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Cats & Dogs always manages to make me laugh even now, I first saw this film when I was about 10 & I absolutely loved it & I recently watched it with my mates 11 year sister & it still made me laugh, especially Mr Tinkles, he's definitely my favourite character.
It's basically the age old story that Cats & Dogs hate each other & with that the other one weren't around, well this film takes this literally. The cats are the baddies & led my Mr Tinkles voiced by Sean Hayes of Will & Grace. Mr Tinkles hates the face that dogs get more attention & are treated as one of the family while cats are seen as the enemy. This introduces the Brody family, as Professor Brody (Jeff Goldblum) is allergic to Dogs & is creating a special serum to make human allergies to Dogs disappear, if this happens Mr Tinkles fears that Cats will be pushed out by the Dogs altogether so he plans to get hold of the formula before professor Brody can complete it. This is where Lou (Tobey Maguire) comes in, Scotty, professor Brody's son has recently lost his Dog so to make up for it his Mum gets him a new one in the form of Lou, a cute Dog who at first Scotty rejects & even decides to name him 'Loser'.
Lou's only a puppy & like all puppies he likes to explore, one day a bone his thrown to him & he goes to fetch it, but instead a Dog named Butch (Alec Baldwin) runs over before the bomb explodes & saves Lou. Butch is an agent who along with a few friends is working to stop the Professors formula being stolen from the Cats.
This is a terrific family film that will even have the parents laughing, it's extremely enjoyable from start to finish as the Cats declare war on the Dogs & the Dogs realise that something drastic needs to be done before the Cats steal the formula. I would recommend this film to any parent with young kids as they will love it & you are bound to enjoy it too.
This week, with all of the media hype surrounding the recent release of 'Finding Nemo', my daughter seemed in need of a change, so we decided to hunt out our well played copy of this film. Being the cat owners (in my case), cat lovers (in my wife and daughter's case) we are, this film was always going to be a favourite in our house, but I have to admit that the first time we watched it, I was convinced I would hate this. I still do not know why I thought this way as I had heard very little about the film so had nothing to base my doubts on, but I think maybe at the time, it was just one of many films of this genre that were released, and not all of them were that great, however before I even review the film, I admit I stand corrected. So what's it all about? Well I don't want to give too much away, as this is definitely one of those films that will be spoiled if you know most of the action. Jeff Goldblum plays the eccentric Professor Brody who has a severe allergy to dogs and spends most of his days locked away in his basement/lab trying to invent a cure for people who have the same allergy. Now should this happen, it would be a momentus occasion in more than one sense, as if people can cure their allergy to dogs, then their already huge popularity as household pets is likely to increase, which put the cats under threat, and the canines will be the rulers in the pet world, an outcome which would clearly be a disaster for the pussy cats! Now, you would think the simplest thing for someone with an allergy to dogs would be to keep away from dogs...well not here...otherwise the film would be pretty pointless to be honest! One day, Brody's son Scott's (Alexander Pollock) dog goes missing (although we the viewer know it is not this straightforward), so his wife (Elizabeth Perkins) replaces said dog with a new puppy, called Lou (voice provided by Spiderman star Tobey Macguire) who is initially shunned by the son, so much so he
even saddles him with the infortunate nickname of Lou The Loser. However, we soon discover that not only are the animals in this film intelligent, they can converse with each other, and when the cats hear that they might be under threat, they decide to close ranks and fight back under the rule of dictator puss, moody Persian Mr Tinkle. It is an excellent idea for a plot, and it is handled well, with just the right amount of humour, and this prevents it from being a bit farcical. Lou is recruited by the dogs in the neighbourhood, lead by Butch the alsation, in order to fight of the threat of Mr Tinkle and his gang from their HQ, which is actually a kennel that they have customised. They think that Lou has been specially chosen for this mission, but they soon realise their error when it is clear Lou is not up to the job. Lou wants to be a loyal pet to Scott, but then he feels he has a duty to fight alongside his fellow canines, whilst protecting the Brody's from the evil cats who want to try and steal the potion that Professor Brody is developing. This is also probably a subliminal message from a dog lover to show us how loyal dogs are, whereas those evil cats will become turncoats at the hint of an opportunity to reign proudly! This is a film with all round family appeal, and when the cats were being household pets, my daughter thought they were gorgeous, but there is no getting away from their more sinister side! We are told in this film that cats are evil, cunning creatures, who will let nothing and noone get in their way in their quest to be the dominant species, and dogs are the cute ones who only want fair play and a chance to live harmoniously with their feline enemies. We even get a bit of a history lesson which explains why the two have a grudge against each other, which goes right back to Ancient Egypt. The computer animation element of the film is tremendous, and the expressions the cats appear with are part of the reason the film is s
