Project Disney: Oliver and Company
Our plan is to tackle all of the Disney films, re-reading the classic stories and tales that inspired many of them and to look at how the changes the filmmakers made, the new elements they introduced and the essential elements they kept. We will, of course, be talking about the films as movies as well, saying why we enjoy them and what some of our favorite moments are, but our focus will be on looking at them as adaptations. For the films that are not drawn from any one work we’ll be looking at some of the possible literary influences that we see in the stories. We are also including an audio discussion for each of the films we discuss! Here is a calendar of which films we are looking at and what dates we will be posting them, if you are planning to participate please message me so I can link up your post!
Title: Oliver and Company
Adapted From: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
The Adaptation: Though this is based on a classic novel, it doesn’t bear much of the original novels tone or style. The original is a very long novel which focuses on the journey of a young orphan Oliver Twist as he encounters con artists, thieves and in the end finally finds a family.
Elements that are the same:
- Most of the basic elements are in place: an orphan, a group of street wise thieves lead by Dodger, and Oliver finding a home at the end of the story.
Elements that were changed:
- Bill Sykes is changed from a thief, into a criminal mastermind who Fagin owes money to.
- Fagin’s character is changed considerably, he is softened and made much more likable even though he does have criminal tendencies.
- The film ends quite differently in that girl that adopts Oliver is kidnapped by Sykes in order to blackmail her family into paying Fagin’s debts and the street wise dogs all have to save her.
- Dodger and the other orphans all are made out to be more heroic/selfless than they are in the Dickens novel.
Aidan has been super busy with work, so he won’t be participating in this weeks Project Disney but this was the first time he had seen this film and he really enjoyed it. For me it was a bit of nostalgia for 1980′s re-watching this film, as it is very much of the period it was made. I do appreciate that it tried to create a more realistic New York, with all it’s diversity and hustle/bustle(though some of the depictions are less than sensitive in this film.) I enjoyed the story, even though it doesn’t bear much resemblance to the original it is based on. In particular the music is really fun, I found myself humming several of the tunes for several days afterward, especially Billy Joel’s contributions to the film.
One little tie-in project that we are working on as we watch all of the films again is that we have been making some ‘trading cards’ based on some of the most important characters from each movie. We assigned scores to each of them based on how dreamy, charming, intelligent, musical and stylish we think they are! We also came up with a silly ‘special skill’ that each one has. While we are only making these for our own use, I thought it might be fun to share them so you can see what we’ve been up to! * We haven’t finished the cards yet but at least you can see the art this week.
Be Sure and Check Out Angela’s Anxious Life Review of Oliver and Company!