This is one of those movies that everyone always forgets about. It’s understandable why; I mean, who wants to see a movie about a bunch of rich house pets who go around being helpless on their own out in the real world?
Let’s do a count of all the things that this movie does to emphasize that these cats live way, way better than we do, and it’s perfectly justifiable that Edgar the butler would want to get rid of them when he finds out he’s second in line to inherit his employer’s vast fortune.
1. They’re cats. I understand loving your pets and wanting them to be well cared-for after you’re gone, but the cats’ owner Adelaide wills that her entire estate should be given to the cats. That’s really extreme. You know, set aside a fund that’s going to be used to pay the expenses of caring for a family of cats, and Adelaide probably still has millions that she could bequeath to her faithful Edgar.
2. They’re artists. These cats spend time every day practicing music and painting because they have nothing better to do with their time (granted, regular house cats who don’t get to go outside spend all their time just lying around, but at least they don’t rub it in that they’re so awesomely well bred that they can do human activities for leisure).
3. They have aspirations to be like the cats on the streets, but everything’s wound up in these strange, out of touch fantasies. The kittens want to see romance or real action, but when these things come along, they’re clueless about how to approach such things as they’ve never experienced before.
4. They throw in with the first stranger they encounter out in the wilderness. Fortunately, O’Malley is a pretty decent cat (though rather sexist), but it really could have gone either way. The scene where he’s doing his best to romance Duchess before he finds out she has kittens demonstrates that O’Malley, if he didn’t have a soft spot for the kittens, would probably try to sweet talk any lady cat he encountered. He’s not exactly terribly altruistic in instances where he’s not dealing specifically with Duchess and the kittens.
5. They’re friends with a mouse. And not just friends, but such good friends that they invite him to have a meal with them on a regular basis. This is not how cats and mice interact in normal situations.
Yeah, this movie’s not so great. I mean, it’s not the worst Disney’s ever put out (I’m still not over Dumbo), but that’s about all you can say about it.
I guess there’s a good reason why no one ever remembers this one.