HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
   
 
Newest Articles
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
   
 
  AristoCats, The Nine Lives Come In HandyBuy this film here.
Year: 1970
Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
Stars: Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway, Scatman Crothers, Dean Clark, Paul Winchell, Liz English, Thurl Ravenscroft, Gary Dubin, Vito Scotti, Nancy Kulp, Pat Buttram, George Lindsey, Monica Evans, Carole Shelley, Roddy Maude-Roxby, Hermione Baddeley
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Animated, Adventure
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Duchess (voiced by Eva Gabor) is a pampered cat who lives with her three kittens and her owner, Madame (Hermione Baddeley), a rich and retired opera singer in the Paris of 1910. The cats live the life of Riley, waited on hand and foot thanks to the butler, Edgar (Roddy Maude-Roxby), but there will come a day when Madame, already getting on in years, will pass away and who will look after the pets then? She has the answer, and that is to draw up a will leaving everything to the butler - that is, after the cats have lived a long and comfortable existence. Edgar overhears this and is outraged, blustering that he cannot wait to get his reward after the cats are dead, so what can he do?

Getting rid of the cats seems to be the most obvious option, and that's the one he takes in The AristoCats, which was the final Disney animation to be given the go-ahead by Walt himself before he died. It was entrusted to director Wolfgang Reitherman, the man to go to for the studio when features needed helming in the sixties and seventies, but after The Jungle Book, which had been his last full length effort, this was seen as a bit of a comedown and while it doesn't have a terrible reputation, it's not often the film that springs to mind when thinking of the all time classic Disneys. Still, there are compensations.

The animation style was created with that sketchy, scratchy appearance which marks the work of this period, which sometimes pleases but other times looks rather messy and half-finished. This unpolished design is at odds with the supposed elegance of the plotline and setting, but when there's barely one French accent in the whole thing it's unsurprising that this doesn't hit the heights that the studio were capable of previously. The humour, too, is somewhat dominated by tedious slapstick and an over-reliance on "ain't they cute?" clich├ęs that even at this time were well-worn in family animation, especially from these guys.

The storyline is pretty simple: the cats are kidnapped by Edgar, he takes them into the countryside, and dumps them there in the hope that they will never come back. There's a hint that after he drugs them he was planning to drown them, but this probably wasn't deemed the best idea as the butler is more a comic character than an outright bad guy, although if he had been dead set on killing the kitties then it might have offered the film a much needed edge. As it is, there's not much sense of danger here, as after we have established that the cats are far from home and at a loss what to do, a hero steps up in the person of alley cat Thomas O'Malley (Phil Harris, familiar but welcome) who sets them on the path back.

Thomas also fits the bill as a father figure, which the family needs but lacks - it's never explained where the kittens' actual father went to. So if we know that a happy ending with Thomas at the head of it is in little doubt, then it's all about the journey to get there, and there's a going through the motions pattern to the narrative that leaves dips between the highlights. One of those highlights is the film's most famous scene, where the moggies get together and sing "Everybody Wants to be a Cat", an exuberant number which is worth watching for alone. The other songs are not half as memorable, but the theme of banding together to overcome adversity, whether you're friends, family or even unlikely bedfellows, isn't heavy handed so The AristoCats isn't all bland. Mind you, if Edgar was in charge of cats who could paint and play the piano, then maybe he should have cleaned up in showbusiness instead of scheming to get rid of them?
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3809 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: