Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, David Bradley, Imelda Staunton
Directed by: David Yates
Synopsis: Year five at Hogwart’s takes an ominous turn as Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) are villified in the press, leading to the Ministry of Magic appointing the officious and obnoxious Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) as the school’s overseer, all the while refusing to publicly acknowledge the return of Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).
Kitty Cameos: Hermione’s (Emma Watson) cat Crookshanks has several moments on screen in this film. Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys all want to know what is being discussed in the Order’s meetings and utilize Fred and George’s (James and Oliver Phelps) listening devise to eavesdrop. The device is an ear dangling from a long thread.
Of course such a thing is irrestistable to Crookshanks, who plays with it for a short time before running off with it.
Moments later Fred (or is it George?) is eyeing Crookshanks with frustration as the cat happily licks his mouth, evidentally having eaten the device.
Crookshanks can also be seen in the Order’s headquarters when everyone is celebrating the recovery of Mr. Weasley (Mark Williams).
Caretaker Argus Filch (David Bradley) and his cat Mrs. Norris also have a few appearances in the movie. Argus becomes Dolores Umbridge’s cohort and runs around doing her bidding. Mrs. Norris can first be seen on Filch’s shoulder after Umbridge’s speech at the first school banquet.
She can also be seen tailing Filch and sitting beside him as he tries to figure out where the students are going in secret, even parking himself outside the hidden Room of Requirement. And Mrs. Norris is sitting at the foot of Filch’s ladder as he posts yet another one of Umbridge’s proclamations.
Kitten Cattle Call: We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the many kittens seen covorting on the collector’s plates which line Umbridge’s gaudily decorated office.
The adorable kittens are a biting and sarcastic juxtaposition considering that she is such an evil, nasty woman and that she literally tortures Harry and other students in front of the cutesy plates.
A variety of playful kitten actors were employed to pose for Umbridge’s plates, as demonstrated by kitten-actors-in-training Fleur, Nox, Fletcher, Nala, Rita and Marbles in this Warner Bros. Studio Tour London recreation of how the plate scenes were filmed, explained by the Harry Potter film series lead animal trainer Julie Tottman:
Final Mewsings: Good witches don’t torture students in front of kittens.