Monthly Archives: June 2018

Family Friday bannerTreasure Hounds (2017)

Treasure Hounds poster

Trilight Entertainment
Starring:
 Cosmo, Valin Shinyei, Kenzie O’Day
Also Starring:  Grumpy
Directed by: Tim Brown

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

Synopsis: A boy named Jack (Valin Shinyei) and his mother (Jessie Fraser) move to a small town where they inheritent Jack’s grandfather’s house, dog, and a mystery promising fortune.

Featured Feline: Jack and his mom own a ginger tabby cat named Chauncey (played by cat actor Grumpy and voiced by Rebecca Shoichet). Despite the name, Chauncey is a girl and while she is featured prominently on the film’s poster she only appears occasionally in the film and takes no part in the mystery solving. Oddly enough, the animals’ mouths are animated as they speak only a few times, the rest of the time this wasn’t done. We assume budgetary restraints kept them from doing the animation throughout (and note to future filmmakers, we prefer the mouths not to move anyway).

Treasure Hounds - Chauncey ginger tabby cat in carrier

The dog they inherit is a Jack Russell terrier named Skipper (played by canine actor Cosmo and voiced by comedian Norm MacDonald). When Skipper and Chauncey meet, Chauncey is underwhelmed.

Treasure Hounds - Chauncey ginger tabby cat in carrier with dog Skipper approaching

Treasure Hounds - Chauncey ginger tabby cat with dog Skipper

Skipper leads Chauncey into the basement to show her around.

Treasure Hounds - Chauncey ginger tabby cat following dog Skipper

Jack and his mom hear a lot of banging in the basement and Chauncey comes back up, looking innocent, and walks into the kitchen where Jack’s mom picks her up and carries her into the other room.

Treasure Hounds - Chauncey ginger tabby cat walking into kitchen

Treasure Hounds - Chauncey ginger tabby cat being picked up

Chauncey is next seen after Jack and some of the neighbor kids he befriends have gotten into trouble during their treasure hunting. Chauncey and Skipper sit on a nearby couch and listen to Jack’s mom scold them.

Treasure Hounds - Chauncey ginger tabby cat sitting on couch with dog Skipper

Jack’s mom is unaware that as she is lecturing the kids she is also smearing grease on her face and so she doesn’t know why the kids keep laughing at her when she is angry. Even Chauncey breaks up laughing.

Treasure Hounds - Chauncey ginger tabby cat on couch with dog Skipper

Chauncey next turns up when a couple of bumbling bad guys named Gunther (Daniel Cudmore) and Ronnie (Richard Ian Cox) try to kidnap Skipper by feeding him steak laced with tranquilizers. Skipper thinks it is a trap but Chauncey jumps right in to eat some of the steak.

Treasure Hounds - Chauncey ginger tabby cat passing dog Skipper in yard to eat steak

Treasure Hounds - Chauncey ginger tabby cat eating steak in yard as dog Skipper walks away

The bad guys catch Chauncey in a net by mistake but realize this pretty quickly and she just walks away.

Treasure Hounds - Chauncey ginger tabby cat in net

Chauncey is not seen again until the end when the kids and Jack’s mom are having an outdoor barbecue and she is telling them about something else Jack’s grandfather has left. Chauncey manages to totally steal the scene when she licks the tongs which Jack’s friend, Fred (Ryan James Keating) has been using to grill their food.

Treasure Hounds - Chauncey ginger tabby cat on lawn chair with Jack's mom Jessie Fraser Twyla Kenzie O'Day and Jennifer Helen Colliander

Treasure Hounds - Chauncey ginger tabby cat licking tongs on lawn chair with Jack's mom Jessie Fraser Twyla Kenzie O'Day Jennifer Helen Colliander Jack Valin Shinyei and Fred Ryan James Keating

Treasure Hounds - Chauncey ginger tabby cat licking tongs on lawn chair with Jack's mom Jessie Fraser Twyla Kenzie O'Day Jennifer Helen Colliander Jack Valin Shinyei and Fred Ryan James Keating animated gif

Final Mewsings: Cats would prefer to have more screen time!


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… one third of a nation … (1939)

One Third of a Nation poster

Dudley Murphy Productions
Starring:
 Sylvia Sidney, Leif Erickson
Directed by: Dudley Murphy

Synopsis: Based on the play by Arthur Arent, the wealthy owner of numerous low-rent New York tenements is horrified when he realizes that the deplorable conditions in the buildings have been leading to fires and deaths.

Purr Blurs: At the beginning of the film a boy is caught smoking by a policeman. The discarded cigarette lies burning in the basement of a tenement. Later a cat is seen in the darkness near the area before it starts to burn.

One Third of a Nation - cat by rubbish in basement

Later in the film the building’s owner, Peter Cortlant (Leif Erickson) enters the tenement to see the conditions for himself. A pail of garbage in the hallway is knocked over and a cat runs away.

One Third of a Nation - cat running away from fallen garbage pail

Final Mewsings: Cats can’t write letters of complaint to tenement supervisors.


