Three years after Jungle Book and three years before Robin Hood we have this odd little movie called The Aristocats. This was the last film that got the approval to become a film by Walt Disney, although he had passed during much of the work on the film. The story was oringally slated to be a part of Disney’s Wonderful World of Color television show, but Walt made the call to move it to a full length feature.
You can tell there was a bit of a battle to try and continue Walt’s vision for his films. This one really tries to step up to the plate with a love for music, but it ends up falling short of the truly impressive attempts at animated music like Fantasia. It really begs the question if the final film would’ve ended up the same if Walt had been alive to see the final product.
There is little plot here. Mostly a bunch of cats wandering the streets for a night with the help of a local alley cat. The art style was similar to 101 Dalmatians with a bunch of scenes that pull from the pink elephant scene in Dumbo or any of the other surrealistic scenes in the early Disney films.
Overall, the music did not stand out, the animation did not stand out, the plot did not stand out. It almost felt like someone wanted to throw another movie on the pile with Lady and the Tramp and 101 Dalmatians, but felt like dogs had been overdone. So, they ran with cats and a real flimsy premise.
In the end this is the type of movie that has fallen into a bit of obscurity in the Disney catalogue, but it is somewhat deserved. It is the type of film that would be wildly overshadowed by the time the big blockbuster films like Little Mermaid and Lion King would come around.
Run Time – 79 Minutes
43rd Academy Awards – 0 Nominations – 0 Wins
Disney Animated Canon so far in order of Quality
1. Lady and the Tramp 6-22-1955
2. Peter Pan 2-5-1953
3. One Hundred and One Dalmatians 1-25-1961
4. Dumbo 10-23-1941
5. Cinderella 2-15-1950
6. Pinocchio 2-7-1940
7. Sleeping Beauty 1-29-1959
8. The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad 10-5-1949
9. The Jungle Book 10-18-1967
10. The Aristocats 12-11-1970
11. Make Mine Music 4-20-1946
12. Fun and Fancy Free 9-27-1947
13. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 12-21-1937
14. Saludos Amigos 8-24-1942
15. The Sword in the Stone 12-25-1963
16. Alice in Wonderland 7-26-1951
17. Melody Time 5-27-1948
18. Bambi 8-13-1942
19. Fantasia 11-13-1940
20. The Three Caballeros 12-21-1944