At a recent sleepover I was talking with two of my favourite people and the conversation turned, as it so often does, to Disney. We discussed our favourite films and The Aristocats came up. The reasons given seemed good and, yeah, I could believe it was a well made, enjoyable film. Then I made the mistake of watching it….This is the Aristocats…
The film revolves around a family of cats owned by a wealthy old woman and cared for by her butler, Edgar. When Edgar overhears that the old woman is planning on leaving everything to her cats, he plans to remove the cats eg kill them (Disney showing us that it truly is the most magical place on earth). The cats escape and the rest of the movie is based around them trying to get back home with the help of the alley cat, Thomas O’Malley.
While I was watching this film I got the impression that it was trying to be like Dumbo or Pinocchio, where the story is more like an adventure with a wide variety of characters. It really doesn’t work though. Very few characters are introduced and the film doesn’t seem to have the time needed to bring in enough to really match Dumbo or Pinocchio. The film itself is really, quite boring, but that’s not to say that there aren’t things that I did like about it. Firstly I liked Thomas O’Malley, he’s a really cool character and he’s pretty fun. In fact, most of the characters are pretty likable. Duchess and her kittens are adorable…well not Duchess…She’s a little bland. The old woman is ok and the lawyer is really fun. Edgar is a boring villain but he does have some funny moments and you can actually sympathize with him despite the fact he’s trying to kill these cats. I mean, in all fairness he has been working for this old woman for a good chunk of his life and he should be entitled to something, the movie accidentally causes us to empathize with the villain but then at the end we find out that he actually was in the will and that the entire film was completely pointless. The music is good, I like the jazz themes. The opening theme is great as is O’Malley’s song and of course the song that everyone remembers, Everybody Wants to be a Cat’. I’m just gonna come out and say it. I think this song is overated. I kinda enjoyed it when I heard it but even so, it could’ve been better. The animation is, for the most part, very mediocre. It really kicks up a notch during the opening theme and the ‘Everybody Wants to be a Cat’ song. The colour scheme is a little freaky but it’s kinda fun, all the colours flashing is really reminiscent of an epileptic fit but I still like it. So yeah, what were the bad things? Well, as I said, the film seems to be trying to go along the same lines as Dumbo and Pinocchio but it doesn’t work, not enough characters are introduced and I think it’s because they just did not have the time. They had to set up the kidnap and that took a good 10 minutes. To top it all off, I really didn’t like some of these additional characters, the geese? God I hate them. They take it upon themselves to interfere and are just so annoying, I really couldn’t stand them. The jazz cats were pretty cool but I don’t really think they were anything special. Secondly, there were some plot points that just really got under my skin. For example, Thomas O’Malley gets the family in the milk van and waves them off, one kitten falls and O’Malley gets her back on before joining them. Why? He had not intention of going with them before. It was a pointless scene, just make O’Malley go with them in the first place. Thirdly, a lot of the plot is just boring. It would make the world of difference if they did introduce more characters like in Dumbo and Pinocchio, they would at least keep our interest. In fact, if they did I think I would’ve liked it. I can see myself getting into all these characters interacting, but as I said there’s far from enough. Instead we get…this. It can be really boring, I had to force myself to watch at points. I didn’t think a lot to it.
A pretty bland film with some mediocre parts but it’s really let down by the story and the fact that it fails at trying something which would’ve made it an enjoyable film.