New York Times - 08/25/1989
"...The wonder of Hata's anthropomorphic fairy tale...is that it is cast with real animals who seem to share deep affection. And the mixture of realism and fantasy lends this children's film a poignancy..."
Los Angeles Times - 08/25/1989
"...There's something delightfully pure and fresh about the children's film THE ADVENTURES OF MILO & OTIS....It generates the blissfully dry sense of wonder the best children's books or movies often do..."
Milo, the curious kitten and Otis, the pug-nosed pup journey to a dazzling world of natural splendor when Milo accidentally sets sail down the backyard creek in a box and Otis follows behind along the shore. Narrated by Dudley Moore.
Farm cat Milo and his best friend Otis the dog try to make their way home after Milo is accidentally swept away by the rampaging river.
The original Japanese film, "Koneko Monogatari" ("The Adventures of Chatran"), ran 90 minutes and concerned the adventures of a cat, Chatran, who wanders periodically from his farm home and adventures into the wilds of Hokkaido. Director Masanori Hata and associate director Kon Ichikawa edited the film together from 400,000 feet of footage. They used several different cats, from a kitten to a fully grown adult, to give the illusion of the progression of time over several seasons. Hata is a zoologist and novelist (under the pen name Mutsugoro) and runs an animal farm near Hokkaido. Ichikawa is himself a well-known director. His most famous films are "An Actor's Revenge" (1962) and "The Burmese Harp" (1956). Following the film's success at the 1986 Cannes Film festival, Variety wrote that,"'The Adventures of Chatran' is a stunning achievement... [Sakamoto] has come up with strongly evocative interpolations of a basic melodic base that once heard is hard to forget... Hata, as the pic makes obvious, has an unusually strong rapport with animals. He places his charges in situations required by the pic's general structure, and then captures the unpredictable results in eye-popping ways... while maintaining a sense of dignity for his charges." "Koneko Monogatari" was the second highest-grossing film ever in Japan, behind "E.T." The American version was recut and runs 76 minutes long and has a different story line.
Shot in Eastmancolor and Panavision.
Estimated budget $8 million.
Released in USA August 25, 1989. Released on video January 31, 1990.