This retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen classic fairy tale has the digit-sized heroine evading the clutches of various toads, moles, and beetles before she can proceed with her courtship with her dream lover, Prince Cornelius.
A canine angel, Charlie, sneaks back to earth from heaven but ends up befriending an orphan girl who can speak to animals. In the process, Charlie learns that friendship is the most heavenly gift of all.
A time traveling scientist goes back to prehistoric times and feeds dinosaurs a magic cereal that increases their intelligence - next they land in modern New York City for a series of comic adventures.
I could kick myself for seeing this wonderful film only once in my childhood
I remembered seeing Cats Don't Dance when I was 10, and really liking it. To this day, I still find it a mystery as to why I didn't see it again since, and I can't think of a convincing enough reason why other than I forgot about it. Then, I was reading some reviews by chance that were praising this film, and I decided I must give it another chance. Thank goodness for YouTube. And you know what, I am glad I did that, and now I am kicking myself for only seeing this film once in my childhood. Seriously I loved it, why it is so underrated I don't know.
I am also scratching my head on some of the aspects of the film critical reviews have picked up. Critics complained of dull characters, and others of forgettable songs. Now I will admit that Cats Don't Dance is surprisingly ambitious, but I cannot disagree more with the criticism that it has forgettable music. I thought it was wonderful, the incidental music itself was beautiful, but the songs were amazing and definitely memorable, from the wonderfully energetic end number, to the poignant one sung by Sawyer in the rain. Though special mention has to go to Big and Loud, where Lindsay Ridgeway did a spectacular job with the singing voice of the antagonist Darla Dimple.
And the characters certainly weren't dull. Danny is a very likable Gene Kelly-like protagonist, and Sawyer is lovely. And if you're looking for a character for comic relief, look to Flannigan especially. But the most memorable character is easily Darla, wonderfully voiced by Ashley Peldon. You could say Darla is like Shirley Temple's evil twin, she is very cute yet she is mighty mean too. Her bodyguard Max for some reason frightened me at the end when he was chasing Danny when I first saw Cats Don't Dance. The animation is colourful and detailed, and the voice cast is excellent. Other definite pros are in the surprisingly consistent and mature scripting, the inspired story, its constant sense of fun and the glamorous and irresistible choreography. All in all, despite the decent enough rating on IMDb(though I personally think it should be in the 7s) this is a very underrated and almost forgotten film. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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