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Immediate Family (1989)

Immediate Family poster

Columbia Pictures Corporation
Starring:
 James Woods, Glenn Close
Directed by: Jonathan Kaplan

Synopsis: Linda and Michael Spector (Glenn Close and James Woods) long for a child and decide to adopt the baby of expectant mother Lucy Moore (Mary Stuart Masterson) who is looking to find a good home for her offspring.

Kitty Cameos: Late in the film Michael is seen at work in his veterinarian’s office. He is having a bad day and yells at his assistant, who is holding a calico cat.

Immediate Family - Michael James Woods with assistant and calico cat in veterinarian's clinic

Michael takes the cat from his assistant and apologizes.

Immediate Family - Michael James Woods holding calico cat with assistant in veterinarian's clinic

Walking into the waiting room, Michael asks who belongs to the cat.

Immediate Family - Michael James Woods holding calico cat in veterinarian's waiting room

Immediate Family - Michael James Woods holding calico cat in veterinarian's waiting room

A little girl (Robyn Simons) raises her hand. Note the tortoiseshell cat sitting on a girl’s lap in the background.

Immediate Family - tortoiseshell and white cat on lap in background

Michael walks over and gently informs the girl her cat isn’t sick. “She’s going to have a baby,” he explains.

Immediate Family - Michael James Woods holding calico cat and talking to little girl in veterinarian's waiting room

Immediate Family - Michael James Woods holding calico cat and talking to little girl in veterinarian's waiting room

Final Mewsings: Cats know all about unexpected pregnancies.


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The Twilight Zone – “He’s Alive”

The Twilight Zone Season Four DVD

Original Air Date: January 24, 1963
Starring: Dennis Hopper, Curt Conway
Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg

Synopsis: Peter Vollmer (Dennis Hopper) tries to rally interest in his neo-Nazi group but has little success until he starts heeding the advice of a mysterious stanger.

Kitty Cameo: At the beginning of the episode, a ginger tabby cat is seen eating from a bowl of food on a fire escape on a hot day.

The Twilight Zone - He's Alive - tabby cat eating from bowl on fire escape

A hand reaches down and picks up the cat.

The Twilight Zone - He's Alive - hand reaching down to pick up tabby cat eating from bowl on fire escape

The man who picks up the cat is presumably its owner and he pets the cat while sweating from the heat. He then hears the rally taking place in the street below as the camera pans down. It’s very possible this is cat actor Orangey making yet another television appearance.

The Twilight Zone - He's Alive - man holding tabby cat on fire escape

Final Mewsings: Cats can eat anywhere.


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Kari-gurashi no Arietti (2010)

The Secret World of Arrietty poster

English Title: The Secret World of Arrietty
Studio Ghibli
Starring:
 Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland
Directed by: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

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

Synopsis: Based on the popular children’s book, The Borrowers. Arrietty (voiced by Saorise Ronan) is a young girl living with her family in a nice house. Only they’re four inches tall and live a secret life beneath a house of humans.

Cartoon Cat: The film begins with a human boy named Sho (voiced by Tom Holland) coming to live in his mother’s childhood home. A large tan and gray Japanese bobtail cat named Niya is in the yard, stalking something in a bush.

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat stalking something in bush

A crow attacks the cat, interrupting her stalking. Niya eyes Sho warily and then gives up chasing what’s in the bush and runs away.

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat chasing away crow

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat bristling fur as Sho watches

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat looking at bush again

Moments later Arrietty is heading back beneath the house when she realizes Niya is charging across the yard towards her.

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat charging across lawn

Arrietty ducks beneath the house, leaving Niya reaching for her through a grating.

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat trying to reach Arrietty between bars

Niya is a bit standoffish with Sho at first but slowly lets him pet her more.

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat on table being petted

Eventually Niya becomes comfortble with Sho and even lies on his stomach while he is reading a book in the garden.

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat lying on Sho's stomach in garden

Sho knows that Arrietty is nearby when Niya gets antsy, but he calms the cat down.

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat standing up on Sho and looking anxious

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat settling down on Sho's chest

This doesn’t prevent Niya from lunging at Arrietty when she shows herself, but Sho is able to hold the cat back.

The Secret World of Arrietty - Sho holding back Niya cat and keeping her from attacking Arrietty

Near the end of the film, Arrietty and her family move from the house because they have been seen by too many people. Niya shows up and sees Arrietty.

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat with eyes glowing

Niya no longer attacks Arrietty; in fact they seem to understand each other.

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat and Arrietty looking at each other

The Secret World of Arrietty - Arrietty standing in front of Niya cat

Niya goes back to the house and leads Sho to where she has seen the little family.

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat approaching house

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat trying to lead Sho

As they say goodbye, Sho explains that Niya is the one who brought him to Arrietty. Arrietty even pats Niya’s nose.

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat with Sho and Arrietty

The Secret World of Arrietty - Sho holding up Niya cat to Arrietty

The Secret World of Arrietty - Arrietty petting Niya cat on nose

The Secret World of Arrietty - Niya cat with Sho at daybreak

Final Mewsings: Cats can learn to love people, big or small


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