The era of Disney we’re in right now is in many ways the ones I remember as a child. I remember watching Jungle Book and 101 Dalmatians frequently as well as several of the later movies, but somehow, there’s a few films in there that, although I know they’re popular and I know I saw them, it wasn’t often. Aristocats is one of those movies; I have a vague recollection of it, but nothing coherent.
This movie is definitely a weird one. It’s like a blend of 101 Dalmatians and Lady & The Tramp. With cats. Which is cool. I like cats.
The plot of the movie is pretty straightforward. A crazy cat lady with no living relatives decides to leave her fortune to her cats instead of her hard working butler. He finds out, and decides to dispose of the cats so he can apparently inherit the riches. I’m not sure why crazy cay lady wouldn’t just find some new cats to dote upon thereby resurrecting the problem, especially since she wasn’t made to appear ill and obviously had several good years of life left.
Either way, he spirits the cat family away and dumps them near a creek. The family then has the journey home which is where the 101 Dalmatians parallel comes in. As they’re leaving, they meet Thomas O’Malley (the alley cat) who, as a ruffian tries to woo the high bred woman (paralleling Lady & The Tramp).
O’Malley is voiced by Phil Harris who I still can’t listen to without thinking of Baloo from Jungle Book.
Eventually the group makes it home after meeting some geese, their drunk uncle, and some jazz playing cats. Bad Mr. Butler nabs them and hides them in a sack in the oven and then tries to shove them in a crate that he ships to Timbuktu. But O’Malley rescues them and instead, the Butler falls in the crate and goes off for an extended vacation.
Timbuktu is one of those odd places that I know more references to it than I actually know about it. I know only one fact about Timbuktu and that’s that it’s a real place, not just some fictional place that’s just denoted to mean really far away (like the mythical land of B.F.E.). Rather, I know the name Timbuktu from this movie and Garfield since Timbuktu is where Garfield was always attempting to ship Nermal to.
Another geographical fact I remember from Garfield (this one’s not a “fact” in the sense of being true though… I think) is that Wyoming means “No state here” in some language or another. Why this sticks in my brain? I have no idea.
Other odd things popping up in my mind: The horse’s name in this movie is apparently Frou-Frou. Which happens to be the name of a band one of my favorite singers, Imogen Heap, belonged to awhile back. Is there a connection? Probably not directly.
And that’s all I’ve got to say about this movie. Sorry for the delays in posting!