An estimated 10,000 people attended this summer’s first annual Cat Video Film Festival, presented by the Walker Art Center of Minneapolis. Indeed, we love to watch our kitties.
Yet, there is a certain dearth of full-length movies that actually star our furry friends. Among the short list of films with felines in leading roles are THAT DARN CAT (1965) with Hayley Mills; the absolutely wonderful and overlooked gem HARRY and TONTO (1974) starring Art Carney; THE CAT FROM OUTER SPACE (1978) with Dean Jones and Sandy Duncan; and RHUBARB (1951) with Ray Milland.
Perhaps because they can be known to be a bit diva like, cats can capture starring roles when they take on animated forms in classics such as FRITZ THE CAT,(1972); THE ARISTOCATS (1970); GAY PURR-EE (1962); and GARFIELD (2004).
A few compelling creatures that have found one-hit-wonder fame in co-starring roles like Pyewacket in BELL, BOOK & CANDLE (1958); Cat from BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (1961); and Baby from BRINGING UP BABY (1938).
And some cats get screen credit and celebrity by not doing much of anything at all but be fascinating to look at (true to their inner cat personalities), like Mr. Bigglesworth from the AUSTIN POWERS movies.
A home theater night featuring a lineup of cat movies (tuna anyone?) would be a definite crowd pleaser. On the positive side, the limited choices make deciding what to watch an easier task.
I wonder what cats think of being marginalized by Hollywood. It seems to me there’s gold to be made if someone can come up with the right script for a feature film starring our most beloved cat characters on YouTube.