“Cats” becomes popular for all the wrong reasons


The cats dance as they introduce themselves. Photo courtesy of IMDb.com

Sophie Hunter, Entertainment Assistant

Released Dec. 20, 2019, Cats is a celebrity-packed musical based off the Broadway production under the same name. With a $95 million budget, expectations for this movie in all areas were high. Disappointingly, the movie only made about $6.5 million during its domestic debut. According to the Star Tribune, the film is expected to lose at least $70 million.

After the release of its teaser trailer, the movie gained much buzz on social media, but for all the wrong reasons. Many claimed that the animation and editing looked unfinished and that something seemed off about the characters. Even after watching the trailer, it was still hard to guess what the movie could be about. The trailer itself is more enjoyable and fulfilling than the entirety of the film.

Cats follows the story of a cat that gets thrown into an alley with other cats. They each introduce themselves with a series of songs, then compete for the chance to go to heaven. It takes a long time to even pick up on the fact that the cats are competing to die, and that still doesn’t make the movie any better or easier to understand.

Just looking at the production itself, something about the cats looks wrong. The cats have human faces, feet and hands, but have fur, a tail and cat ears. They move in a smooth, seductive manner that leaves one feeling uncomfortable at best. All of the cats get in each other’s personal space, and they all look like they are in heat.

The animation and overall production of the film look rushed and unfinished. Throughout the movie, the cats change size in a sense. In some scenes, they appear to be the size of humans compared to things in the room, but in the next, they look like ants. It feels like no extra time or thought went into making sure every part of the movie was complete or looked seamlessly edited. The dancing looks awkward and unnatural, especially paired with the lazy choreography.

Although the film is jam-packed with celebrity actors and singers — including Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, James Cordon and Rebel Wilson — they can’t compensate for the quality of the film at all. The actors just don’t fit into their roles, and it seems like they are included only so people might watch watch the movie for a celeb’s cameo. The songs themselves are subpar, but the singing is fair considering the material. At times it feels like the actors don’t know what role they are playing, just going with the lines.

This fever dream of a movie is not worth the watch. It’s upsetting that this movie had to flop so hard because it really could have been something. They had the music, the celebrities, everything they needed, and somehow, it just didn’t pull through. In a nutshell, this movie is hard to watch. It doesn’t hold the viewer’s attention; it’s hard to follow, hard to understand and impossible to enjoy. For these reasons, Cats deserves a 2/10.