Disney's 20th full-length animated masterpiece, THE ARISTOCATS is an unforgettable mix of wild adventure, colorful characters, and jazzy music your family will find absolutely irresistible! This enchanting tale begins in P... more »aris, when a kind and eccentric millionairess wills her entire estate to her family -- a family of adorable high-society cats. But when Edgar, the greedy butler, overhears her plan, he catnaps Duchess, the elegant, soft-spoken mother, and her three mischievous kittens and abandons them in the French countryside. Soon, they're being escorted home by the charming Thomas O'Malley, a rough-and-tumble alley cat, who takes them to his "pad" along the way, where Scat Cat and his band of swingin' jazz cats perform the memorable "Ev'rybody Wants To Be A Cat." Enriched by "high-style Disney animation" (The New Yorker) and toe-tapping music by Academy Award(R)-winning songwriters the Sherman brothers (MARY POPPINS), THE ARISTOCATS is a timeless treasure and the last animated feature to get the nod from Walt Disney himself.« less
Fine Family Fun, but: All Reviews for Previous Editions Lump
Baron Sardonicus | Pennsylvania | 02/07/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There are over a hundred reviews for The Aristocats as of this date. They all refer to the previous edition (Disney Gold Classic Edition or whatever they called it years ago when it first came out on dvd). So now we will have those reviews mixed up with new reviews for the Feb 5, 2008 version which offers more extras and a different aspect ratio. This may make things a bit confusing.
Moving on... People compare this film to 101 Dalmations. This is Disney's "cat" movie, they say. You can't compare them; they're too similiar somehow. But they are both decent, cute family films. Yes, Cruella is scary compared to the bumbling butler Edgar. There is a sense of jeopardy but Dalmations is much stronger in that sense. Both films were made using the 1960's Xerox method where the resulting animation is more sketchy looking and more close to the original animator's drawings. The Aristocats is more of a musical, definitely. A few forgettable songs, but also the charming and infectious tune "Everybody Wants to Be a Cat". That is the tune I think of when I remember the adventures of Duchess and Thomas and the kittens. (101 Dalmations had the little "Cruella De Vil" song, but that's it.)
Overall this is a fun vehicle but it is not a classic such as Peter Pan, Cinderella, or Lady and the Tramp. It has a nice, relaxing pace and is probably most appealing to youngsters. The voice talent, as ever with Disney cartoon features, is great. Eva Gabor's Duchess is warm and maternal while Phil Harris as Thomas O'Malley is macho yet sweet (and sounds like a lifelong diehard smoker). He also lent his vocal prowess to The Jungle Book when he played Baloo the bear.
This special edition for 2008 has some cute extras. But unless you're a total stickler for aspect ratios or you collect every version they release, the previous edition should suffice. It was fine, with a clear and bright picture/sound presentation."
The approach Disney seems to have forgotten
Mario Rodgers | Newport News, Virginia | 05/27/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Considering Disney's recent track record, it would appear that they think the average kid is maturing faster than before. Thus, they seem to put out movies that are dark and inappropriate for the average kid. The only exceptions to this trend are the wonderful Toy Story movies and A Bug's Life. Flash back a decade or two, and you'll find a different Disney, a Disney that made movies everybody could enjoy. Aristocats comes from that era. True the animation from this decade is weak, and the story loses a few points in some areas. The villain is also quite tame. All of that, however, disappears under the movie's charm, upbeat attitude, and general fun. It's certainly more fun than Hercules. People looking for something intense should avoid this. Families with small children and those who love adorable cats will love this movie. From this era, I also recommend Robin Hood. As I've said before, you just can't beat old school Disney."
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm so glad that Disney made this film. I much prefer the more innocent Disney movies of the past. Movies like Lady and the Tramp and The Aristocats are truly fun, wholesome entertainment. Don't get me started on the new Disney films which are way too interested in pushing hit pop songs and attracting adults with more action, violence, and suggestive dialogue. I know things can't stay the same so I'm glad we have this film from a more innocent era. I particularly like the fact that the pacing is relaxed and the villain is not very scary. I'm always looking for what I call "calm" movies and videos for my 2 and a half year old. I don't want him seeing frightening or fast-paced images. Lady and the Tramp and Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas are other great shows for young viewers. Unlike the sterile environment of the Teletubbies, these movies are full of wonderful images and interesting music. I find the backdrop drawings extremely interesting and stylized. I also like the setting of the film (France) as opposed to the mainly exotic locations lately of Disney films."
A Mostly Swinging Good Time
Mark Baker | Santa Clarita, CA United States | 02/07/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Madame Adelaide Bonfamille (Hermione Baddeley) is a wealthy former actress living in Paris in 1910. Since she has no family, she has come to view her cat Dutchess (Eva Gabor) and her kittens as her family. In fact, she has decided to leave her wealth to the cats as long as they live, then it will go to her butler Edgar (Roddy Maude-Roxby).
Edgar doesn't like the idea of having to wait, however, so he schemes to catnap the cats. After mixing sleeping pills into their favorite treat, he takes them into the country.
The cats aren't so easily gotten rid of, however. Teaming up with Thomas O'Malley (Phil Harris), they set out to return to Paris. Will they make it? What will Edgar do if they show up again?
This movie leans just slightly over average. There are parts of the story that are rather dull, like the introduction of the twin ducks. However, there are some wonderful bits as well, like the two country dogs to keep attacking Edgar. This will appeal to kids more then adults, and they will love it. While not all the songs are jazz, it certainly influenced the soundtrack. And you've got to love "Everybody Wants to be a Cat," the show stopping number that comes near the end. The animation is more stylized then we've seen before, with flat backgrounds and pencil like lines in the characters. It's definitely dated, but has a charm all its own.
This movie just got a new Special Edition. The widescreen picture and full surround are wonderful. The special they are most proud of is the "virtual kitten" game. I skipped right past that and went straight to the features about the movie. The one I really enjoyed was the information about "She Never Felt Alone," a song deleted from the movie. I was hoping the featurette on the Sherman Brothers would be more about their entire career at Disney, but there are some fun tidbits about their work on this film. And keep your eyes open for a bonus short that plenty of fun.
On the whole, this is a light film with some fun moments. It's probably not one the adults will pull out regularly, but it should keep the kids entertained with the funny action scenes."
Excellent movie for younger kids
fatcatx | Elk Grove, CA United States | 07/10/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is in the old Disney fashion. This would never win an academy award but for that reason it makes a great movie for little kids. Unlike the Disney movies of the past decade, violence is very minimal to almost non-existant. The "villain" in this movie - a greedy but likable butler - is baffoonish and not prone to causing nightmares. All the music is fun and upbeat. Lots of sassy talking animals. The humor and tone is very similar to Disney's Robin Hood - another movie for good clean fun. My 2 year old LOVES the Aristocats."