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Complaints from previous commentators that "the pencil marks show" in the animated art shows that they miss the point entirely. The visual style is deliberately similar to what was used in '101 Dalmatians' with the characters having a deliberately sketchy look--an art style used to great effect in this and several other Disney movies. Far from being "weak animation", this is one of the very best works produced by the Disney artists. The color is superb, the humor is constant and the mere fact that the storyline bears a resemblance to the 'Dalmatians' plot does nothing to weaken the film. Upon release, it was an enormous success and has made even more money in subsequent theatrical revivals. Viewers who make comments about the art work, don't seem to realize that the "sketchy" look was what the artists sought--it has nothing whatsoever to do with careless art work. All the voices are extremely well done--Eva Gabor as the Duchess and Phil Harris as Thomas O'Malley are perfect. The slapstick comedy involving the bumbling butler and the dogs is priceless! This is another great Disney film that children and adults can enjoy equally.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
AristoCats is such a terrific Disney classic that I just loved so much
as a kid. Still to this day I can't resist watching it, it's just such
a wonderful and charming film with great animation and lovely songs. I
really miss the animation films like AristoCats, they had perfect
voices not to mention the hand drawn animation that makes it perfect
for the family. AristoCats is also very witty and clever, the story was
just so wonderful. This film is just beyond irresistible, I think the
most memorable moment for me was the cats playing the piano learning
the appecio's, lol, it was just so cute with the piano playing and
Douchess and her kittens are very pampered in their huge mansion, mainly because their lady is very rich and treats them like they were her children. But when the lady feels it's time to make her will, she leaves everything to the cats and not to her butler. The butler gets angry and takes the kittens on the road and abondons them in the middle of no where. Douchess and the kittens wake up and with the help of a smooth street cat by the name of Thomas O'Malley, they head back home to their lady, but learn the coolness of being a skat cat.
The AristoCats is just a perfect Disney movie that I feel is a bit over looked. I would always highly recommend this movie for kids or families, it could be enjoyed by anyone. The songs and story is just memorable. I will always join in for the movies best song "Everybody wants to be a cat", such a great tune. I also love those dogs that guarded the farm where the cats were abandoned, they were just so cute. This is a terrific film, please watch it, you won't be disappointed.
Set in Paris in the year 1910, a retired old rich opera singer decides
to give her fortune away to her beautiful cat Duchess ( voiced by Eva
Gabor) and her kittens, but the jealous butler Edgar comes up with a
plan as he kidnaps the cats and leaves them in the countryside. Luckily
for them with the help of a streetwise and independent tomcat named
Thomas O'Malley ( voiced by Phil Harris) helps them get home especially
meeting some of his good friends like the swinging' Scat Cat ( voiced
by Scatman Crothers) and try to foil Edgar's plans.
Very entertaining and edgy post-Walt Disney's death animated movie with a couple of nice jazzy tunes like the memorable "Everybody wants to be a cat", good voice acting and some terrific animation for it's time even in these times of computer animation. Not one of the greatest Disney animated movies but a cult Disney animated fave and one of the few gems of it's day that works well, highly recommended.
No. I'm not kidding with this one. He was a guest reviewer for Entertainment Weekly and gave this movie positive marks. And who can blame him? This is a charming, upbeat, and rather funny Disney movie. Who doesn't love kittens? The music in Ev'rybody Wants To Be A Cat is jamming. It makes me want to snap my fingers or something. Only years later when Cats Don't Dance came out have I seen a movie that was that musically fun. What Aristocats lacks in animation and story, it makes up for in charm. Plus, everything moves at a relaxed pace, and even the villain isn't all that scary. It's perfect for the younger set while not being so sappy that adults can't like it. If Snoop was here, I'm sure he would say the same thing. Yeah. Dig those CRAZY cats, man.
The first Disney animated film without the strong involvement of Disney
himself, this film suffers from the fact that the story is not particularly
original or interesting (this is, I believe, the only animated Disney film
since the 1940's which is NOT based on an earlier book or other work, but is
rather an original story). As others have noted, the plot is essentially a
cross between the romance in Lady and the Tramp and the kidnapping/journey
home story in 101 Dalmatians.
But to overcome this flaw, the filmmakers have successfully used many of the better features of most of the Disney animated films of the previous 10-15 years: Phil Harris (from The Jungle Book) voicing one of the main characters, follows his duet with Louis Prima in the previous film with another here with Scatman Crothers. The quality visual look of this film is virtually carried over from "Dalmatians" (with some nice nods to French Impressionism, it appears), and the villain here (the butler) is strongly reminiscent of the henchmen in that film as well. (This is probably one of Disney's least memorable villains.) The main story goes back and forth between the cats, and the butler's ongoing difficulties with two rural hound dogs (with great voice work by Pat Buttram and George "Goober" Lindsey"). The various animal characters are similarly familiar to those who have seen "Tramp" and "Dalmatians." The cats' owner, while bearing a striking visual resemblance to the wicked stepmother in Sleeping Beauty, bears none of that character's nasty traits and comes across as very warm and generous.
