I don’t remember a time before the trailer for Cats came into our lives and neither do the people in your office. Ever since the trailer for the Tom Hooper (not sure we can even call it this?) film the internet hasn’t been able to shut up about it nor have your coworkers. After all, how could they? We were just presented with so many questions. First of all, why? But more importantly, why?
Anthropomorphism is always a little tricky which is why everyone loves these live-action creations of our favorite animated classics from childhood like The Jungle Book and The Lion King because it takes out the human equation altogether (except for their voices because who wants to watch a bunch of animals squawk and roar for two hours. I’m not Dr. Doolittle.) But Cats, made in the year 2019, decided to take its obscenely large budget and instead of turning the felines, quite possibly the most animation-friendly animal (except for maybe Wilson the Volleyball) into a CGI-masterpiece like The Lion King (in which you actually walk out of the theater wondering if lions really do talk) they instead took inspiration from the haunting LSD-induced nightmare that was the children’s program Zoobilee Zoo.
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For the cats in Cats have human faces but half-cat and half-human bodies (they have regular hands.) And apparently Hooper has maybe never seen a cat in real life as in some scenes they appear to be the size of mice but in others, they are larger than humans. Also, why do some of the cats wear clothes and others don’t? And in a very Soylent Green-turn of events one cat, played by Judi Dench, wears a fur coat? And yet somehow the film got an A-list cast including Dench, Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, James Cordon and Jennifer Hudson to sign on.
We are in a time of many musical adaptations but of all the musicals in the land, this one seemed the least needed (and we just got Memories out of heads for crying out loud.) Yes, the Andrew Lloyd-Webber show was one of the longest-running musicals on Broadway but that’s because Netflix didn’t exist and Lin Manuel-Miranda hadn’t been born yet. But the plot of Cats isn’t even a plot. The loose loose loose theme of the story, based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats ( a real page-turner I’m sure), is that Old Deuteronomy chooses one cat to be reborn on the Heaviside Layer and so the cats spend the entire show singing about their different personalities to vie for this spot. Also, never make a show based on poems. Did you see the Emily Dickinson musical “I tie my Hat—I crease my Shawl“? Yeah, that’s right you didn’t.
As you can imagine the internet had some thoughts on this. Since dropping yesterday it was the top trending topic worldwide on Twitter with over 300,000 tweets. Here are a few gems.
I don't know why you're all freaking out over miniature yet huge cats with human celebrity faces and sexy breasts performing a demented dream ballet for kids.
— Louis Virtel (@louisvirtel) July 18, 2019
therapist: taylor swift as a cgi cat isn’t real, she can’t hurt you
taylor as a cgi cat: pic.twitter.com/Q8m9aI1v9x
— matt 35 (@stayewme) July 18, 2019
Live look at Universal execs checking in with social media to see how people are reacting to the trailer for CATS pic.twitter.com/pjzeBQnhl7
— Scott Wampler™ (@ScottWamplerBMD) July 18, 2019
the James Corden cat is what I see in the corner of my room when I have sleep paralysis pic.twitter.com/l9I9CBh9VG
— georgia 🦁 (@brightroars_) July 18, 2019
Also, everyone knows the only good film about cats is The Aristocats and no one will ever do better than that.