Aristocats (1970)


Do mi so mi do me so mi fa la so it goes
When you do your scales and your arpeggios

Remember those lines from the song Scales and Arpeggios? Now imagine a little girl singing them so that every word is mumbled gobbledygook and you’ve basically got my childhood. I never knew most of the words to Disney songs but I memorised pretty much all the tunes and would sit in front of my tv for hours, mesmerised by the music and characters. This film was one of my favourites and so I’m massively biased whenever I revisit it. I find it hard to think objectively about it because every single sound and image is so familiar and homely, from Georges Hautecourt arriving in his rickety car and using his walking stick to move himself around, to the scene where Duchess and her kittens hide in the basket from the rain. Even the geese escorting a drunk Uncle Waldo down the road is enough to make me feel like a kid again. The animation is sketchy and loose yet beautiful; I love the line work, and the way Edgar’s shirt cuffs flash white and red (once you spot it it’s hard not to notice). Small details like Roquefort’s biscuit dunking, and the tiny red hat and mac combo that he wears outside make this a true joy to watch.

I like to think that this is a classic. Yes, it may have some flaws, but I tend to overlook most of them in order to prevent ruining childhood memories. And at the end of the day it’s got frickin’ Everybody Wants to be a Cat, what more do you need.



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