The Aristocats (1970)


In one of Disney Animation’s weaker efforts, a jealous butler seeks to do away with a mother cat and her three kittens before their owner can bequeath her fortunes to the furry little bastards. I can’t blame him, really. The cats are annoying, snobby little characters with sticks so far up their asses, they are incapable of exuding much charm or engendering much sympathy.

Anyway, the spoiled cats are abandoned in rural France where they meet an alley cat with slightly more charm and personality, and he helps them get back to Paris to find their rich sugar-mama owner. Along the way, they encounter a couple of British geese and their drunk uncle goose and a troupe of jazz-playing pussycats. Eventually, there’s a happy ending because, fuck, there’s kids watching this shit.

The Aristocats is too similar in concept to the earlier 101 Dalmatians for its own good. The drawing style isn’t as clean as other Disney efforts, the second act is too scattered and unfocused, and the music is well — almost dreadful, really. Some of the supporting characters are amusing, especially the rich madame’s ridiculously aged financial advisor and a cantankerous hound dog voiced by Pat Buttram. None of the main characters, however, leave much of an impression, despite voice talent the likes of Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, and Sterling Holloway.

Did I mention I don’t care much for cats?

With additional voices by Scatman Crothers, Thurl Ravenscroft, and Hermione Baddeley.

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