Starring: Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway
Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
Running Time: 79 mins
The AristoCats is an American film about a group of aristocratic Parisian cats who are kidnapped by a jealous butler wanting in on the inheritance the cats are getting from their wealthy owner, and, with the help of a local street cat, they must find their way back home to their owner.
Right, this film is nothing spectacular in terms of being a memorable classic Disney animation. It is fun to watch, there are good jokes every now and then, and it’s got a simple story that kids will love, but on the whole, it’s just average.
These Disney animations, especially by the 1970s, are famed for their clichéd and predictable stories, and yet they always manage to save the film from being boring by adding a fun and charming element to it, and that’s pretty much the case here.
It is a simple plot, being taken away, and having to find your way back again with the help of more and more friends, and because of that simplicity, you can really sit back and relax while you’re watching this movie, as there’s nothing implicit, no tension or true drama that keeps you on the edge of your seat, but it is still largely enjoyable and easy-going to watch.
Now, that formula works for kids very well, and I remember watching this at the age of about 5 and adoring every minute of it, because of its seemingly hilarious jokes, fun story and easy to follow journey, however that does cause a few problems for anybody older than 9 watching it.
The problem is that this film offers so little in what seems like quite a long space of time. Usually in the Disney animations, you’ve got some drama, excitement, tension, or even fear, however in this film, everything just seems way too easy in the story.
It seems improbable that the cats, out of their element, can make such a leisurely return to their home, and that is a little bit of a disappointing feature of the story, because it leaves you feeling quite unsatisfied with having watched, what is effectively 5 cats strolling through Paris, for over an hour.
Overall, though, I’ll give this a 6.9, because it is a largely enjoyable, fun, simple film, which is perfect for kids, but it’s not really much of a film for anyone else.