uch a resounding success, and director Lawrence Guterman seems to have the perfect camera shot in each scene in order to capture the most magic, and fool most viewers into forgetting that so much technical wizardry is needed to get the cats and dogs to do what they do. There are some classic scenes, especially when a Russian cat gets into the Brody's house, and the dogs try to protect them from the might of the Samurai sword throwing cat......I promise it is much funnier than it sounds. The pace of the film makes it very enjoyable, as there are few moments when there is not some gripping on screen action, especially for the younger viewers. At first, I thought that the vioence in the film really would not be suitable for a three year old to watch, but it is handled so brilliantly, that after the first half an hour, I barely gave this matter a second thought, and my daughter was not affected by it at all. The voice overs are provided by some very well known stars. In addition to Macguire, there are vocal appearances from Alec Baldwin, Jon Lovitz, Susan Sarandon, Michael Clarke Duncan and Charlton Heston, so it is clear that this was no low budget production, but that said, the money was not spent on developing the plot, so please do not watch this and expect to have to think your way through the film, as you will end up sorely disappointed. This is pure and simple, a sit back, relax, watch and enjoy type of film, which I highly recommend, even to those of you without children.
I've owned Cats & Dogs for well over twelve months and never ever tire of watching it even though the film suffers from a wafer thin plot that revolves around the age old struggle between good and evil. Good being mankind and our canine friends whilst evil has taken the form of cute cuddly cats! An evil cat called Mr Tinkles (voiced by Sean Hayes) wants to take over the world and put cats firmly where they belong, in control of humans. However, a secret organisation of dogs are hell bent upon stopping his fiendish masterplan. The story is based in suburban USA Where Professor Brody (played by Jeff Goldblum) has been developing a serum to protect people against dog allergies. The secret dog organisation, knowing the importance of this research to their kind send their top agents Butch (voiced by Alec Baldwin), Sam (voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan) and Peek (voiced by Joe Pantoliano) to protect the professor, his family and his research against the evil cats. Without going into too much detail and spoiling the film, one of the agents currently in the house with the family is abducted at the start of the film and replaced (by accident) with Lou (voiced by Toby Maguire), a young, inexperienced puppy. We then follow the story of how the cats try to destroy the lab using various methods including my favourites, The Russian and Ninja Cats. The results are laughs and giggles all the way. As it's quite tricky under normal circumstances to get cats and dogs to talk. Getting them to do it in front of camera and getting them to remember their lines must be a nightmare, therefore the director Lawrence Guterman chose to use large amounts of CGI throughout the film. This was done to great effect to animate the cats and dogs as they speak making them as lifelike as possible. Although there are a few glitches with the voice overs, there aren't that many to spoil the effect of the film. Tak
ing into account the large amount of dialogue between both the dogs and the cats, the special effects can't be knocked and I can't therefore be too overly critical. In some scenes (especially the ninja cats) the special effects are breathtaking. Where I am going to be overly critical is the performance of the human actors. They were shallow, lacked depth, characterisation, and did not do anything to bond with the viewer. In one scene the family are in mortal danger and I was kinda hoping they would actually die! Wooden would be a little harsh, but it's a close description of how they come across. Whilst Jeff Goldblum is his usual bumbling self, the spouse (played by Elizabeth Perkins) and son (played by Alexander Pollock) couldn't act their way out of a paper bag in my opinion. Overall, I'd rate this film four stars. It's basically a film aimed at a younger audience, and those who wouldn't notice the flaws/bad points without looking for them. Although it has faults it was actually very entertaining and I have watched it more than once. In fact, if my diseased mind is correct, I've seen this six times over the past twelve months. It's very rare that a film will make me come back and watch it time and time again. Some scenes are cute, some are just damn funny with one liners that had me in stitches at times. I've found that my sister (2) loves to watch this, as do I (24) and even my dad (46) enjoyed it. If you are willing to let yourself be entertained without thinking too much about the plot and acting this is a film you'll love. Just let yourself go, sit back and enjoy. If the film alone doesn't sound like it's enough to convince you to purchase the DVD then take a look at the extra's available. They are brilliant and in my opinion make this one of the best DVD's in my collection (and it's a big collection). As you play the DVD you hav
