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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, April 17, 2014 - Edition No 893 

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ARISTOCATS, THE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
It is 1910 in Paris, and eccentric millionairess Madame Adelaide Bonfamille (Hermione Baddeley) wills her entire estate to her family of adorable high society cats. Overhearing her plan, Edgar (Roddy Maude-Roxby) the greedy bumbling butler, catnaps Duchess (Eva Gabor) and her three mischievous kittens, Berloiz (Dean Clark), Marie (Liz English) and Toulouse (Gary Dubin) and abandons them in the French countryside. The charming Thomas O'Malley (Phil Harris), a rough-and-tumble alley cat, saunters by and offers to escort them home. Along the way, they stop at Thomas' 'pad' where Scat Cat and his band of swingin' jazz cats are having a jam.

Review by Louise Keller:
This new special edition of Disney's 20th full-length animated classic is sure to be a family favourite this Easter. Aristocats, made in 1970, is the story of Thomas O'Malley and his band of swingin' jazz cats and was the last feature to get the nod from Walt Disney himself. It's enchanting and delightful, this playful, colourful adventure for the whole family.

It may not be right up there with Disney's best, but it's easy to fall in love with the stylish Duchess and her three kittens. There's lots going on in Madame's mansion - Toulouse is paw-painting, Berlioz is perfecting scales and arpeggios, while Marie sings from the top of the piano. Even the mouse is an ally.

In the mould of 101 Dalmations, this heartwarming tale introduces us to an assortment of ambrosial characters - from flat-footed waddling geese Amelia and Abigail Gabble to the gentlemanly, hip Thomas O'Malley. Maurice Chevalier charms with the opening song, while Scat Cat and his band of swingers cut a mean tune (watch for the Siamese cat who plays piano with chopsticks!) The highlight is a lively version of Ev'rybody Wants To Be A Cat, from the Oscar winning combination of Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, who penned the songs for Mary Poppins. An irresistible escape into a world far from today's stresses, Aristocats is suitable for all ages - from the young to the young at heart.

The new release offers new special features including a never-before-seen deleted song called She Never Felt Alone, a cute virtual kitten game, an introduction by Walt Disney himself, Disney song selections and a featurette about the Sherman Brothers and their music.

Published March 6, 2008



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

ARISTOCATS, THE: DVD (G)
(US, 1999)

VOICES: Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway, Scatman Crothers, Paul Winchell, Lord Tim Hudson, Vito Scotti, Thurl Ravenscroft, Dean Clark , Liz English, Gary Dubin, Nancy Kulp, Pat Buttram, George Lindsey, Monica Evans, Carole Shelley, Charles Lane, Hermione Baddeley, Roddy Maude-Roxby, Bill Thompson

DIRECTOR: Wolfgang Reitherman

SCRIPT: Ken Anderson, Larry Clemmons, Eric Cleworth, Vance Gerry, Julius Svendsen, Frank Thomas, Ralph Wright, Tom McGowan (story)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: n/a

EDITOR: Tom Acosta

MUSIC: George Bruns

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ken Anderson

RUNNING TIME: 80 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: WDS

DVD RELEASE: March 8, 2008







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