'The Adventures of Milo and Otis' is a cute movie about a friendship between a kitten and a puppy, but the truth behind the film is a dark one.
'The Adventures of Milo and Otis' is a Japanese film centered around an oh-so-sweet friendship between an orange tabby kitten named Milo and a pug puppy named Otis. In this old family-movie-fave, we see the two meet and become fast friends, and the unlikely duo goes on all sorts of, well, adventures, together. Although the film was originally only released as a Japanese version, Columbia Pictures released a (slightly edited) English American version of the widely-popular movie -- It ranked as the no.1 film in Japan the year it came out -- in 1989. That version was narrated by a hilarious voice-over from English actor Dudley Moore.
Directed by Japanese director, Masanori Hata, the film's original Japanese title, Koneko Monogatari, translates to 'A Kitten's Story' -- and other than featuring countless cute animals of course, also featured the beautiful backdrop of Japan's countryside. Fun fact: filmmakers of 'The Adventures of Milo and Otis' had to go through 74 hours of footage shot over four years!
A favorite movie of any kid growing up in the 90s, this heartwarming movie takes the audience on the incredible journey of the friendship between mischievous Milo and his best friend Otis plus a series of fun adventures. (Two of which involve a baby deer and a super adorable little piglet!) The tale of Milo and Otis charmed both kids and animal lovers alike, but the making of this film hides a dark and gruesome secret.
What Happened Behind the Scenes of 'The Adventures of Milo and Otis'?
After the film first came out in 1986, there were many allegations from Australian animal rights groups, reporting several cases of animal cruelty when filming this sweet movie about friendship and love, and called for a boycott of the film.
While there were many reports of alleged animal abuse during filming, there were a couple significant rumors (al:
• Over 20 kittens were killed during production, some of which were when the kittens had "lost their charm".
• A cat's paw was broken intentionally to make it look like it was walking unsteadily.
There were other controversial scenes of animal abuse: i.e. when animals were put into dangerous situations in the movie. Such scenes as when the kitten is seen falling off a cliff of over 100 feet into an ocean (the film crew had to have thrown him off!), or when the pug was fighting a very real live bear, or when the kitten was attacked by a crab.
Now, it's worth making clear that these are all reports of alleged mistreatment of animals and none of them are actually substantiated. While the American Humane Association tried to investigate these allegations, nothing was ever proven. And even, according to the pop culture website, AV Club,
"The film's end credits don't use the standard American Humane Association disclaimer but instead a more vague, 'The animals used were filmed under strict supervision with the utmost care for their safety and well-being.'"
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