Category Archives: Animated

Dozhdlivaya istoriya (1988)

English Title: A Rainy Story
Soyuzmultfilm
Directed by:
 Tayana Mititello

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: A beautiful Russian animated short about a baker and her cat and some extraordinary events which take place on a rainy day, all told without words.

Cartoon Cat: The gray, white and black tabby in the short belongs to a woman who owns a bakery in a small town. The cat enjoys the warmth and smells as the woman bakes bread.

A Rainy Story - cartoon gray white and black tabby cat

Eventually the cat gets in the way, accidentally splashing water on the dough, so the woman puts him outside.

A Rainy Story - cartoon gray white and black tabby cat being pulled away from bread

A Rainy Story - cartoon gray white and black tabby cat sitting outside in the rain

The cat tries to catch some fish and falls into the water, coming back to the bakery soaked.

A Rainy Story - cartoon gray white and black tabby cat pawing at water

A Rainy Story - cartoon gray white and black tabby cat dripping wet

The woman towels off the cold and wet cat, feeding him some dough and setting him by the fire to warm. She then leaves on errands.

A Rainy Story - cartoon gray white and black tabby cat being fed dough by woman

A Rainy Story - cartoon gray white and black tabby sleeping

Things take a surreal turn as the dough rises and hence the cat grows to enormous size! He even manages to scare a normal-sized cat.

A Rainy Story - giant cartoon gray white and black tabby cat breaking apart house

A Rainy Story - giant cartoon gray white and black tabby cat scaring black cat

A Rainy Story - giant cartoon gray white and black tabby cat scaring people in bus

Because the cat is so large and causing problems, the townfolk turn him away.

A Rainy Story - giant cartoon gray white and black tabby cat turned away by townspeople

Eventually the cat performs a heroic deed that wins him back into the town’s favor. But words really can’t do justice to this charming tale, one must really watch it for themselves.

A Rainy Story - giant cartoon gray white and black tabby cat blocking water

A Rainy Story - giant cartoon gray white and black tabby cat and woman with food and gifts

A Rainy Story - giant cartoon gray white and black tabby cat with black cat

Final Mewsings: Cats of all sizes deserve love!


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Flubber (1997)

Flubber poster

Walt Disney Pictures
Starring:
 Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden
Directed by: Les Mayfield

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: A remake of The Absent-Minded Professor. Professor Philip Brainard (Robin Williams) has trouble remembering important events, like his own wedding day, but invents an incredibly bouncy substance he calls Flubber.

Kitty Cameos: After first inventing Flubber, the substance gets out of control and shoots all around the neighborhood. It enters one house where a cat’s screech is heard but a cat is not seen. But in another house a family is bombarded by small balls of Flubber when it comes through their screen. A tabby cat paws at some of these bouncing pieces.

Flubber - tabby cat pawing at flying pieces of Flubber

Flubber - tabby cat pawing at flying pieces of Flubber

Cartoon Cats: The Professor owns a little robot called Weebo (voiced by Jodi Benson) which shows various film clips on its screen. Among these are seen the cats Lucifer from Cinderella and The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.

Flubber - mouth of animated cat Lucifer on Weebo screen

Flubber - animated Cheshire cat on Weebo screen

Final Mewsings: Cats love bouncy things!

Many thanks to Nick Wale for letting us know about the cats in this film.


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Cheese Chasers (1951)

Warner Bros.
Starring:
 Mel Blanc
Directed by: Charles M. Jones

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis:  Hubie and Bertie the mice break into a cheese factory and eat so much cheese they can’t stand it any more, so decide to end their lives by sacrificing themselves to a wary cat.

Cartoon Cat: Claude the cat is a recurring character who appeared in other shorts with the mouse duo and the bulldog. Here Claude is surprised when Hubie and Bertie climb into his mouth while he is sleeping. He awakens with a start.

Cheese Chasers - Hubie and Bertie mice approach sleeping cat Claude

Cheese Chasers - Hubie and Bertie climb inside the mouth of sleeping cat Claude

Cheese Chasers - cat Claude wakes up with a start

Claude rushes to a mirror to confirm the mice in his mouth and is thrilled at first. Then he starts to thinking something is not quite right (illustrated with a Something Rotten in Denmark thought balloon).

Cheese Chasers - Claude Cat looks in mirror to see Hubie and Bertie mice in his mouth

Cheese Chasers - cat Claude thinking there is something rotten in Denmark

Claude spits out the mice but they rush back into his mouth. At this point Clause assumes he must be dreaming and sticks himself with a pin, flying into the air and landing on his pillow.

