Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Aristocats {1970}

{Animated Disney Film #20 of 53}

Somehow, despite the fact that I've basically been a cat lover my whole life, I managed to make it through my childhood without ever watching The Aristocats. At least I don't think I had watched the entire film until this past week. Certain scenes were familiar to me, but I think it's just because I've seen clips of them elsewhere. (The whole, "You're not a lady. You're nothing but a sister!" bit and the boy kitten spitting like an "alley cat.")

Well, I've seen it now and I love it. :) During this Disney marathon, I've been hoping that I would stumble across an older classic that I had never seen before, and that it would become a favorite...and now that's finally happened!

There's just so much to like about The Aristocats. I like to think of it as a mix of 101 Dalmatians and Lady and the Tramp, except for cat people rather than dog people (though there are dogs in this movie...more on that later). It's got the "nefarious plot against beloved pets" aspect of 101 Dalmatians and from Lady and the Tramp, it borrows the "male character from the wrong side of the tracks falls in love with classy female character" plotline.

Also, it's set in Paris. So you get lots of elegant Parisian street backgrounds that feature the Eiffel Tower, plus pretty French countrysides. Not to mention all of the classic accordion music (why is it that we associate accordion music with the streets of Paris? I've always wondered that).

The animation has that familiar look...kind of sketchy around the edges, like with Madame's hair. The plot was pretty good. It wasn't anything special, but Disney movies aren't particularly known for their stellar plots, are they? I'll have to say that I was not expecting the butler to be the bad guy! He seemed so nice at the very beginning.

I really liked the geese sisters. :) They were hilarious. I didn't find the music to be especially memorable in this movie, except for, of course, Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat. I thought I remembered that song being really upbeat, so when it was slow (well, as slow as a jazz song can be) at the beginning, I kept thinking, I must be remembering this wrong. But then everything broke loose and the piano was dropping through the floors of the house. :)

There were lots of familiar voices in this one. Eva Gabor as Duchess the cat, and then Phil Harris as Thomas O'Malley. Having just watched The Jungle Book, I really had a hard time thinking of him as anyone other than Baloo. :) Sterling Holloway is there, too, of course, as the mouse. But the most surprising for me were the voices of the two dogs. I instantly recognized the first voice as one of the dogs from The Fox and the Hound. But when I heard the other one...I was like, Goober? Goober Pyle?? Yes, it's true. George Lindsey, aka Goober from The Andy Griffith Show, is the voice of one of the hounds in this movie. I loved that. It was such a nice surprise! :)

So...yes. I really, really enjoyed The Aristocats. It was charming and funny and had lots of little details that I appreciated. I'm so glad I finally watched this movie! I'll definitely be adding it to my Disney collection at some point.

Up next on the list is another one I haven't seen before: Robin Hood.

Do you like The Aristocats? Are you a cat person or a dog person? :)


  1. I can't believe that you've never seen The Aristocats! It was an absolute staple at my house, all growing up. To this day it remains one of my favorite cartoons. And oh my goodness, you are in for such a treat with Robin Hood!!! It rests right underneath Tangled as my favorite Disney movie of all time! Loved your post!

    1. I can't believe I had never seen it before, either. :) I'm excited for Robin Hood.

  2. Awww, I adored this film as a kid. I suspect if I watched it today, I'd view it much differently, but would still have fond feelings for it just because it has memories. :)

    Glad you enjoyed, Kristin.

    1. You'd probably still adore the film if you watched it today! :) I know that nostalgia has a lot to do with it, but I'm forever biased towards the Disney films that were my favorites as a child...I think I'll always love those!


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