VIDEO: Cats Don’t Dance (1997)

Mark Dindal’s directorial debut, featuring singing felines and 5-year-old insane villains!

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  • Muthsarah

    I think the comparisons with Hollywood’s sidelining of non-whites is pretty clear. Even Roger Rabbit had that subtext, and I’m under the impression it was even more clear in the original book.

    “What’s your favorite dance number from any film?”

    The ballet from An American in Paris, so easily. Possibly my favorite part of any film ever. And Kelly had to push the studio to let them do it. Cost a million bucks (*sigh* …and that was a lot of money back in those days…), and probably weeks and weeks if not months of work, and was *technically* extraneous to the plot (but it’s the very heart of the movie). And it’s just spectacular, a love letter to a city, a romantic age, and art in general. And it’s sixteen minutes long!

  • Dennis Fischer

    I think there are a couple of references you are missing, Joey, to be honest. Max, the loyal butler, is clearly based on Erich von Stroheim’s loyal butler in SUNSET BLVD. He will do anything for his little miss. Also, the little Ark Angel film references the early Michael Curtiz sound film NOAH’S ARK, in which in setting up the big flood scene, massive amounts of water were unreleased, resulting in several extras being drowned. Of course, these bits were meant for adults and would not be familiar with kids watching the film. I do think the movie is a bit better than OK, but it does relay quite a bit on stereotypes.
    As far as favorite dance sequence–I was always taken with the “Officer Krupke” number from WEST SIDE STORY–both athletic and amusing, though I also agree with Muthsarah that the “American in Paris” ballet is one of the most impressive dance performances this is of THE RED SHOES.

  • Joanna

    I also first saw this movie as a child, and while some of the dance numbers were long winded and grew tedious I loved the big finale and the elaborately layered quality to the number. The race symbolism was to me more text than subtext, since that greater theme is one of the things that makes this movie rewatchable for me. To me this movie pokes fun at the supposed “golden age” of movies. That behind every scripted scene there are hidden diva-like stars, money grubbing directors, and countless extras waiting for the big break that will probably never come.

    My favorite dance number is due to personal nostalgia: the beginning scene in West Side Story between the jets and the sharks. While it’s not a traditional “dance”, I argue it is set to music, is choreographed for actors to move in tandem, and moves the story along. Too many musicals make big dramatic scenes that do nothing to explain more than, “someone’s happy” etc. When I was a kid this scene was exciting and kept my attention long enough that I actually knew what was going on.