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The Aristocats

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The Aristocats
Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman
Produced by Winston Hibler
Wolfgang Reitherman
Written by Ken Anderson
Larry Clemmons
Eric Cleworth
Vance Garry
Julius Svendsen
Frank Thomas
Ralph Wright
Starring Phil Harris
Eva Gabor
Hermione Baddeley
Gary Dubin
Dean Clark
Sterling Holloway
Roddy Maude-Roxby
Liz English
Music by Score:
George Bruns
Richard and Robert Sherman
Floyd Huddleston
Al Rinker
Terry Gilkyson
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release date(s) December 11, 1970 (premiere)
December 24, 1970 (regular)
Running time 78 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $4 million[1]
Money made $55.7 million[2]

The Aristocats is a 1970 American animated movie. It was produced by Walt Disney Productions. It is the 20th movie in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. The movie is based on a story by Tom McGowan and Tom Rowe. It is about a family of cats who are kidnapped by their owner's butler. It was originally released to theaters by Buena Vista Distribution on December 11, 1970, with a regular release on December 24, 1970. The title is a pun on the word aristocrats.

The movie's basic idea is an animated romantic musical comedy about talking cats in France. This idea had previously been used in the UPA animated feature Gay Purr-ee.

Disney planned to release a sequel, The Aristocats II in 2007. Production on that was canceled in early 2006.

The was the last movie to be approved by Walt Disney himself. Disney died before the movie was released.

The story[change | change source]

The movie takes place in Paris in 1910. A mother cat named Duchess and her three kittens, Marie, Berlioz, and Toulouse, are going to receive a fortune when their owner dies. But Edgar, their butler, does not like this and plans to send the cats away.

He places sleeping tablets in their dinner. At night, he plans on dropping them off in the countryside. Two hound dogs, Napoleon and Lafayette, attack him, and the cats are now stranded.

In the morning, they meet an alley cat named Abraham de Lacy Giuseppe Casey Thomas O'Malley (called just Thomas O'Malley). He helps them on their way back home. He even lets them stay at his "pad" (the place where he and his "gang", or friends, stay).

They finally get back home, but Edgar recatches them in a sack and plans to send them to Timbuktu, Africa. O'Malley, Scat Cat and his gang, Roquefort and Frou-Frou all fight Edgar, while Roquefort rescues Duchess and kittens. In the end, Edgar is kicked into the trunk, locked inside, and sent to Timbuktu himself. Madame Adelaide's will is rewritten to not include Edgar and include O'Malley, and she starts a charity foundation which gives a home to all the cats in Paris.

Production[change | change source]

This movie was the last one to be approved by Walt himself. It was the first one produced after his death. The movie took four years to produce. Its budget was 4,000,000. Five of Disney's legendary "Nine Old Men" worked on it, including the Disney crew that had been working 25 years on average.

Cast[change | change source]

Crew[change | change source]

  • Story adaptation: Ken Anderson, Larry Clemmons, Eric Cleworth, Vance Gerry, Julius Svendsen, Frank Thomas, Ralph Wright
  • Based on a story by Tom McGowan and Tom Rowe
  • Supervising animators: Milt Kahl, Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas, John Lounsbery
  • Animators: Hal King, Eric Cleworth, Fred Hellmich, Eric Larson, Julius Svendsen, Walt Stanchfield, David Michener
  • Effects animators: Dan MacManus, Dick Lucas
  • Layout: Don Griffith, Basil Davidovich, Sylvia Roemer
  • Backgrounds: Al Dempster, Bill Layne, Ralph Hulett
  • Production manager: Don Duckwall
  • Assistant directors: Ed Hansen, Dan Alguire
  • Supervising sound editor: Robert O. Cook
  • Film editor: Tom Acosta
  • Music editor: Evelyn Kennedy
  • Music composed and conducted by George Bruns
  • Score orchestrated by Walter Sheets
  • Produced by Wolfgang Reitherman and Winston Hibler
  • Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman

Release[change | change source]

The Aristocats was re-released to theaters on December 19, 1981 and April 10, 1987. It was released on VHS in the Masterpiece Collection series on April 24, 1996 and DVD on April 4, 2000 in the Gold Classic Collection line. The Aristocats Gold Collection disc was discontinued in 2006. A new single-disc Special Edition DVD (previously announced as a 2-Disc set) was released on February 5, 2008. The movie was also released on Blu-ray on August 21, 2012. It was released on Blu-ray Tape and DVD as part of Walt Disney Ultra Collection with a bonus program, The Aristocats: The Making of a Musical Masterpiece. Brian Cummings narrated.

International release dates[change | change source]

Soundtrack[change | change source]

  1. "The Aristocats" - Maurice Chevalier "The Aristocats" is the title song from the movie. It was written by Robert & Richard Sherman at the end of their eight years with Walt Disney Productions. Maurice Chevalier came out of retirement to sing this song for the movie's soundtrack. He recorded it in English as well as in French translation ("Naturellement - les Aristocats!").
  2. "Scales and Arpeggios" - Liz English, Gary Dubin, Dean Clark, Robie Lester
  3. "Thomas O'Malley Cat" - Phil Harris
  4. "Everybody Wants to Be a Cat" - Phil Harris, Scatman Crothers, Thurl Ravenscroft, Vito Scotti, Paul Winchell This song is sung by Scatman Crothers as Scat Cat, Phil Harris as Thomas O'Malley Cat, and Thurl Ravenscroft as Billy Boss the Russian Cat. It was also released as a 45 rpm single, in a version sung only by Phil Harris. That version doesn't have the cartoon voices of the other release. The soundtrack CD released in 1996 has an edited version of the song. The now politically incorrect lines sung by "Chinese Cat" voiced by Paul Winchell are removed.
  5. "She Never Felt Alone" - Robie Lester
  6. "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat (reprise)" - Phil Harris, Scatman Crothers, Thurl Ravenscroft, Vito Scotti, Paul Winchell, Ruth Buzzi, Bill Thompson

Classic Disney: 60 Years of Musical Magic includes "Thomas O'Malley Cat" on the purple disc and "Everybody Wants to Be a Cat" on the orange disc. Disney's Greatest Hits includes "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat" on the red disc.

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]