Cheese Chasers - cat Claude looking shocked

Cheese Chasers - Claude cat trying to pull Hubie and Bertie mice out of his mouth

Cheese Chasers - cat Claude prepares to stick himself with a pin

Cheese Chasers - cat Claude with face in pillow and eye looking out

But Claude is not dreaming and is stunned by the persistent mice.

Cheese Chasers - cat Claude looking stunned

Cheese Chasers - Hubie and Bertie sitting on outstretched tongue of cat Claude

Trying to appease the rodents, Claude offers them some cheese and is even more disturbed when they respond with disgust.

Cheese Chasers - cat Claude looking ill after offering cheese

At this point Claude is going crazy and consults a book of Mental Diseases, making himself a paper hat and taking a Napoleon stance.

Cheese Chasers - cat Claude wearing paper hat and posed like Napoleon

Claude learns that a hobby can calm the nerves so he takes up building a ship in a bottle, only Claude is in the bottle!

Cheese Chasers - cat Claude building ship from inside bottle

Hubie and Bert break the bottle with a hammer and then hit Claude on the foot to make him mad. Claude forgets himself for a moment and eats the mice with a vengeance, then remembers the bizarre circumstances and spits the mice out before running away.

Cheese Chasers - Hubie and Bertie mice about to be eaten by angry cat Claude

Claude realizes that he will never be able to eat another mouse and decides to sacrifice himself to the bulldog.

Cheese Chasers - cat Claude approaching bulldog in dog house

The bulldog is taken aback to find out the cat wants him to chew him to bits.

Cheese Chasers - cat Claude wearing blindfold and smoke cigarette

Cheese Chasers - bulldog confronts cat Claude

On top of this, Hubie and Bertie appear and beg the cat to eat them, which the cat refuses.

Cheese Chasers - cat Claude holding Hubie and Bertie mice away from him

Trying to sort all this out, the bulldog examines the whole situation, using an adding machine. But things just don’t add up and in the end the bulldog chases after a Dog Catcher’s truck while Claude chases the dog and the mice chase Claude.

Cheese Chasers - cat Claude sitting and holding an Exhibit C sign

Final Mewsings: Cats are suspicious of ulterior motives.


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The Cat Came Back (1988)

National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
Directed by:
 Cordell Barker

Synopsis: A hilarious animated short film of the classic novelty song written in the late 1800’s by Harry S. Miller (and reincarnated into several different variations over the years.) Old Mr. Johnson finds an adorable kitten on his front doorstep and soon realizes the tiny, furry creature is going to become a curse.

Cartoon Cat: The persistent and seemingly indestructible kitten in this short (and his absolutely adorable “mew”) are worthy of a place in the Cinema Cat Hall of Fame.

The Cat Came Back

Final Mewsings: Accept cats into your life . . . it’s just easier that way.


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The Cat Came Back by Cordell Barker, National Film Board of Canada

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Felidae (1994)

Felidae DVD

Fontana Filmproduktion
Starring:
 Ulrich Tukur, Mario Adorf, Helge Schneider, Wolfgang Hess
Directed by: Michael Schaack

Synopsis: Based on the acclaimed novel series by Akif Pirinçci, Felidae is the story of a cat named Frances (voiced by Ulrich Tukur) who moves into a new neighborhood and is immediately embroiled in a series of gruesome murders, which he is determined to solve. This film is only available on a Region 2 DVD (which requires a region-free player to view) and sadly there is only an English dubbed version on the disc. Well worth seeking out!

Cartoon Cats: The cats are the entire focus of this film, even though they occupy a human world. The characters are complex and interesting, including Frances himself, who solves the crimes in part by studying his dark and disturbing dreams. Frances first meets Blaubart, a neighborhood cat who tells him about the murders, which they believe to have been committed by a “can opener” (slang for human.) In his search for the truth, Frances meets the wise Pascal, who shares more information that he’s gathered about the murders, and Felicitas, a blind and beautiful female cat. Frances also discovers a strange cult focusing on a mythical cat named Claudandus, which may have some connection with the murders.

Felidae

Strong Kitty Carnage Warning! This film makes Watership Down look tame by comparison. This is an adult story with very adult themes … it is a murder mystery involving cats. There are some very violent and gruesome scenes in this film, including the crime scenes and Frances’ very graphic and disturbing nightmares (which are beautifully rendered for all their gore.) There is also an interesting sex scene (very realistic although not particularly graphic.) There are also scenes of cats undergoing vivisection. If you do not want to see cats involved in violence or cannot stomach even animated gore, give this a pass. Also I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for little kids.

Final Mewsings: There desperately needs to be an English subtitled version of this film made available (sorry, but the English dubbed version just doesn’t cut it.)


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