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The Aristocats

Original theatrical release poster
Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman
Produced by Winston Hibler
Wolfgang Reitherman
Written by Ken Anderson
Larry Clemmons
Eric Cleworth
Vance Garry
Tom McGowan
Tom Rowe
Julius Svendsen
Frank Thomas
Ralph Wright
Starring Phil Harris
Eva Gabor
Liz English
Gary Dubin
Dean Clark
Sterling Holloway
Roddy Maude-Roxby
Music by George Bruns
Richard and Robert Sherman
Georges Bizet (songs)
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date(s) December 11, 1970 (premiere)
December 24, 1970 (regular)
Running time 78 minutes
Country United States
Language English
French
Budget $4,000,000 (estimated)

The Aristocats is an animated feature produced and released by Walt Disney Productions in 1970. The twentieth animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film is based on a story by Tom McGowan and Tom Rowe, and revolves around a family of aristocratic cats, and how an alley cat acquaintance helps them after a butler has kidnapped them to gain his mistress' fortune which was meant to go to them. It was originally released to theaters by Buena Vista Distribution on December 11, 1970. The title is a pun on the word aristocrats.

The film's basic idea — an animated romantic musical comedy about talking cats in France — had previously been used in the UPA animated feature Gay Purr-ee.

Disney began production of a sequel, The Aristocats II, in December 2005, set to release in 2007, but production was cancelled in early 2006. The film is noted for being the last film to be approved by Walt Disney himself, as he died in late 1966, before the film was released. It garnered positive reviews and was a box office success. It is also the last Disney film to end with "A Walt Disney Production" as it would be changed to "Walt Disney Productions" to appear under "The End" logo.

Contents

Plot

In Paris, France, in 1910, a mother cat named Duchess and her three kittens, Marie, Berlioz, and Toulouse, live in the mansion of retired opera singer Madame Adelaide Bonfamille, along with her English butler Edgar. She early on settles her will with her lawyer Georges Hautecourt, an aged, eccentric old friend of hers, stating that she wishes Edgar to look after her beloved cats until they die and then inherit the fortune himself. Edgar hears this from his own room and believes he will be dead before he inherits Madame Adelaide's fortune, and plots to remove the cats from a position of inheritance. He sedates the cats by putting an entire bottle of sleeping pills into the cat's food and then heads out into the country side to dispose of them. However, two hound dogs named Napoleon and Lafayette, attack him. After the conflict, Edgar escapes, leaving behind his umbrella, hat, the cats' bed-basket, and the sidecar of his motorcycle. The cats are left in the country side, while Madame Adelaide, Roquefort the mouse, and Frou-Frou the horse discover their absence. In the morning, Duchess meets an alley cat named Thomas O'Malley, who offers to guide her and the kittens to Paris.

They have a struggle returning to the city, briefly hitchhiking on the back of a milk cart before being chased off by the driver. Marie subsequently falls into a river and is saved by O'Malley. They then meet a pair of English geese, Amelia and Abigail Gabble, who are travelling for Paris. The group head off, marching like geese, until they reach Paris and come across the girls' drunken Uncle Waldo. Abigail and Amelia then depart to take Waldo home. Travelling across the rooftops of the city, the cats meet Scat Cat and his band, close friends to O'Malley, who perform the song Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat. After the band have departed and the kittens lie in bed, O'Malley and Duchess spend the evening on a nearby rooftop and talk, while the kittens listen at a windowsill. The subject of their conversation is the question of whether Duchess may stay and marry Thomas. Eventually, she turns him down, largely out of loyalty to Madame Adelaide. Edgar, meanwhile, retrieves his sidecar, umbrella, and hat from Napoleon and Layafette with some difficulty.

The cats make it back to the mansion, whereupon O'Malley departs sadly. Edgar sees Duchess and Kittens coming and captures them, places them in a sack and briefly hides them in an oven. The cats tell Roquefort to pursue O'Malley and get help. He does so, whereupon O'Malley races back to the mansion, ordering Roquefort to find Scat Cat and his gang. Edgar places the cats in a trunk which he plans to send to Timbuktu, Africa. O'Malley, Scat Cat and his gang, and Frou-Frou all fight Edgar, while Roquefort frees Duchess and kittens. In the end, Edgar is tipped into the trunk, locked inside, and sent to Timbuktu himself. Madame Adelaide's will is rewritten to exclude Edgar and include O'Malley. She starts a charity foundation providing a home for all of Paris' stray cats. The grand opening thereof, to which most of the major characters come, features Scat Cat's band, who perform a reprise of Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat.

