 minutes
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese
Box office$13,299,749 (USA)

The Adventures of Milo and Otis is a Japanese film about two animals, the titular characters, Milo (an orange tabby cat) and Otis (a fawn pug). The original Japanese version was released on June 27, 1986, and the reworked English version was released on August 25, 1989.

Initially filmed as Koneko Monogatari (子猫物語 A Kitten's Story; alternative English title: The Adventures of Chatran) in Kitakyūshū, Japan, the film was completely revamped, trimmed and westernized with added narration by Dudley Moore. (Shigeru Tsuyuki narrated the Japanese version.) Director Masanori Hata and associate director Kon Ichikawa edited the film together from 400,000 feet of footage, which is roughly 40.3 hours, shot over a period of four years.

Contents

Plot

The film opens in a barn with a mother cat who has given birth to kittens. One of the kittens is named Milo ("Chatran" in the Japanese version), and has a habit of being too curious and getting himself into trouble. He finds a pug puppy named Otis ("Poosky" in the Japanese version), and they soon become friends. They then look after Gloria's chick, who thinks Otis is his mother. Otis convinces the chick that Otis is not his mother by acting tough on Milo and scaring the Chick. When Milo is playing inside a box floating in the river, he accidentally drifts downstream. Otis runs after Milo. Milo goes on many adventures, escaping one incident after another.

He encounters two bears; escapes from the desolate, raven-infested Deadwood Swamp; steals a muskrat from a fox cache; follows a train-track to the home of a female deer, who shelters him; sleeps in an Owl's "dreaming nest"; stays for a while with a sow pig and her piglets; catches a fish, only to have it stolen by a raccoon; is mobbed by seagulls; and evades the third bear, then a snake, only to fall into a hole.

Otis, for his part, follows Milo throughout, usually only an hour behind and less than a mile out of range. Finally, the two catch up with one another while Milo is in the hole, Otis pulls him out by means of a rope. Milo and Otis are reunited, and soon find mates of their own: Joyce, a cat, for Milo; and Sandra, a pug, for Otis. After this, they separate and raise puppies and kittens. They help each other's families to survive the harsh winter and find their way back together through the forest to their barn, living together.

Soundtrack

The original Japanese soundtrack was composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto and included a theme song of the same name performed by Noriko Yoshinaga. The soundtrack was released as The Adventures of Chatran: Original Soundtrack.

The English-language version of the film contains music by classical composers including:

The song "Walk Outside", written by Dick Tarrier, is performed by Dan Crow in the opening shots and end credits.

Reception

The Adventures of Milo and Otis was the number one Japanese film on the domestic market in 1986, earning ¥5.4 billion in distribution income.[1]

Animal cruelty allegations

When the film was first released, several Australian animal rights organizations raised allegations of animal cruelty during filming and called for a boycott. The Sunday Mail reported at the time that Animal Liberation Queensland founder Jacqui Kent alleged the killing of more than 20 kittens during production and added that she was disturbed by reports from Europe which alleged other animals had been injured, as in one case where a producer allegedly had broken a cat's paw to make it appear unsteady on its feet. Other scenes that were the source of controversy were the scene of a kitten flying off of a cliff and a scene of a pug fighting a bear. Kent said her organization had a number of complaints from people who had seen the film and were concerned that it could not have been made without cruelty.[2] The Tasmanian and Victorian branches of the RSPCA also alleged abuses.[3]

The film was reported to have the approval of the American Humane Society, despite not having their officers present during filming.[2]

The American Humane Association attempted to investigate cruelty rumors through "contacts in Europe who normally have information on movies throughout the world." While noting that the contacts had also heard the allegations, they were unable to verify them. The organization also reported, "we have tried through humane people in Japan, and through another Japanese producer to determine if these rumors are true, but everything has led to a dead end." However, the same report noted that several Japanese Humane Societies allowed their names to be used in connection with the film and that the film "shows no animals being injured or harmed."[4]

Awards

Notes

  1. ^ "Kako haikyū shūnyū jōi sakuhin 1986-nen" (in Japanese). Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan. http://www.eiren.org/toukei/1986.html. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  2. ^ a b Gillespie, P. (April 15, 1990). "Cat Cruelty Claim Over Kids' Movie". The Sunday Mail.
  3. ^ Teale, Brandt (September 18, 1990). "RSPCA raises Milo and Otis fears". Hobart Mercury.
  4. ^ Milo and Otis, American Humane Association; archived version

External links