Friday 31 May 2013

Munir's Disney Retrospective -- Animated Classic #20: The Aristocats (1970)

Make Sure You've Read: Munir's Disney Retrospective -- Silver Age (Part 3) Introduction

The Aristocats was the final film to have Walt’s approval, but he didn't see its development. After the huge success of The Jungle Book in 1967, The Aristocats didn't do as well as its predecessor and, in terms of quality, is also not on par with it. The Aristocats tells the story of Madame Bonfamille, a rich French old lady who wants to leave all her inheritance to her beloved cats: Duchess and her three kittens, Toulouse, Marie and Berlioz. This is not well received by the lady’s faithful butler Edgar, and he plans to get rid of the cats so he can inherit everything. He leaves the cats in the outskirts of Paris and they embark on an adventure to return home, with the help of a stray cat named Thomas O’Malley. The Aristocats is the definition of fun. While the beginning of the film is slow, once the cats are lost, all the adventure begins and it's a very entertaining journey with lots of funny moments and action. The problem with the film is that it lacks some recognizable characters and tends to be forgettable (which is not the case with The Jungle Book). The animation isn't very inspired and lacks some of the grandeur of early productions. What saves the picture though are the excellent and catchy songs by the Sherman Brothers, and the infinite amount of gags in the story (the sequence with the geese is a particular highlight). All in all, The Aristocats may not be a groundbreaking film but it still offers tons of fun and good-hearted entertainment. Rating: 4/5.

Next Week: Animated Classic #21 Review: Robin Hood (1973)

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