Production

This film was the last one to be aproved by Walt himself, and the first one produced after his death in 1966. The film took four years to produce, at a budget of 4,000,000. Five of Disney's legendary "Nine Old Men" worked on it, including the Disney crew that had been working 25 years on average.[1]

Cast

  • Phil Harris as Thomas O'Malley (full name: Abraham de Lacy Giuseppe Casey Thomas O'Malley the Alley Cat) - a friendly alley cat who finds Duchess and her kittens stranded in the woods and befriends them, becoming a father figure to the kittens and falling in love with Duchess.
  • Eva Gabor as Duchess the White Cat - Madame Adelaide's cat and mother of three kittens. She falls in love with Thomas and is forced to choose her life at home or a life with Thomas. Robie Lester provided her singing voice.
  • Roddy Maude-Roxby as Edgar Balthazar - Madame Adelaide's butler and the main antagonist of the film. He hopes to get rid of the cats in order to inherit Adelaide's fortune.
  • Gary Dubin as Toulouse - the oldest kitten, he aspires to meet a tough alley cat and adores Thomas as a father figure. He acts very tough at times and often gets into Marie's and Berlioz's nerves.
  • Liz English as Marie - the middle kitten. Not only is she very bossy at times, but she also believes that by being female, she is the best of the three kittens, despite obviously being the weakest. She, like Toulouse, grows to love Thomas like a father.
  • Dean Clark as Berlioz - the youngest kitten. He is somewhat timid and shy. Like Toulouse and Marie, he grows to love Thomas like a father.
  • Sterling Holloway as Roquefort the Mouse - a friend of the cats. He attempts to find them after they are catnapped, but is unsuccessful.
  • Scatman Crothers as Scat Cat - Thomas's best friend and leader of a group of music-loving alley cats. Plays the trumpet.
  • Paul Winchell as Shun Gon the Chinese Cat - a member of Scat Cat's gang. Plays the piano and drums that are made out of pots.
  • Lord Tim Hudson as Hit Cat the English Cat - a member of Scat Cat's gang. Plays acoustic guitar.
  • Vito Scotti as Peppo the Italian Cat - a member of Scat Cat's gang. Plays the accordion.
  • Thurl Ravenscroft as Billy Boss the Russian Cat - a member of Scat Cat's gang. Plays cello bass guitar.
  • Pat Buttram as Napoleon the Bloodhound - a farm dog who attacks Edgar when he intrudes in the farm, unknowingly saving the lives of Duchess and her kittens. Napoleon insists, whenever cohort Lafayette makes a suggestion, that he is in charge – then proceeds to adopt Lafayette's suggestion as his own.
  • George Lindsey as Lafayette the Basset Hound - a farm dog and Napoleon's companion. He sometimes proves to be smarter than Napoleon, despite Napoleon staunchly insisting that he is the leader of the farm dogs.
  • Hermione Baddeley as Madame Adelaide Bonfamille - a former opera singer and owner of Duchess and her kittens.
  • Charles Lane as Georges Hautecourt the Lawyer - a senile old man who denies his old age and even refuses to accept Edgar's offer of using the lift instead of the long staircase, resulting in a brief chaos.
  • Monica Evans as Abigail Gabble - a goose who finds the cats and tries to help them get home.
  • Carole Shelley as Amelia Gabble - Abigail's twin sister.
  • Nancy Kulp as Frou-Frou the Horse - Roquefort's companion and who plays a part in subduing Edgar. Ruth Buzzi provided her singing voice.
  • Bill Thompson as Uncle Waldo - the drunk uncle of Amelia and Abigail.
  • Peter Renaday - French Milkman the Driver/Le Petit Cafe Cook/Truck Movers (uncredited)
  • Maurice Chevalier - Singer

Release

The Aristocats was re-released to theaters on December 19, 1981 and April 10, 1987. It was released on VHS in Europe on January 1, 1990. It was first released on VHS in North America in the Masterpiece Collection series on April 24, 1996 and DVD on April 4, 2000 in the Gold Classic Collection line. The Aristocats had its Gold Collection disc quietly discontinued in 2006. A new single-disc Special Edition DVD (previously announced as a 2-Disc set) was released on February 5, 2008.