The real strength of the film is the voice work; after first going toward the use of mostly familiar actors in The Jungle Book, the tactic is continued strongly here with Disney veterans Harris and Sterling Holloway from The Jungle Book, and Eva Gabor (who would do a very similar character in the later film The Rescuers), as well as Crothers and Nancy Kulp. All are excellent here, particularly Harris and Gabor in the leads. The character animation is as excellent as one would expect, showing a variety of emotions well.
Smaller children may be upset by a few brief episodes (an escape from the path of a speeding train, a near-drowning by one of the children), but these are not presented in a particularly frightening or dark manner and are over very quickly. Overall, there's very little of the type of more frightening scenes found in many other Disney classics.
One minor oddity is the way some visual aspects of 60's culture are depicted among the jazz-performing cats in supposedly 1910 Paris; one can't help but wonder why the story wasn't set solidly in the present, other than the great deal Paris had changed much of its appearance in the intervening time. It really would have made more sense that way.
The songs, while being pleasant and sometimes very enjoyably performed, are not particularly memorable. Nonetheless, the general energy applied here, the excellent voice work and fine animation all contribute to overcome the relatively few and minor weaknesses. Far from the greatness of classic "10"s such as Pinocchio or Aladdin, and not quite up to the "9"s one might give to Sleeping Beauty or 101 Dalmatians, this is probably a rather marginal 8 of 10; perhaps a 7.
The 20th animated Disney classic is often criticized by many people as
"mediocre" or poor in quality, but it is a good movie.
Despite being extremely underrated, it is one of the funniest Disney classics. It is full of hilarious (some of them, hysterical) moments.
Edgar, the greedy butler, is the villain but a perfect comic relief. He's one of my favorite Disney villains because he is so funny.
Every scene with Edgar and the two stupid hound dogs Napoleon and Lafayette chasing him are among the most hilarious you'll ever see, especially the one when Edgar drives his motorcycle into the river and around the bridge, with the dogs chasing him. That is hysterical!
But the classic humor doesn't just come from Edgar or the hound dogs. Other characters have their moments as well.
About the quality subject, it isn't perfect, but remains on a high level. Even after Walt Disney's death those artists knew how to keep faithful to Walt's spirit and "The Aristocats" is one of those examples. They no longer make them like this!
As usual, legendary Disney actors voice the characters. In this case, we have Phil Harris, Sterling Holloway, Paul Winchell, Eva Gabor and Pat Buttram.
The characters are generally cool: Thomas O'Malley, Duchess and her 3 kittens, the mouse Roquefort, the alley cats, the English geese, the hound dogs and the horse. The human characters are included as well: the eccentric and kind retired Opera singer Madame Adelaide Bonfamille, the comic Madame's old lawyer Georges Hautecourt and Edgar himself!
About the soundtrack, it has some nice and catchy songs such as Thomas O'Malley's theme (but I can't remember its name), "Everybody Wants to be a Cat" and "The Aristocats" (sung by Maurice Chevalier), for example.
This movie takes place in Paris (France), in the year of 1910. A classic, often underestimated and forgotten, but worthy.
> Kids will love this movie, just as they should. But, actually I thought
cool! The characters and the music (ScatCat
rocks) are fantastic to listen to, and
the soundtrack is to be recommended.
An old lady makes her beloved cats the owner of her money, in her will. Her clumsy butler, Edgar, finds this idea very stupid and annoying. And a problem, since he was certain that the money would go to him. So, wise as he is, he decides to get the cats out of the picture, so he can get all the cash. Of course. He grabs them in a rainy night and throw them away in a swamp way outside the city in France.
Can't be missing in your Disney-collection.
This is NOT the masterpiece that is Snow White, Cinderella, or Bambi,
but it IS a very sweet, enjoyable, romantic, well-done Disney animated
There are, of course, lessons included herein for the kiddies, and some very appropriate kiddie-cheek, but there is plenty herein for the adults, as well.
While this is somewhat of a regurgitation of the Classic Disney RomCom Adventure, it still holds some elements, which solely belong to the AristoCats. O'Malley is the "tramp" and Dutchess is the "lady," but Dutchess has several kittens and they are all trying to get home.
