Although it contains an obligatory disclaimer at the end of the film stating that the utmost care was taken in insuring that no animals were harmed or mistreated in the filming of this made-for-Japanese-TV movie, I don’t doubt that PETA and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had a shitzu-fit when The Adventures of Milo and Otis was released. Needless to say, several scenes of the most harrowing moments were shaved off of the American version and screenhack Mark Salzman was hired to write “comic” narration for Dudley Moore.
Still, what remains in the G-rated version isn’t altogether sanitary, with beats ranging from the ouch--a crayfish pinching a dog in the butt--to the oh-my!--a cat falling from a ten meter cliff into the ocean--to the ewwww!--live births of cats, dogs and chickens. It makes you wonder what the original Koneko Monogatari was really all about.
Milo, an orange tabby kitten and Otis, a pug puppy, are best friends in the whole world and they sure are cute playing together and getting into mischief. But, during a game of hide-and-seek, Milo secrets himself away in a small wooden box that somehow detaches from the dock and starts to drift down the river. A concerned Otis follows and thus begins a year-long and mostly terrifying adventure that takes them through swamps, meadows, mountains, geysers, limestone caves, oceans, frozen plains, pits and clam holes. They encounter bears, raccoons, foxes, screech owls, sea turtles, seagulls, a kindly frolicking deer, clams, trout and even mates.
Homeward Bound it ain’t, but Milo and Otis sure are cute.