Where to even begin with this movie....there are so many reasons why I loved it as a kid and still love it today.
First off, I love New York City, and not only does this movie take place in NYC, but in the late 1980s NYC, which is great for someone like me who just likes the later 1980s and all of the 1990s, considering I'm a "90s kid."
So, the animation is fantastic. Great movement & sense of exaggerated anatomy & facial expressions. The movie's colors were great--something some people probably wouldn't expect, with a movie set in a city (which, to most, is endless grey--which is not the case).
The music in the this movie is so great I literally end up crying tears of joy when I listen to it. Not to mention, the songs are paired with a lovely score. The songs are catchy and modern without being overly MTV-esque (which tends to happen in a lot of recent movies).
The characters were extremely interesting and fun--especially Dodger (what Oliver & Co. fan doesn't at least like Dodger?). The villains were well-portrayed, and believable with a real reasons for their deeds instead of being some super-evil force with no real purpose.
The plot of the movie is a mix of a few--abandonment of Oliver, his quest to find a home where he belongs, Jenny getting kidnapped, Fagin paying off his debt, etc. The mix of plots and troubles makes the movie very interesting throughout without being too crowded.
Probably one of my favorite scenes of all time in this movie is Dodger's trip from the streets, meeting Oliver for the first time, back to Fagin's boat; the entire "Street Savoire Faire" scene was so much fun to watch (I dreamed for years that I could ride and sing on top of an NYC taxi)
What I like about this movie is its portrayal on NYC. Many movies portray the city as a horrible, dirty (and as I said before, very grey) place, in which the only people that live their are either always hushed and/or mean. In this case, the civizens of NYC (in this case, Dodger and his gang as I take them as representations of NYC) are all of mixed personalities--one is friendler, saavier or more logical than the other. The city itself was painted in a way that displayed its colors and locations (in the song "Streets of Gold," you may notice the flashs of NYC locations, one of which included the fountain in Rockefeller Plaza), highlighting both the upper and lower regions of the city (from Fagin's boat/the docks to Central Park).
This movie is one not to miss, no matter what your age; regardless if you're a fan or cats/dogs or NYC or otherwise. I know a lot of people tend to like dog movies because they like dogs in general, but in truth, (or at least for) it's the opposite way around: it's movies like these that make people love dog movies the way they do. This is more than a "talk-dog-kids-film," it's an entertaining, inspiring story that has something for everyone (literally).