A young Scottish girl's cat, Thomasina, apparently dies at the hands of her widowed veterinarian father. The strained relationship between the girl and her father is eventually repaired with the return of Thomasina and the aid of a beautiful and mysterious "witch" who seems to have powers to revive and heal animals. Written by
Jeff Hole <email@example.com>
If you're fond of the little fur-bearing parasites this is a movie you cannot watch without a large hankerchief. It's superior to the current family movies in a number of reasons; lovely color, the realism of a vet's life, delightful Scots Highlands locations, a fine dramatic structure bolstered by that underrated actor Patrick Macgoohan and by a pretty, startlingly black-eyed starlet named Susan Hampshire (the two represent science and faith, respectively, and they come together with an ease you wish these two opponents would share today). But the film is mostly about the tragedy of losing a cat, and the childish, unkillable hope that one day they'll return. The sequence of cat heaven, ruled by the Goddess Bast, is reminiscent of the best of Michael Powell, explicitly referencing Powell's A Matter of Life and Death. The excellent animation is done by the pioneer of the cartoon industry Ub Iweks. A family movie in the day when kids were tougher, it was memorably broadcast on Disney's Wonderful World of Color on TV. I Expect wracking sobs in the scene where a rain- soaked Thomasina comes to the window. Jeez, I'm tearing up right now, just thinking about it.
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