Yes, Chris Evans Totally Named His Dog After Billy Joel In Oliver And Company

Dodger in Oliver and Company

Chris Evans is obviously famous across the world for his acting work, particularly his time as Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But when we get glimpses into his personal life, he comes across as a regular guy. He’s politically active, he enjoys a good swim, he’s embarrassed himself on the internet like so many of us have, and he’s a dog lover.

As far as Chris Evans’ canine enthusiasm goes, he currently owns a mixed-breed boxer named Dodger. However, rather than being named after the Dodger Dogs sold at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Evans’ Dodger is actually named after Billy Joel’s character from the 1988 animated Disney movie Oliver & Company. As the actor explained:

There’s a movie called Oliver & Company, it’s a Disney movie, an animated movie. And I grew up watching it. I think Billy Joel is the voice of Dodger actually. And when I first saw him at the shelter I just said ‘Oh man, that looks like Dodger from Oliver & Company.’ And after I decided I was taking him home with me, I went through the process of picking other names. And I just couldn’t get off Dodger, and I thought I’m not going to overthink this one.

During his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Chris Evans declared it would have been “sacrilegious” to name his dog after anything connected to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In this case, the “far more embarrassing story” behind Dodger’s name is that Evans simply enjoyed watching Oliver & Company in his youth. Throw in how the dog looked like Billy Joel’s character from that movie, and that was more than enough incentive for him to Evans to name him Dodger.

Released just a year before The Little Mermaid came out and kicked off the Disney Renaissance, Oliver & Company (loosely based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel Oliver Twist) followed a homeless kitten in New York City who joins a gang of dogs in order to survive on the streets. Along with Billy Joel voicing street-smart mongrel Dodger, the voice cast included Joey Lawrence, Cheech Marin, Richard Mulligan, Roscoe Lee Browne, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Dom DeLuise and Bette Midler, among others. While Oliver & Company was a commercial success, it received mixed critical reception at the time.

Oliver & Company may be one of the more obscure Disney movies to pick a pet name from, but clearly it worked out well for Chris Evans, as he’s had Dodger for a few years now and described his relationship with the dog as one of the “purest” he has. Evans is so enamored with his four-legged buddy that he even got the name Dodger tattooed on himself!

With his tenure as Captain America now over following the release of Avengers: Endgame last year, Chris Evans has more recently popped up in movies like The Red Sea Diving Resort and Knives Out, as well as the Apple TV+ miniseries Defending Jacob. He’s next set to team back up with the Russo Brothers and star alongside Ryan Gosling in Netflix’s The Gray Man. Evans also virtually reunited with some of his MCU costars earlier this month for a fundraiser in support of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates about Chris Evans, and learn what movies are intended to play in theaters next year with our 2021 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.