📽️ Disney Time – The Aristocats

List Item:  Watch The Disney Animated Canon
Progress: 20/57Title: The Aristocats
Year: 1970

So today was a rough day at work – I bet when this post goes up I won’t even remember the specifics – but after a mini emotional breakdown it seemed like the thing that could really help lift my spirits was some Brooklyn Nine Nine and the next Disney in the Blu Ray collection. Not necessarily one that among the higher rated, but still a lot of fun.

Like with Lady and the TrampThe Aristocats is a rare older Disney film where the script was more or less developed in-house. In fact, this was set to be made in live action – until the project was shelved and then resurrected when Disney saw potential in it as an animated feature; making this the final released film where Walt Disney himself approved the project.

In telling the story of a family of cats being kidnapped, The Aristocats does try to distance themselves from One Hundred and One Dalmatians which had a similar animal thieving theme. For example, the studio moved the story from New York to Paris as they thought it would provide a better contrast than with London. Also, the cats’ owner is a sweet, eccentric and rich older woman – a complete contrast with Cruella DeVil with the exception of the rich part.

Two places where they kept the similarities, however, were in the sketchy animation (that is now the Disney standard) and the diagetic singing. I hadn’t ever really noticed this before about The Aristocats but the three songs all happen in the real world and serve different purposes. “Scales and Arpeggios” is a teaching song, “Thomas O’Malley Cat” is a flirting song that appears to happen in real life and “Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat” is a party song featuring anachronistic jazz. If I’m correct, this might be the final time I actually see this in a Disney film… which feel like famous last words.

Is this the best film, or in the top 10, of the Disney animated filmography? Certainly not, but this is still a fun film that can help you forget your troubles. Sure, when I saw this in the cinema as a small child it ended up sending me to sleep – but I think I actually got a lot more joy out of seeing this as an adult who has seen Green Acres. I mean, who on earth came up with the ideas of those goose sisters and their inebriated uncle? In a film with multi-coloured cat dance sequences, these geese still provide some of the more surreal scenes.

The Aristocats marks the 20th film in the filmography, which means I am now well over a third of the way through. At this rate I might actually be able to see Frozen 2 in the cinema as a way of finishing off the list. Can I actually see the remaining 37 films in the next 7-8 months? I really hope so.

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