e the choice of selecting either Cats or Dogs. Each option takes you off to a different menus, but basically, the extra's are: Directors Commentary Rather dull to be honest. The worst of the features. I find these dull on all films that aren't based upon true stories though. 3/10. HBO Documentaries x 2 2 behind the scenes documentaries that are very informative. They each show how the animals used were trained and how the CGI was generated and added to make the final film. 8/10. Trailer Cinema trailer. 6/10. Casting Couch Mr Tinkles takes on the guise of several famous people and does impressions. Very amusing and a different feature I've never seen on a DVD before. 10/10 (for originality) Cast List Surprisingly, a list of the cast and crew. It's detailed and a dream for someone writing a review! 9/10. Scene Selection Standard scene selection. 7/10. Storyboard A very useful feature. It shows how the concept of the film grew from a few drawings to the finished article. 10/10. RECOMMENDED TO ALL WHO CAN SIT DOWN AND WATCH A FILM WITHOUT THINKING TOO MUCH!!! Cats & Dogs can be purchased online at Play.com and SplashDVD.com. As my copy was a gift for Christmas 2001 I'm unsure of the price however I have seen it for 9.99 GBP in Music Zone.
Christmas is for kids, and family entertainment, and so Cats & Dogs would seem to be a pretty strong favourite for decent Yuletide viewing. It has most of the requisite qualities you need to succeed with both kids and families - it's undemanding, shallow, and unambitious. However, you'd have to be pretty undemanding yourself to see much to entertain you from this insipid little piece of dross. It was thrown up in a huge amount of hype and advertising to be the latest blockbuster in the world of family entertainment, but all the hype in the world can't hide the fact that Cats and Dogs is one hugely dull and childish offering which has nothing of any substance about it. The powers that be (whoever they may be) must have thought they were onto a pretty good thing when they came up with the smart idea of partnering animatronics and special effects with human vocalising to produce an appealing mix of cats, dogs and slapstick humour, but how wrong they were. There's an old adage that goes, "Never work with children and animals," well, unfortunately, it's not the kids or the cats that are the problem, but the hair brained adults who thought that we'd swallow this particular set of hairballs and go flocking to see Cats and Dogs. Well, let me tell you categorically that, smash hit or no, this pretty good thing is something to be avoided at all costs. A bunch of cute felines and canines running around trying to wipe each other out in a fight to the finish is a reasonably weak idea to start with, but as the 'action' degenerates into a series of sickly set-pieces and simpering punchlines so it disintegrates fully into total folly. I really don't like this film very much at all. You may disagree, and be able to extract a modicum of enjoyment out of the whole sorry mess, and if so, good luck. But for my money, you'd have to have just flown in from a couple of decades in the Arctic wastes o
r the Amazonian rain forest to get your rocks off to this one. This is bizarrely limited entertainment which has that ultimate failing about it - the makers actually think that it's hilarious stuff. You can imagine the bony fingered, lonely souls sitting in the cutting room, holding their sides with glee, congratulating themselves on their blistering wheeze. "Ooh, they'll bloody love this one, will the kiddy winkies - cats practicing martial arts on the clumsy old dogs is guaranteed to get the tears streaming." Well, it may make you smile weakly the first time, but by the time they've spread it thinly across the whole of the film, it's reached the level of being just plain irritating. Harmless fun, you may argue, shaking your simple old head at me, don't take it so serious ... well, sorry, but I don't buy that at all. This is tripe dressed up as nouveau cuisine and about as appetising. In recent years, the nearest thing to this particular genre has been Babe, featuring the tale of a Sheep Pig, but whereas that film had charm, intelligence and an almost sincere feel about it, Cats and Dogs is like one enormous furry copy of the Beano, with a cartoon like approach which is mirrored in the wide eyed faces perfected by the animals. And amazingly well trained though these animals may be, all the training in the world can never make up for a total lack of invention and common sense. Having said all that, the pooches and moggies are certainly a good few rungs up the food chain from a surprisingly asinine and limited contribution by Jeff Goldblum. He's like a modern day version of the dull witted blokes who used to make a living out of working for Walt Disney in all those dire animal-and-family films in the Fifties and Sixties, eventually giving way to a VW Beetle called Herbie, who apparently went Bananas. Cats and Dogs deals clumsily with a dire theme and plot and will embarrass you rather mo
re than you thought possible. It even fails to make up for all that ineptitude with some of the poorest special effects you will have seen in a bloody long day. If Jurassic Park was a wonderful advert for how good special effects can be, then Cats and Dogs sets light entertainment back maybe forty years in the FX stakes.