Phil Harris is our tomcat O'Malley. You may recognize his voice, as he also furnished the voice of Baloo the Bear in the Jungle Book, and Little John in Disney's Robin Hood. Eva Gabor lends her silky sweet voice to Dutchess.
Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, who directed, or worked on, every Disney animated film worth mentioning until his death in 1985.
This is among my very favorite of the Disney animated feature films, and belongs in any Disney collection. The 2-Disk Special Edition Is Due Out This Summer (2007).
This rates an 8.4/10 from...
the Fiend :.
The Aristocats is one of my favorite animated movies, but the
comparisons between this movie and past Disney classics are reasonable.
The dog napping plot of One Hundred and One Dalmatians is adapted to
fit the catnapping plot of The Aristocats. O'Malley and Duchess are
reconstructions of Lady and the Tramp at heart. But, as long as the end
result is just as enjoyable as the past movies, why complain? No matter
how the success was achieved, as long as it was achieved.
The plot is simple. Madame Adelaide Bonfamille is an old millionaires spinster in Paris, 1910. The only other people in her lonely life are her cat, Duchess, and her kittens, Toulouse, Marie and Berlioz, as well as the faithful butler, Edgar. When Madame's lawyer, Georges, comes over to make Madame's will, Edgar overhears her plans. She wants to leave all her belongings to her cats, and at the end of their lifespan, the vast sums of money will go to Edgar. Quite unreasonably, Edgar is infuriated, and drugs and catnaps the kittens and dumps them in the French countryside, miles from home. There they find Thomas O'Malley, an alley cat who helps them back home, mainly because of Duchess.
The characterization of O'Malley certainly doesn't seem to have been a problem. Voiced by Phil Harris (Baloo from The Jungle Book), he also acts like the lovable bear and even looks just like you would imagine Baloo to look like, were he transmogrified into a cat. His bunch of jazz cats, led by Scat Cat, are some of the more effective Disney cameo-players. My favorite was the long-haired, blonde English Cat (besides Scat Cat, the rest have no names but clearly distinct nationalities). Roquefort the house-mouse and Frou-Frou the horse have brief roles, but shine in these glimpses. Edgar isn't really the real Disney villain in that he is not evil...he is simply impatient. He is not cruel from the start--his only sin is impatience. If he hadn't known about the will, he would've taken care of the cats as if nothing had happened. One sees his point in a way--what would those cats DO with the money? Madame could have given her estate to Edgar, and the butler would never have abandoned the cats had they not been privileged more than himself. So I like Edgar, in some ways.
The story is a mix of other Disney classics. Besides Fantasia--which had NO plot--this was Disney's first shot at writing an original story for an animated feature, and even so they had to take shortcuts. Here are the main plot elements repeated: 1) Villain-pet naps-animals-for-personal-gain from One Hundred and One Dalmatians. 2) Pampered-pet-learns-of-life-on-streets-through-streetwise-friend from Lady and the Tramp. It also borrows a little bit from Chuck Jones and Abe Levitow's Gay Purr-ee (1962). The plot is berated for being too shallow, but I don't see how it can be with so many elements of faultless classics. Again, as in the first paragraph: If the audience enjoys a story, it doesn't matter how the story developed.
The animation, so often blasted for being lazy and flawed, can never be seen the same way by everyone. It's solely a matter of opinion. The animation isn't bad, like television cartoons: it's a different style, radically different from, say, Sleeping Beauty. If that great fairy tale were portrayed by such animation, it would be the greatest failure in history; the same way, the sketchy, loose, carefree style of The Aristocats is perfect to tell that kind of story with those characters. Sleeping Beauty needed to be immaculate, as near to photography as could be; The Aristocats is the most cartoony of Disney animated features.
The Aristocats will always have an advantage over many films in my book. It was one of the few movies my dad saw in theater, so I was exposed to it more than several other movies. Besides that, it has always been one of Disney's more enjoyable features, more fun than most. It doesn't aim for the realism and drama of Bambi. It's just wholesome entertainment.
Since cats have nine lives, I'll give you nine reasons to see this movie:
* The kittens Berlioz and Toulouse playing the piano together (so unbelievably cute!) * The car-chasing dogs Napoleon and Lafayette * Toulouse jumping like electrified every time he wants to be like a tough alley cat * Marie sighing romantically while alley cat O'Malley seduces her mom * Scat Cat and his jazz band, singing "ev'rybody wants to be a cat" * Stupid but proper and nice English geese Amelia and Abigail who make the cats walk like geese * O'Malley obtaining the "magic carpet" which puts the Cheshire cat to shame * Roquefort the brave mouse's journey to ask help from alley cats * Edgar the butler chase scenes and transition from a nice guy to an insane cat hater due to cat riddance plan gone bad
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