Film: The Adventures of Milo and Otis
aka: Milo And Otis
The Adventures of Milo and Otis (or Koneko Monogatari meaning "A Kitten's Story" in it's original Japanese) is a 1986 film (released in the U.S. in 1989).Milo is a curious orange kitten whose best friend is a serious pug named Otis. They live a carefree life on a farm where they spend their days playing hide-and-seek and causing mischief. All that changes though when Milo is swept away by the river and Otis must embark on an amazing journey to rescue his friend and bring him home.
This film provides examples of:
- All Animals are Cats: When Milo and Otis first meet and Otis explains that he's a dog, Milo thinks "dog" is a type of cat.
- Brick Joke: Towards the end of the film, one of Otis' children thinks that Milo and his family are dogs; one of Milo's children quickly corrects him.
- Babies Ever After: Both Milo and Otis end up with mates and a litter, and the film ends with both families resuming their journey back to the farm where Milo and Otis grew up. Several of the animals encountered during the initial journey are also shown to have their own babies by the end.
- Bears Are Bad News: Milo and Otis encounter several bears on their adventures. It's never a good thing.
- Cats Are Mean: Averted. The movie was extensively reworked from its original Japanese release, but the protagonist cat, Milo, is portrayed as good-natured and curious, and even his occasional mischievous moments are generally endearing rather than off-putting. He's also best friends with a dog.
- Chekhov's Gun: When Milo's mother takes him and his siblings down to the river for the first time, there is a wooden box inexplicably floating next to the dock. It stays in that spot for years to come, only drifting away at precisely the wrong moment for no apparent reason.
- Coming-of-Age Story: Milo is born, has a happy childhood, but ends up disobeying his mother and as a consequence leaves home and faces the hardships of the world. After overcoming many dangers and staring death in the face, he finds another cat with whom he falls in love and eventually becomes father to a litter of kittens of his own. Most of this applies to Otis as well, although his reason for leaving home was to rescue Milo.
- Cunning Like a Fox: The fox that both Milo and Otis meet on separate occasions appears to be crafty and fun-loving (although Milo does outsmart him).
- Cut-and-Paste Translation: Both the original Konkeko Monogatari and the adaptation Milo And Otis were cut separately from the huge amount (over 40 hours) of raw footage originally shot. This leads to both of the two versions containing scenes that are exclusive to it and not present in the other. The overall tone as conveyed through the editing, music, and narration is also markedly different between the two versions, with Milo And Otis coming across as a bit Lighter and Softer compared to the more artsy and dramatic Koneko Monogatari.
- Cute Kitten: Milo.
- Down on the Farm: The first portion of the movie takes place on the farm where both Milo and Otis are born. Milo sees at least two more farms during his part of the journey.
- Gossipy Hens: A literal version in Gloria, who promptly enlists Otis to guard her newly-laid egg while she goes out to tell all the other farm animals about it. Of course, the other hens get in on this too.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners
- The Homeward Journey: Milo gets lost down the river and Otis follows to rescue him. They spend the rest of the film trying to get home.
- I Will Find You: Once Milo gets lost, Otis embarks on a relentless journey to rescue him.
- Inevitable Waterfall: Happens to Milo during his trip down the river in a box.
- Interspecies Adoption: Milo and Otis take a lesson in responsibility when they raise a baby chicken at the beginning of the film.
- Interspecies Friendship: Milo and Otis. Most animals are portrayed as friendly cross-species except for bears, screech owls, seagulls, and crabs.
- Incoming Ham: When Otis encounters the Fox.
- Laughably Evil: The bears. Despite being...well, freakin' bears, they keep getting outsmarted by a cat and a pug. One even gets a bowling ball dropped on his head!
- Messy Pig: Baby pigs have terrible table manners.
- Missed Him by That Much: Several places Otis visits are places that Milo had just left.
- Name and Name
- Not So Different: Otis scoffs at Milo for being so lovey-dovey with Joyce. Then Otis meets Sondra.
- Odd Friendship: Dogs and cats can be friends. Awww...
- Ominous Owl: There's a scene in the treetops at nighttime where Milo talks with a horned owl with glowing eyes who pops out of nowhere. Though he is friendly, he is needless to say quite terrifying for younger children. The screech owls he warns Milo about, however, aren't quite so friendly.
- Precious Puppy: Otis.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Wild, carefree Milo is Red; proper, responsible Otis is Blue.
- Scenery Porn: In the gorgeous Japanese countryside.
- Sleep Cute: Milo and Otis, Milo and the deer.
- Swamps Are Evil: Deadwood Swamp is a desolate, terrible place.
- Tempting Fate: "Milo! Get out of there before something happens!" Right on cue, the box floats away down the river.
- Third Wheel: Milo and Otis spend the whole movie looking for each other traveling over harsh terrain and fighting off dangerous predators, finally being reunited near the end. Only to have Milo meet up with a female cat and then the two of them unwittingly snub poor Otis.