Movie Review – ‘The Aristocats’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

One of the films I was hoping to see at the cinema this year was a re-release of the Disney film ‘The Aristocats’. It would’ve been shown at Showcase Cinemas in Nantgarw, Cardiff on the 11th of April 2020. Sadly, that didn’t occur due to the Covid-19 pandemic closing cinemas down around that time.

Thankfully, with me subscribing to Disney+ during the pandemic – please keep safe – my parents and I have been able to revisit ‘The Aristocats’ on our home computer. It was nice to see ‘The Aristocats’ again, having not seen it since being a kid. I did wonder what it’d be like after these years.

‘The Aristocats’ was released in 1970. It’s a romantic, musical comedy animated adventure film revolving around a family of aristocratic cats in Paris. A butler tries to get rid of the cats in order to obtain his mistress’ fortune. But the cats are helped to return home when befriending an alley cat. 🙂

The cast of characters are as follows. There’s Duchess, the mother of three kittens including Marie, Berlioz and Toulouse. I’m not sure who the father of these three kittens are and I’m sure there are three fathers involved, but then, I don’t think the movie wishes me to think too hard on the subject.

The alley cat that Duchess and her three kittens meet is called Thomas O’Malley (voiced by Phil Harris). I mention the voice actor who plays O’Malley in the film because he sounds a lot like Baloo from the original 1967 ‘Jungle Book’ film. And would you know it? It’s the same actor who did him. 🙂

Phil Harris also voiced Little John the Bear in Disney’s 1973 film ‘Robin Hood’. I think it’s fair to say that O’Malley is a charming rogue when he meets and befriends Duchess and kittens. I think perhaps that Duchess is charmed very easily by O’Malley. Makes the love story between them a bit simple! 😐

The three kittens were fun to watch in the film. Toulouse likes to be tough, idolising alley cats, earning him the name ‘Tiger’ by O’Malley. He’s also a talented painter. Marie considers herself a lady above her two brothers whilst Berlioz, the youngest of the three, is somewhat shy and a pianist.

The butler who wants to get rid of Madame Adeladie’s cats is Edgar, who’s a bit dim-witted. Honestly, I enjoyed his scenes where he was chased by those two dogs Napoleon and Lafayette. Napoleon is voiced by Pat Buttram and I recognise and have seen him in ‘Back to the Future, Part III’.

The film also features a gang of jazz-playing alley cats including Scat Cat, Shun Gon (a Chinese cat) – voiced by Tigger’s actor Paul Winchell no less 😀 , Hit Cat, Peppo and Billy Boss. The thing I remember about these cats is them singing the song…‘Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat’. Well, I don’t. 😀

Cuddles: “And I don’t want to be a cat either! I’m a dog!”

Speaking of songs, the music is composed by George Bruns. There’s an almost French-style music at the beginning of the film before we move into jazzy-type music with the alley cats. Incidentally, ‘The Aristocats’ is based on by Tom McGowan and Tom Rowe which I didn’t know about when I was a kid.

The film features a house mouse and a friend of Duchess and the kittens called Roquefort (voiced by Sterling Holloway). Sterling Holloway voiced Winnie the Pooh in ‘The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’. It’s amazing Tigger’s voice actor and Pooh’s voice actor are in this film about ‘Aristocats’.

There are other animal-like characters like Frou-Frou, Madame Adelaide’s carriage horse who’s friends with Duchess and kittens as well as Roquefort. There are also the two geese Abigail Gabble and Amelia Gabble who meet up with their Uncle Waldo. I didn’t know that the geese were English! 😀

Then again, O’Malley sounds American in Paris, so what do I know? Overall, I enjoyed watching ‘The Aristocats’ again on Disney+. I may not have seen the film on the big screen, but I’m glad I got to see it somehow this year. The film is quite entertaining and a harmless distraction during the tough times.

I’m hoping to see ‘The Rescuers’ and ‘The Rescuers Down Under’ on Disney+ sometime soon.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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