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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>
"The Three Lives of Thomasina" is a very good movie. No questioning, this is one of Disney's best live-action movies. Maybe it's not one of their best known, but it sure is one of the great Disney ones. Curiously, the movie's title doesn't refer to the traditional nine lives of a cat, it refers only to three of them. Curiously, the opening scene is made in one of the strangest ways too, but I like the way that's made for being quite unusual.
The movie can be considered a family drama above all things, but it also has numerous moments of fun. There is very little soundtrack (unlike in many - if not most - Disney movies), but the song "Thomasina" is nice.
The story is set in Scotland, particularly in the town of Inveranoch. The year is 1912. The Scottish scenario makes this a very rich production. Words are not enough to describe these sceneries/landscapes: dazzling, wonderful, beautiful, magnificent, inspiring, fantastic, completely natural and pure. The purity of nature and the surrounding vistas always make a more than perfect panorama. The pleasant sound of the bagpipes accent the Scottish atmosphere.
Our story centers mostly around Andrew MacDhui (a cold and distant veterinarian who doesn't show much feelings for pets), his daughter Mary and Mary's beloved cat Thomasina. Not only on these characters, but also on Mary's friends Hughie, Jamie and Geordie.
Mary's 3 friends make the movie's funniest moments, especially whenever they peek at Lori (the beautiful and kind young woman who cures all injured and sick beings) and runaway from her. It's hilarious when one of the boys says «She's crazy», a line which sounds even funnier because of the way he says it and especially because of his English with a Scottish or Scottish gaelic accent.
This is the first of 3 films which Matthew Garber and Karen Dotrice star together. Matthew is Geordie, Karen is Mary. Both are excellent. The fact that these 2 lovable kids are here is great. It's impossible not to laugh with Geordie. Yet at the same time he is adventurous and carefree, he is kind and shy. In any of the 3 movies with Matthew and Karen, the funniest of the two is always Matthew.
Thomasina is a beautiful orange tabby cat. She doesn't speak "per se", but in some parts we can hear what she feels. That means, a voice narrates her feelings. For me, this is a more interesting solution that to literally put them talking (moving lips and all). Elspeth March does a great narration job for Thomasina.
Susan Hampshire is great in her role as Lori. Patrick McGoohan is tremendous as Andrew MacDhui. The film was directed by Don Chaffey, the same man who directed "Pete's Dragon".
The movie is generally simple, but there is a scene with spectacular special effects for its time: the sequence which Thomasina is going on a fantasy trip to "Cat Heaven" and encounters Bast (the ancient Egyptian Cat Goddess). Another very well made scene among others is Thomasina's "almost" funeral.
The puppy that Mr. MacDhui tries to offer his daughter is really cute and adorable. Mr. MacDhui changes later in the movie, becoming a better person, more sensible and generous.
This should definitely be on Top 250.
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