(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from That Darn Cat!)
Doug (vo): Well, you probably seen my review of the remake of That Darn Cat with Brad Jones, but what about my thoughts of the original? I saw this movie on the Disney Channel years ago when I was just a little kid, and I remember really liking it. How does it hold up now that I'm an adult? I actually kind of like it even more. I think you could just title this film "Character Actors: The Movie", both in a comedic way and a dramatic way. Every person in this movie feels like a side character from a completely different film. You know how sometimes when I review a movie, I'm like, "Oh, man, I wish this movie was about that side character. They'd be more interesting"? Well, this is that flick. Everyone is either charming, diabolical, strong, vulnerable, goofy, serious, and it all ties around a scenario that's so ridiculous, it's kind of impossible not to enjoy.
Story[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): DC is a Siamese cat that likes to go roaming in the streets. As you'd imagine, he gets into all sorts of trouble, but he also sees all sorts of trouble. He comes across two thugs who just got done with a bank robbery, and they took a hostage. While they're trying to figure out what to do with her, she puts a message of "help" onto DC's collar. His owner, played by Hayley Mills, sees the message and cleverly puts together it might be from the kidnapped banker. She goes to the FBI and comes across an agent, played by Dean Jones, who's assigned to the case, and the only thing he can put together is if they follow the cat, never letting on that he's being followed, he might lead them to the kidnappers.
Review[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): As you'd imagine, all sorts of colorful characters get involved, including Canoe, maybe one of the funniest boyfriends in film history...his name is Canoe, for God's sake. How could you not laugh at that?...Roddy McDowell as a pissed off neighbor, Ed Wynn as a jeweler, a couple of snoopy neighbors, and, of course, a cat with a lot of personality.
(Clips focusing on the main character, DC the cat, are shown)
Doug (vo): This feline is a damn good actor. Even though it's a Disney film and it would've been so easy if they made this cat talk or give him an inner monologue or something, it's totally not needed. The look on his face and the way he moves is perfect. You could already figure out what's going through his mind, and just how crazy all these people following him are.
(Several clips focusing on the film's antagonists, plus the character of the kidnapped bank employee, are shown)
Doug (vo): Yet for all the film's silliness, somebody forgot to tell the crooks in this movie that this was a comedy. They play these roles dead serious. One is a little bit more goofy, but you could still tell he's a psychotic, like when he's getting ready to dispose of a body, singing "It's Unloading Time". And the other is so domineering with no nonsense, he is terrifying. Even the hostage plays it 100% straight. She looks terrified, and she's constantly trying to think, "How do I get out of this with my life?" This adds not only to the urgency, but in great contrast to all the goofy stuff that happens. If this movie was done with any other actors, I don't think it would've worked, I think it would've been too boring or silly. But they really pull it off. All of them do a spectacular job.
(Various clips resume showing)
Doug (vo): If I did have one problem with the movie, it's that the director was the same guy who did Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, a lot of these big Disney films. As such, those films are very long, and they fly by very quickly. This does drag a little bit. Every time I watch it, I think, "Oh, this is the time where they're gonna come across the kidnappers", and, no, it's the next time. There's just a few too many times they have to follow DC around. I honestly think twice would've been enough. They had to at least cut one of the times they went out following the cat.
Final thought[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): But with that said, this movie's a ton of fun. When I reviewed the remake, I was shocked how many people were saying they didn't know this was a remake, they didn't know there was an original, and that is such a tragedy. The movie is so original and so charming, and, yeah, sometimes can be a little too goofy, but when you mix it with the crime thriller they're filming at the same time, that's part of what makes it so unique. The contrast surprisingly keeps you invested. So if you think the crappy Christina Ricci one is the only one out there, I'm happy to say there's a real gem waiting for you.
(The film's final scene, showing DC and his family of cats patrolling the streets, is shown)