“The Aristocats”

MOVIE REVIEW: “The Aristocats” is voiced by Phil Harris (Robin Hood [1973], The Jungle Book [1967]), Eva Gabor (The Rescuers, Green Acres [TV series]), Roddy Maude-Roxby (Wives and Daughters [TV mini-series], Shadowlands), Gary Dubin (Jaws 2, Pump Up the Volume), Liz English, Dean Clark, Sterling Holloway (The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland [1951]), Pat Buttram (The Fox and the Hound, Back to the Future Part III), George Lindsey (The Andy Griffith Show [TV series], The Rescuers), Monica Evans (The Odd Couple [1968], Be My Guest), Carole Shelley (Bewitched [2005], Hercules [1997]), Bill Thompson (Lady and the Tramp [1955], Peter Pan [1953]), and Hermione Baddeley (Maude [TV series], The Secret of NIMH). It is directed by Wolfgang Reitherman (The Jungle Book [1967], The Sword in the Stone), and written by Larry Clemmons (Robin Hood [1973], The Rescuers), Vance Gerry (The Great Mouse Detective, Hercules [1997]), Ken Anderson (Cinderella [1950], Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree [Short]), Frank Thomas (The Rescuers, DTV Monster Hits), Eric Cleworth (The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Magical World of Disney [TV series]), Julius Svendsen (DTV Monster Hits, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day [Short]), and Ralph Wright (Sleeping Beauty, Perri).

After being kidnapped and dropped off far from their luxurious home, a mother cat (Gabor) and her kittens embark on a wild journey with a street cat (Harris) to find their way back into the arms of their grieving owner.

“Everybody wants to be a cat.” Well… everybody but me, at least. I detest the feline pet, though that didn’t stop me from pleasantly enjoying this old Disney classic from 70s.

Growing up, “The Aristocats” was available to me, but I chose not to watch it; primarily because there were so many better options I could choose from. Tom O’Malley (Harris), Dutchess (Gabor), and the rest of the cool cats didn’t hold a candle to Woody and Buzz, or Shaggy and Scooby. They still don’t after a most recent watch, but that doesn’t discredit them for giving a fun show. The animation, voices, and tightly-wound story weave an adventure that’ll satisfy families and fill up a random night-in nicely.

Released during what is deemed the Bronze Age of Disney Animation Studios – an era following the death of Walt Disney and a steady decline in both popularity and quality – “The Aristocats” presents itself in a rather sketch-like package. Backdrops are inked with heavy lines and certain characters (primarily the cats’ owner Madame) are made up of chaotic lines. It’s a style that I’ve seen in other Bronze Age Disney flicks, but the story that “Aristocats” follows works well with the animation choice. The story takes place in early 20th century Paris; a dreary look balances the dreary time of these kittens getting lost, only to contrast with the pops of vibrant colors they experience with running into alley cats who play jazz. What an odd choice: cats who play jazz. Guess it fits into what was going on socially during the that time in Paris? Who’s to say.

Much like any family flick (primarily geared towards children), this is a short one. An hour and eighteen minutes of cats getting lost and then returning. Not that I really needed it to be longer. The quick runtime made it difficult to include moments that seemed unnecessary. Doing this also hastened character development and relations, which could be… meh; but, I wasn’t all too put off by it since there was a lot to take in. The amount of characters in this is quite crazy, with plenty of cats, geese, dogs, and mice to keep oneself entertained. I loved the dogs most, as their voices reminded me of ones I would do (the typical country hick accent). And recognizing familiar voices was also nice, as Phil Harris, Sterling Holloway, and Bill Thompson gave life to quite a few characters from my childhood.

Overall, “The Aristocats” is a small, sweet Disney flick that does its job. It’s not the greatest Disney animated feature I’ve seen, nor the most original, but it entertains and offers a concise story that works for the whole family. And for a guy who doesn’t like cats to enjoy this flick… well, that’s enough to tell you it’s good. FINAL SCORE: 77%= Juicy Popcorn

Here is the trailer:

One response to ““The Aristocats”

  1. Pingback: November Movie Rankings | Juicy Reviews·

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