Gay Purr-ee (1962)

Gay Purr-ee DVD

Warner Bros. / United Productions of America (UPA)
 Judy Garland, Robert Goulet, Red Buttons, Paul Frees, Hermione Gingold
Directed by: Abe Levitow

Synopsis: Mewsette (voiced by Judy Garland) is a beautiful farm cat who overhears her owner’s sister talking about the splendour of Paris and resolves to go there, leaving behind her mouser tomcat boyfriend, Jaune-Tom (voiced by Robert Goulet) and his sidekick kitten Robespierre (voiced by Red Buttons.)  Once in Paris, Mewsette is swept off her feet by a seemingly benevolent sponsor named Meowrice (Paul Frees) who sets her up for charm and elocution lessons with his “sister”, Mme. Rubens-Chatte (voiced by Hermione Gingold).  But what Mewsette doesn’t suspect is he actually has other plans for her once she has been properly cultured.

Cinema Cats: Those of us who grew up in the sixties and seventies and who also love cats undoubtedly have a soft spot in our hearts for this animated film, which aired often on local syndicated television.

Gay Purr-ee Mewsette and Meowrice

Animated in a unique style by UPA, the whole film revolves around the cat characters who live in a world alongside the human one (interestingly, the farm cats seem content to just be cats while the cats of Paris run their own establishments, i.e. the Mewlon Rouge next to the Moulin Rouge.)  The songs are quite lovely and the characters are endearing and unforgettable.

Gay Purr-ee Jaune-Tom and Robespierre

Also embedded on our impressionable young minds were Meowrice’s henchmen, those skinny black cats that seemed able to crawl into and out of every nook and cranny imaginable.  This movie is aimed at younger kids but contains certain themes and plotlines that they likely won’t fully understand until they are older, making it fun for the whole family.

Gay Purr-ee Meowrice's henchmen

Final Mewsings: Gay Purr-ee?  Oui!  C’est maqnifique!

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