The last movie I reviewed dealt with 18th century French adventurers who also happened to be experts in Kung Fu chasing after a werewolf like creature in the middle of the French countryside (see Brotherhood of the Wolf) so to continue the bizarre theme how about some Ninja expert international spies who also happen to be domestic pets! CATS AND DOGS For centuries our loveable pets have been engaged in bid for world domination. Humans of course know nothing about this. The Cats (the baddies) have hatched a fiendish plan to tip the balance in their favour, to make all humans allergic to dogs! The Dogs of course are out to stop them. Jeff Goldblum plays Professor Brody a scientist who is on the verge of discovering a cure to dog allergies, the Cats plan to use this and alter it so that all humans will become allergic to dogs. The evil force behind this plan is Mr Tinkles an innocuous looking Persian cat who is also the leader of the feline forces of evil. To oppose them we have Butch an experienced ‘agency’ dog and new recruit Lou a beagle puppy who has been adopted by Mrs Brody the Professors wife, as a pet for her son Scott. We are soon treated to a variety of James Bond like gadgets, some Ninja Siamese cats and a lot of technically astounding but essentially slapstick humour. CAST, PERFORMANCES AND SPECIAL EFFECTS Jeff Goldblum .... Professor Dad Brody Elizabeth Perkins .... Mrs. Mom Brody Alexander Pollock .... Scotty Brody Miriam Margolyes .... Sophie the Maid Tobey Maguire .... Lou the Beagle (voice) Alec Baldwin .... Butch, the Chief Agency Dog (voice) Sean Hayes .... Mr. Tinkles, the Evil Chief Cat (voice) Susan Sarandon .... Ivy, the Female Alley Dog (voice) Joe Pantoliano .... Peek (voice) Michael Clarke Duncan .... Sam the Sheepdog (voice) Jon Lovitz .... Calico (voice) Victor Wilson .... Doberman Drill Sergeant Salome
Jens .... Collie at HQ (voice) Charlton Heston .... The Mastiff (voice) Glenn Ficarra .... Russian Blue (voice) Danny Mann .... Ninja Cat (voice) Billy West .... Ninja Cat (voice) Paul Pape .... Wolf Blitzer (voice) Directed by Lawrence Guterman Writing credits John Requa Glenn Ficarra Considering this is essentially a slapstick romp for kids it can boast quite a heavyweight cast. Jeff Goldblum has made a career of playing the eccentric scientist (Jurassic Park, Independence Day, The Fly) and so he tends to be on autopilot for this role. Elizabeth Perkins is fine as the loving wife and Miriam Margolyes is hardly tested as the maid. However in a film such as this the human characters are merely the supporting roles, it is the mixture of computer-enhanced images and live animals along with the perfectly cast actors that provide their voices that really are the stars of the show. Toby Maguire (now famous for being Spiderman) is just about right as the voice of Lou the hero of the story Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, and surprisingly Charlton Heston all excel as the doggy voices. I especially liked Joe Pantoliano as the voice of the doggy electronics expert, but the undisputed star of the film is Mr Tickles the evil mastermind leading the Cats. Making him a longhaired Persian is an obvious reference to Blowfeld’s cat in the early Bond movies and is a nice touch. The film tends to play of most peoples belief that dogs are more loyal and loveable than cats (sorry cat lovers) and thus it seems obvious to cast the dogs in the role of good guys while the cats are seen as both scheming and selfish, I don’t think it would have worked as well the other way round. The Siamese cats are obviously seen as oriental in nature and thus logically they become the ninja warriors. The film itself is a simple slapstick comedy for kids with some effective special effects to make the more e
ntrancing. Judging by the reaction of my kids while watching it (aged 3 to 9) the filmmakers got it just about right. There are lots of subtle jokes in it too that maybe the youngest children will not get but it is nowhere near as good viewing for adults as say Toy Story was. Again just as in Toy Story the total ignorance of the humans about what is really going on also serves as a source of humour. The special effects I would say were impressive but not outstanding, on a par with many other films. The talking animals were believable, within the context of the story and the action sequences were nicely set up and choreographed although it all get a little too frenetic in the final sequences. If anything, considering it was a movie populated by cute cuddly animals it lacked a little charm and you never felt totally won over by the animal characters, this is not wholly a bad thing as such films can descend into an all too sickly ‘sweet and cute’ Disney like mush. The soundtrack