Cat-tacular: The Aristocats

Growing up, I loved The Aristocats. It’s spectacular! I mean, cat-acular, of course. I really can’t put my finger on why I enjoy it so, since neither the animation nor music are extra-special. Mr. O’Malley the alley cat is my favorite, and his first song is also my favorite (where he sings his terrifically long name). Despite multiple listening sessions, I can’t deem why ‘everybody wants to be a cat’, except that they play awesome music.
            I’ll start with the animation. It’s xerography, of course, but of a lesser quality than Jungle Book. As the first film to be released without Walt’s direct supervision, his lack of involvement is most clear in the picture quality. Of course, this is a film that came out in the 70’s and they haven’t issued a re-mastered DVD/Blu-ray yet, so that could have a lot to do with the poor quality factor.
            The characters a cute and make me laugh, especially the kittens. The pair of dogs that live near the hay bales also always make me giggle, because they are rightfully chasing the dreadful, cat-napping butler around. I’m certainly a fan of that! Yes, let’s chase the villain and send him to Timbuktu!
            The villain is an interesting choice, because he’s really just terribly greedy. Other than that, he doesn’t seem to have much villain-ness about him. He’s a little odd looking, yes, but aren’t all Disney villains? Even Scar from The Lion Kingdoesn’t particularly look like any of the other lions. He’s just a little off in every physical aspect.
            Aristocats is good for a laugh or to watch while doing something else (baking, cleaning, etc.), but doesn’t hold attention well. Even mine. I found my mind wondering off, found myself frequently pausing the movie so I could do other things and then come back to it. I enjoy it, certainly, but I’d enjoy it more as something to keep me entertained while I’m doing something else, as well. It’s not like many other animated movies, that you have to pay attention or else you’ll miss something lovely (not necessarily meaning you’ll get lost from the plot, but that you’ll miss some funny dialogue, a hidden Mickey, or a pop culture reference).
            Escaping to spring time in Paris with some adorable and hilarious cats (except the little girl kitten, who is constantly getting herself into trouble. She may as well be Buttercup in Princess Bride, as she gets herself into trouble but rarely gets herself out of it without some gallant male jumping in to save her) was a lovely distraction from this lack of a spring in Alaska. Getting near-record breaking snowfall and just reaching average temperatures means that in early April, we still have two-plus feet of snow in our yard.
            I walked through the back yard with the dogs recently to play with them and sank up to above my knee in the snow. Poor Charlie kept barking at me, as though I were purposely messing up his yard. Or he was worried about me. Either way, I did mess up his yard and now he has to skirt around the edges of the yard in order to come inside due to the gaping holes I left as I tried to wade my way out of the semi-melted abyss that is the back yard. The dogs are still using it to their advantage when playing, but I’ll be glad when it’s all gone. I don’t actually recall what our yard looks like without snow.
            My excitement over spring is also tied to getting to spend time outside. We’ve been for a few walks since it warmed up to more than ten degrees above freezing, but it isn’t enough. When you live in a place that can be so lovely in the summer, you just want it to hurry up and be that time of year. I loved winter, and still do, but only from November to February. After that, I’m ready for spring. But it’s been over a month since the end of February, and spring still seems so very far away.
            At least I have Aladdin next to warm me up. 

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