Reception

Based on 18 reviews, the film has a 67% rating at Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 6/10. While this is rather low for a Disney animated feature, it still classifies it as "fresh". Of the reviews, 12 gave it fresh and only 6 gave it rotten.[2] This stands in contrast to the community's reception of the film, which gave it 81% fresh with an average rating of 6.9.[3] This is based on 497 reviews, with 404 fresh and only 93 rotten. Snoop Dogg gave it a positive review as well.[4]

Soundtrack

  1. "The Aristocats" - Maurice Chevalier "The Aristocats" is the title song from the film. It was written by Robert & Richard Sherman at the end of the eight year tenure working for Walt Disney Productions. Actor and singer Maurice Chevalier came out of retirement to sing this song for the motion picture's soundtrack. He recorded it in English as well as in French translation ("Naturellement - les Aristocats!"). It would be his last work before his death in 1972.
  2. "Scales and Arpeggios" - Liz English, Gary Dubin, Dean Clark, Robie Lester
  3. "Thomas O'Malley Cat" - Phil Harris
  4. "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat" - Phil Harris, Scatman Crothers, Thurl Ravenscroft, Vito Scotti, Paul Winchell This song is sung by Scatman Crothers as Scat Cat, Phil Harris as Thomas O'Malley Cat, and Thurl Ravenscroft as Billy Boss the Russian Cat. It was also released as a now rare 45 rpm single, in a version sung only by Phil Harris, which lacks the cartoon voices of the common release. The soundtrack CD released in 1996 contains an edited version of the song. The lines sung by "Chinese Cat" voiced by Paul Winchell, now seen as politically incorrect, are removed.
  5. "She Never Felt Alone" - Robie Lester
  6. "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat (reprise)" - Phil Harris, Scatman Crothers, Thurl Ravenscroft, Vito Scotti, Paul Winchell, Ruth Buzzi, Bill Thompson

On Classic Disney: 60 Years of Musical Magic, this includes "Thomas O'Malley Cat" on the purple disc and "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat" on the orange disc. On Disney's Greatest Hits, this includes "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat" on the red disc.

Direct-to-video sequel

The Aristocats II was supposed to be a direct-to-video sequel to this film. It was scheduled to be released in 2007, but the production was canceled in early 2006 after Disney acquired Pixar and canceled all projects not related to a consumer product line.[5]

References

Template:Refist

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Aristocats is an animated feature produced and released by Walt Disney Productions in 1970. The story revolves around a family of aristocratic cats, and how an alley cat acquaintance helps them after a butler has kidnapped them to gain his mistress' fortune which was meant to go to them.

Quotes

Toulouse: Why should you be first?

Marie: Because I'm a lady, that's why.

Toulouse: Ha, you're not a lady.

Berlioz: You're nothin' but a sister!


Marie Ladies do NOT start fights, but they can finish them!


Toulouse: Females never fight fair!


Toulouse: Rawwwwwwrrr! Fft-fft-fft!


Toulouse: I told ya it was Edgar!

Berlioz: Ah, shut up, Toulouse!


Berlioz: But he had a mouth like a "hippolotamus"!


O'Malley [to Duchess] Boy, your eyes really are like sapphires!


O'Malley: Hey! Mee-yow! What a classy neighborhood! Dig these fancy wig-wams!


O'Malley: Hey there, Scat Cat, blow some o' that sweet stuff my way!


Duchess: "Schwinger"? What is a "schwinger"?


Lafayette Well, where's my beddy-bye basket?!


Lafayette: Aw, cricket bugs don't wear shoes!


Lafayette: I still say it was a li'l old cricket bug.

Napoleon: I'm the leader! I'll decide what is was! [pause] It was a li'l old cricket bug.


Lafayette: This seems like the end.

Napoleon I'm the leader! I'll say when it's the end! [the words "The End" hit him on the head] It's the end.


Dialogue

Napoleon: Now you go for the tires, and I'll go right for the seat of the problem.

Lafayette: Now, how come you always get the tender part? (he stumbles on his own ear)

Napoleon: Because I outrank you, that's why. Now stop beating your gums and sound the attack!

(Lafayette barks several times)

Napoleon: No, that's mess call!

Lafeyette: Ha ha, makin' a mess of it huh?

Napoleon: YOU can be REPLACED, you know.


Lafeyette: D-D-D-D-Did y' see him?

Napoleon: No, no, he sneaked up behind me and tailgated me.

Lafeyette: Well he didn't hurt me; he hit me on the head!


O'Malley: Ya know something? I like Uncle Waldo!

Duchess: Especially when he's marinated!