was fine utilising some easily recognisable James Bond/Mission Impossible espionage generic rhythms that nicely matched the spy spoof nature of the film. Overall I would say the soundtrack was adequate but not all that memorable. THE DVD The visuals on the film itself are superb, the picture quality, brightness of the colours, sharpness of the images are excellent, apparently due to the digitally enhanced wide screen format. This is a bonus in films using digitally generated images spliced with live images as the picture quality of the live images is such that they cannot be told apart format he computer ones the tow cannot be told apart. The sound 5.1 Dolby stereo is also of high quality and crystal clear throughout. *Special Features* The DVD is quite clever in separating the special features menu into either cat features or Dog features. Choosing the Cat side first we find an interesting documentary of the making of the film
crammed full of behind the scenes look at the setting up of the special effects including the methods used to create the CGI. This is presented by Sean Hayes (voice of Mr Tinkles) and includes interviews with all the main stars cut with many actual scenes from the film. The director and crew are also featured and give their viewpoint of the film including little insights into how specific scenes were created. The account of how the computer wizardry was put together is clearly presented and I found fascinating. A part of this documentary is also devoted to the training and handling of the real animals used in the film; we mustn’t forget that not just CGI was used. This part is also interesting and you get the impression that getting that calibre of performance out of the real animal was just as technically complex as making the digital images. The other interesting aspect of the film is when the real life action meets the special effects in the form of the animatronics, mechanical mimicry of part of the animal’s bodies. This aspect is also covered and once again you can’t fail to marvel at the ingenuity of those responsible. On the Dog side we find a short documentary showing how the computer images were combined with the live action. We also have a selection of ‘concept drawings’ in a gallery presentation, from the film showing the original idea of what the animal characters would be doing in the film including all the gadgets they get to use. On both sides you will also find a commentary version of the film with the voices of the film director, Lawrence Guterman, Producer Chris Defaria, Production designer James Bissel and Sean Hayes. This is interesting if you want to find out more about the thinking that went into behind certain of the scenes. I did find that I was not engaged enough by the film to really get much form this although it maybe different for other people. More interesting is the storyboard co
mparison, which allows you to follow the storyboard sketches of the Siamese Ninja scene with the finished action from the film. This is the first time I have seen this done and it is certainly worth watching. Standard features such as scene access, language selection (subtitles) and the film trailer complete the DVD package. Also included on the disc are some enhanced features for your PC including the director’s alternative ending, wallpaper, gallery and screen savers as well a silly interactive game to create a secret identity for your own pets. Overall not a bad bundle of special features, some thought has gone into the presentation and the whole package is better than the average you get from most DVD’s. OVERALL This in the end is a very well produced technically impressive fun film for all the family. It is not a classic and unlike some of the better examples in this genre (e.g. Toy Story or Monster Inc.) it does not have enough adult appeal to really make it a must see movie. Having said this young kids will love it, although it has to be remembered that it caries a PG certificate. If I were reviewing the film on its own I might have given this op a lower rating but this is a review of the DVD package and this is were the product scores highly. The special features on this DVD have been thought out and put together very well, the behind the scenes documentaries are interesting and informative and a worth watching on their own merit, the basic features you’d expect on all DVD’s these days are all there and in addition the quality of both picture and sound is excellent. It is due to these aspects that made me give it a higher rating. This is a DVD that is well worth owning especially if you have younger children. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ‘Cats and Dogs’ is available from Amazon.co.uk for £7.99 (+p&p) or from DVD.
co.uk for £9.99 (incl. p&p.) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Thanks you for reading and rating this opinion. © Mauri 2002
This is the kind of film that you wait years to avoid seeing; you finally do and find out that your instincts were right. My three-year-old niece was bored stiff and fell asleep I envied her. The plot, I use the term in the loosest possible sense, concerns a centuries old war being waged by the four legged protagonists, to dominate/protect humanity. Its got a cute kid, cute animals and even an absent minded father/inventor dad. The ‘special’ effects aren’t the script is limp. I don’t know why they made this film, it manages to miss all its targets, please don’t waste your time or inflict this on your offspring. A huge waste of the vocal talents of Alec Baldwin (who as we all know lent his acting skills to yet another candidate for ‘worst children’s film of all time’, you know the one about talking trains on a magical island), Susan Saradon and Charlton Heston This is a one ‘joke’ movie, and at 84 minuets to long to get by on just that alone. This region 2 offering has all the extras that come with DVD’s nowadays. There are two documentaries “the making of” and another on how the real animals were trained. There’s an alternative ending, a trailer a game you can play and wallpapers and Internet links and the usual ‘hidden’ features. This is after all the main reason we’re willing to shell out an extra £4 (£16.99) for not buying it on video. The film comes with the now standard Dolby Digital 5.1 and is close captioned for the hearing impaired. Please let me reiterate avoid this dog (or should that be cat) of a film. Our children deserve better entertainment than this drivel and there’s plenty of good stuff out there.
Cats and dogs are not the cuddly pets we imagine them to be. In this film their natural inability to get on together is taken to new extremes. There is a reason for this. A scientific professor comes across a formula that can help people who have allergies to dogs and the cat population gets really worried about this. The cats discuss the matter and are concerned that, in the future, no one would want cats as pets and the dogs would take over. Evil genius pussycat, Mr Tinkles, jeads the discussions as they hatch a plot which will enable them to steal the formula and adapt it so that everyone will become allergic to dogs. That way nobody will want dogs and the cats will become supreme. Lou, the gorgeous looking Beagle puppy, referred to as 'Baby Puppy', is in charge of the formula. He is supposed to prevent the cats getting at it. The result of this lots of crazy fun, chasing, jumping, plotting, and flying planes. The cats and dogs even use computers. When they start fighting the 'Kung Fu' martial arts moves are quite impressive. This US film is directed by Lawrence Guterman and it has a PG rating. I think I would agree with that as some scenes could be quite frightening for small children. The cast includes: Jeff Goldblum as the professor, Elizabeth Perkins, ..and the voices of Tobey Maguire (brilliant as Lou, the baby puppy beagle)and that of Susan Sarandon. I don't think that this film needs any more description than this to enable you to make a decision! Infact, any more information would actually spoil the experience of watching something quite different from what we usually get offered by modern films. This film is fun and I found it very funny in parts. I would say that under sevens might not understand this film and may need guidance but, in general, its a family movie. Must go now and give my dog his IT lesson, followed by marti
al arts and flying lessons! Wow! I never knew all the other dogs could do those things. Mmmm! Perhaps I should have had more parental guidance.
Do you get fed up of being embarrassed in front of the children at inappropriate television. Well you having nothing to fear from this film. I first saw this film at the pictures with all the family and there was roares of laughter from kids and adults alike. At that point the kids asked if we could buy this film when it comes out and yes, I actually wanted to buy it my self. One thing I love about this sort of film is that you can watch it again and again. I can't see the point in buying a film that gets watched once and doesn't get watched again, you may as well just hire it. This is a tale (ha! Ha!)of good versus evil of the animal kind. As mans best friend the dogs are there to protect, and what they are protecting is an eccentric professor who discovers a cure for allergies to dogs! If this cure is successful no man would ever be allergic to dogs again and hopefully dogs can take the side of every man. On the other hand if the vaccine falls in to the wrong paws it could spell disaster. The cats plan is to reverse the vaccine so that everyone becomes allergic to dogs. Then cats will rule! You will have to buy this dvd for yourself to find out who will be man's best friend but you will have fun finding out. All DVD collections need a film like this and all families need a film like this. It is really nice to be able to sit down as a family and enjoy a film toghether. It is a PG so it's up to the parents whether you find it accepatable for your children to watch. You can't exactly say that there is no violence but at least the violence is not actual reality, it's not every day you see flying ninja cats and petrifying russian kittens! There are some funny moments and some sensitive moments where there could be a tear in the eye. The way they make it look as if the animals are really talking is really good and I don't know why but I always seem to find animals talking in films rather funny. This disc has some interesting extra features, hence the reason for my update, which I have now had the pleasure of trying out. The special features that can be accessed through an ordinary DVD player are: 1) Feature-Length Audio Commentary with.... Actor Sean Hayes, Director Lawrence Guterman, Producer Chris Defaria and production Designer James Bissell. These are people you may never have heard of but as they play such an important part in the making of this DVD they provide an interesting and valuable insight and background to this film. Through listening, one of the things I discovered was that this film was originally written for animation and not live action so it could have turned out to be quite a different film. 2) 2 Behind the scenes documentaries: HBO First Look: 'Cats and Dogs' and 'Teaching a new Dog Old Tricks' these are presented by the guy who does the voice over for Mr Tinkles (the villain of the piece) 3)Other features are: Storyboard Comparisons, Hidden Features, Interactive Menu's, Scene Access and a Trailer. I am not going in to any detail about these or the op would get long-winded and boring. I am going to tell you about the best bits. ENHANCED FEATURES FOR YOUR DVD-ROM PC If you are lucky enough to own a pc there are some features only accessible through inserting your disc in the DVD-Rom Drive. 1)Directors alternate ending It always makes me wonder why they decide to do these and who had the decision on which ending to go for. Or is there never really an alternate ending and it's just another gimmick for extra DVD sales? I watched this ending and although still funny I think the original ending is much better. 2)Create Secret Identities for Pets This is really fun and the kids will really enjoy being able to upload pictures of their own pets and creating secret identities for them.
