Cats don't Dance: movie review

Genre: Animal, comedy, family

Rated:  G

Year of Release: 1997

Director: Mark Dindal

Summary: Danny, an ambitious singing and dancing cat, goes to Hollywood and overcomes several obstacles to fulfill his dream of becoming a movie star. However cats don't dance, nor does any other animal is a major part of any movie. Danny has a plan to get people to see what animals can really do. 

Review: This is a cute little gem of a movie. The soundtrack is good, and the animation is lively and expressed. The movie is open to how difficult it is to become a star in Hollywood. I like the classic movie references. There are some funny moments, particularly with the main antagonist.

The movie has a message of following your dreams that taken a step further. Danny sees how unfairly the other animals are treated so he helps them achieve their dreams as well.

You can easily tell this is a low-budget movie because it is similar in style to Loony Tunes that have this emptiness in its scenery. It not a bad thing.

In the old Loony Tunes cartoons episodes, there will be woodlands and cityscapes that have an eerie emptiness to them. In the city, cars would not be moving unless it is necessary. People would not be walking down the streets unless it is necessary.

I'm pointing this out because animated movies of the time such as Disney or Don Bluth movies would have bigger budgets. For Cats Don't Dance the animators did a great job putting their energy where it needs to be. This movie stands out among bigger budget animation. Sadly, from what I hear the WB studio didn't have faith in this movie and so they let it flop.

This is a heartful movie that kids will love.

Fun Facts: 

  • When Warner Bros. acquired the distribution rights after acquiring Turner Pictures, they made very little effort to promote the film. The only merchandising was a Subway tie-in. According to the Los Angeles Times, 15 people (including a family of five) attended the first matinee screening in a theater in Pasadena, California. Producer David Kirschner told the Times he was "devastated" by the film's performance, adding that it "got great reviews and great exit polls. And no one knew it was out there."

  • Darla's butler Max is a reference, in name and appearance, to Erich von Stroheim's sinister character Max von Mayerling from Sunset Blvd. (1950).

  • "Dedicated to Our Friend and Collaborator, Gene Kelly", who acted as a choreography consultant (uncredited) for the film shortly before he passed away in 1996. Kelly's cement hand and footprints at the Grauman's Chinese Theater forecourt are clearly seen in the opening musical number in Hollywood as a tribute (even though he didn't place his there until 1969).

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