Napoleon: It's a one-wheeled....

Lafeyette: A one-wheeled what?

Napoleon: You're not gonna believe this, but it's a one-wheeled haystack- And there it goes!

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

The Aristocats
Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman
Produced by Winston Hibler
Wolfgang Reitherman
Written by Ken Anderson
Larry Clemmons
Eric Cleworth
Vance Garry
Tom McGowan
Tom Rowe
Julius Svendsen
Frank Thomas
Ralph Wright
Starring Phil Harris
Eva Gabor
Liz English
Gary Dubin
Dean Clark
Sterling Holloway
Roddy Maude-Roxby
Music by George Bruns
Richard and Robert Sherman
Georges Bizet (songs)
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date(s) December 11, 1970 (premiere)
December 24, 1970 (regular)
Running time 78 minutes
Country United States
France
Language English
French
Budget $4,000,000 (estimated)
IMDb profile

The Aristocats is an animated feature produced and released by Walt Disney Productions in 1970. The twentieth animated feature in the List of Disney animated features, the movie is based on a story by Tom McGowan and Tom Rowe, and is about a family of cats, and how an alley cat helps them after their butler Edgar has catnapped them to gain his mistress' fortune which was meant to go to them. It was originally released to theaters by Buena Vista Distribution on December 11, 1970, with a regular release on December 24, 1970. The title is a pun on the word aristocrats. The VHS of The Aristocats was first released on April 24, 1996.

The movie's basic idea — an animated romantic musical comedy about talking cats in France — had previously been used in the UPA animated feature Gay Purr-e.

Disney planned to release a sequel, The Aristocats II, in December 2005, set to release in 2007, but production was canceled in early 2006.

The movie is noted for being the last movie to be approved by Walt Disney himself. Disney died before the movie was released.

Contents

The story

The movie takes place in Paris, 1910. A mother cat named Duchess and her three kittens, Marie, Berlioz, and Toulouse, are going to have their fortune when their owner dies. But Edgar, their butlar, does not like this and plans to send the cats away.

He places sleeping tablets in their dinner. At night, he plans on dropping them off in the countryside, but two hound dogs, Napoleon and Lafayette, attack him, and the cats are now stranded.

In the morning, they meet an alley cat named Abraham de Lacy Giuseppe Casey Thomas O'Malley (called just Thomas O'Malley), who helps them on their way back home. He even lets them stay at his "pad" (the place where he and his "gang", or friends, stay).

They finally get back home, but Edgar recathes them in sack and shortly hides them in the oven, then plans to send them to Timbuktu, Africa. O'Malley, Scat Cat and his gang, Roquefort and Frou-Frou all fight Edgar, while Roquefort rescues Duchess and kittens. In the end, Edgar is kicked into the trunk, locked inside, and sent to Timbuktu himself. Madame Adelaide's will is rewritten to not include Edgar and include O'Malley, and she starts a charity foundation which gives a home to all the cats in Paris.

Production

This movie was the last one to be approved by Walt himself, and the first one produced after his death in 1966. The movie took four years to produce, at a budget of 4,000,000. Five of Disney's legendary "Nine Old Men" worked on it, including the Disney crew that had been working 25 years on average.

Cast

  • Phil Harris - Thomas O'Malley the Alley Cat
  • Eva Gabor - Duchess the White Cat (speaking voice)
  • Liz English - Marie (kitten)
  • Gary Dubin - Toulouse (kitten)
  • Dean Clark - Berlioz (kitten)
  • Sterling Holloway - Roquefort the Mouse
  • Roddy Maude-Roxby - Edgar Balthazar the Butler/Trunk Movers/Removal Men
  • Scatman Crothers - Scat Cat
  • Paul Winchell - Shun Gon the Chinese Cat
  • Lord Tim Hudson - Hit Cat the English Cat
  • Vito Scotti - Peppo the Italian Cat
  • Thurl Ravenscroft - Billy Boss the Russian Cat
  • Pat Buttram - Napoleon the Bloodhound
  • George Lindsey - Lafayette the Basset Hound
  • Hermione Baddeley - Madame Adelaide Bonfamille, owner of Duchess
  • Charles Lane - Georges Hautecourt the Lawyer
  • Monica Evans - Abigail Gabble the Goose
  • Carole Shelley - Amelia Gabble the Goose
  • Nancy Kulp - Frou-Frou the Horse
  • Bill Thompson - Uncle Waldo the Goose
  • Robie Lester - Duchess (uncredited) (singing voice)
  • Peter Renaday - French Milkman the Driver/Le Petit Cafe Cook/Truck Movers (voice) (uncredited)
  • Ruth Buzzi - Frou-Frou's singing voice
  • Maurice Chevalier - Singer

