HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
   
 
Newest Articles
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  AristoCats, The Nine Lives Come In Handy
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, AdventureBuy from Amazon
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 4284 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: