I know all too well that Cats Don’t Dance is not the most popular of feature length animated features. It was released in 1997 and due to a lack of promotion and the fact that it was grossly overshadowed by Disney’s Hercules, Batman and Robin and Titanic it was a massive box office bomb. It kills me inside to think that this movie never really had a chance especially when it had more imagination than the average Disney movie with slightly better spontaneous musical numbers.
Our story beings in 1939 with our main protagonist Danny, the all singing all dancing cat from Kokomo, Indiana who decides that he is going to follow is dream of going to Hollywood and getting his big break in the movie business. By 10minuites in it’s clear that Hollywood isn’t what it’s cracked up to be and the glamour of stardom is only for lucky, talented humans not anthropomorphic animals. Danny and his new animal friends get a part in the new Darla Dimple film. Lil’ Ark Angel. I love Darla Dimple; she’s like a mix of Shirley Temple, Angelica Pickles and a deranged, psycho, maniac with slight homicidal tendencies. Every child’s movie needs a Darla Dimple. Anyway, after a slight confrontation with Darla and her 10foot valet Max (who must be resemble Frankenstein in some way) after ‘jazzing up’ his one line in the movie Danny finds out, pretty violently that “Cat’s say meow.” Later, he talks to the studio’s mascot Woolly the Mammoth and sees that all his grouchy friends once had the same dream as him but their spirits were crushed by the realities of how Hollywood works. Does this stop Danny’s enthusiasm? Hell no! He decides to bring everyone together for a music and dance session and rekindles their love for performance; he even touches the heart of Sawyer, another cat whose dreams were long lost and is cynical about ever performing again. With a little push from Danny she realizes her passion for dancing all over again but this is short lived because, she naturally doesn’t want to get hurt again. Darla sees them and concocts a plan to trick Danny and humiliate all the animals and cause them to never be able to work in Hollywood again. Her elaborate plan is a success; everyone hates Danny for trusting her and getting their hopes up so he gets back on the bus to Kokomo. Suddenly; he decides that the fight is not over yet and promptly gets off the bus, finds Pudge the penguin and explains his plan in all its awesomeness. He plans for the animals to perform at the Lil’ Ark Angel premier and, they obviously do since every kid’s movie needs a happy ending but before hand he has an epic battle with Max that has a conclusions that’s really is too amazing for words.
That may have been a long plot summary but I am really passionate about everyone seeing ‘Cats Don’t Dance’ at least once in their lifetime. It’s a hilarious movie that deserves more credit than what it was given twelve years ago. It also has a very important moral I think everyone should live by; if you’re truly passionate about something and you fall victim to prejudice from those ‘superior’ to you, never, ever give up. Do everything you can to make your dreams come true and believe in yourself. I can’t believe that this got swept under the carpet for the worst batman movie ever made and a movie about the ship of total irony.
I also love how the setting really immersed the viewer in the world of 1939 and even though children wouldn’t even pick up on it, they still included references to famous actors of the time like Clark Gabel, Cary Grant, Laurel and Hardy and even King Kong. The references to ‘Gone with the Wind’ we’re pretty clever too.
I urge everyone who is reading this to find ‘Cats Don’t Dance’ on youtube and don’t make excuses claiming that it’s no longer there because I know that it’s there blatantly in eight parts. It’s a comical, heart warming film that children will love and older folk will love even more.