Crew

  • Story adaptation: Ken Anderson, Larry Clemmons, Eric Cleworth, Vance Gerry, Julius Svendsen, Frank Thomas, Ralph Wright
  • Based on a story by Tom McGowan and Tom Rowe
  • Supervising animators: Milt Kahl, Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas, John Lounsbery
  • Animators: Hal King, Eric Cleworth, Fred Hellmich, Eric Larson, Julius Svendsen, Walt Stanchfield, David Michener
  • Effects animators: Dan MacManus, Dick Lucas
  • Layout: Don Griffith, Basil Davidovich, Sylvia Roemer
  • Backgrounds: Al Dempster, Bill Layne, Ralph Hulett
  • Production manager: Don Duckwall
  • Assistant directors: Ed Hansen, Dan Alguire
  • Supervising sound editor: Robert O. Cook
  • Film editor: Tom Acosta
  • Music editor: Evelyn Kennedy
  • Music composed and conducted by George Bruns
  • Score orchestrated by Walter Sheets
  • Produced by Wolfgang Reitherman and Winston Hibler
  • Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman

Release

The Aristocats was re-released to theaters on December 19, 1981 and April 10, 1987. It was released on VHS in Europe on January 1, 1990.

It was first released on VHS in North America in the Classics series on April 10, 1986 and January 1, 1992 and Masterpiece Collection series on April 24, 1996 and DVD on April 4, 2000 in the Gold Classic Collection line. The Aristocats had its Gold Collection disc quietly discontinued in 2006.

A new single-disc Special Edition DVD (previously announced as a 2-Disc set) was released on February 5, 2008.

International release dates

Soundtrack

  1. "The Aristocats" - Maurice Chevalier "The Aristocats" is the title song from the film. It was written by Robert & Richard Sherman at the end of the eight year tenure working for Walt Disney Productions. Actor and singer Maurice Chevalier came out of retirement to sing this song for the motion picture's soundtrack. He recorded it in English as well as in French translation ("Naturellement - les Aristocats!").
  2. "Scales and Arpeggios" - Liz English, Gary Dubin, Dean Clark, Robie Lester
  3. "Thomas O'Malley Cat" - Phil Harris
  4. "Everybody Wants to Be a Cat" - Phil Harris, Scatman Crothers, Thurl Ravenscroft, Vito Scotti, Paul Winchell This song is sung by Scatman Crothers as Scat Cat, Phil Harris as Thomas O'Malley Cat, and Thurl Ravenscroft as Billy Boss the Russian Cat. It was also released as a now rare 45 rpm single, in a version sung only by Phil Harris, which lacks the cartoon voices of the common release. The soundtrack CD released in 1996 contains an edited version of the song. The now politically incorrect lines sung by "Chinese Cat" voiced by Paul Winchell are removed.
  5. "She Never Felt Alone" - Robie Lester
  6. "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat (reprise)" - Phil Harris, Scatman Crothers, Thurl Ravenscroft, Vito Scotti, Paul Winchell, Ruth Buzzi, Bill Thompson

On Classic Disney: 60 Years of Musical Magic, this includes "Thomas O'Malley Cat" on the purple disc and "Everybody Wants to Be a Cat" on the orange disc. On Disney's Greatest Hits, this includes "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat" on the red disc.

The Aristocats II

The Aristocats II was supposed to be a direct-to-video sequel to this movie. It was scheduled to be released in 2007, but the production was canceled in early 2006 after Disney bought Pixar and canceled all projects not related to a consumer product line. It is still unknown if the sequel is now in production again. The future DVD release will let us know if it is.

Cast

  • Linda Gray as Duchess
  • Tara Strong as Marie
  • Jonah Bobo as Toulouse
  • Shane Baumel as Berlioz
  • John Goodman as Thomas O'Malley
  • Jim Cummings as Roquefort the Mouse and Shun Gon the Siamese Cat
  • Darius McCrary as Scat Cat
  • Jess Harnell as Hit Cat
  • Andy Richter as Dennis the Rat/Morter the Frog/Alley Cats

[1]

References

  1. http://animationarchive.net/Deleted%20Movies/The%20Aristocats%20II/

Other websites








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