3)Gallery This is a look at all the sketches of the pets that were then created in to real characters. 4)Screen Savers and Wallpaper I was really impressed with these and I have to say that I am now the proud owner of Cats Wallpaper and a fantastic Mr Tinkle on my desktop. Once you see these you will just have to have them! 5)Links to official websites I didn't explore these as I have been on the Warner Brothers website before but it is a quick and easy way of having a peek. You can access the features and play the DVD on a standard DVD player and I tried it on my Playstation 2 and the film also played well on there. I tried the DVD on my PC initially to explore the extra features for PC only and you are asked to install 'Interactual Player' to access these extra features. I have to say that I couldn't figure out how to view the film from this application and I had to use the Cyberlink Power DVD to watch the film. It played fine however once I used this application. All in all I think this film is excellent value for money as I picked it up for around £10 and is one that I will certainly be watching again. The running time of the film itself is approximately 84 minutes
Looking on DooYoo, there have been over 40 reviews for ‘Cats and Dogs’ – now, when I wrote my initial review of the movie, the reviews were a pretty mixed bag – some people loved the movie and others hated it. This really is just a silly family movie, but if you go in to watch it in the right frame of mind, not expecting too much and remembering that the target audience is really young children then I’m sure you’ll get something out of the film. I’m going to be writing about the actual DVD here, but in case you haven’t here’s a brief synopsis of things. Unbeknown to humans, there has been a secret war raging on Earth for hundreds if not thousands of years. This war has been going on, undetected, between the Cats (bad guys) and Dogs (good guys) of the title. The film centres on two main characters, Lou the cute little puppy dog, and Mr Tinkles, the big furry (yet deceptively evil) Persian cat. Lou lives with a nice (typical movie style) American Family, who has Jeff Goldblum playing the husband. In the movie Goldblum is working on a cure for peoples allergy toward dogs. Mr Tinkles has gotten word of this plan, and so decides that – if he can get hold of this miracle cure and alter it, he can turn man against Dog forever – paving the way for feline domination throughout the entire world MWHUHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! This is where Lou steps in; he must team up with the other local dogs (who all work for a hi-tech secret service agency, naturally!) and attempt to thwart Mr Tinkle’s evil plans. I know it sounds daft, and it is, but the mix of live animal and CGI work really works surprisingly well, this coupled with the excellent voices for the animals provided by such names as Toby McGuire (who plays Spiderman this summer) and Charlton Heston really helps to bring the characters to life. I’ve washed over the plot rather quickly – if you’d like a more in-de
pth look at the actual film, why not read my opinion in the film section? OK, lets’ take a look at a very good DVD package: First up, the movie is presented in an anamorphically enhanced wide screen format. Colours are very vivid and bright when required, but the ‘industrial’ sections, which feature a lot of steam; fog etc. proves no problems either. Very crisp and very detailed then, with no real problems at all that I could see. Just take a look at Mr Tinkles to see what I mean – his fur comes across very nicely! (It’s just a pity he’s such an evil cat!) Sound is decent enough too – nothing mind-blowing. The 5.1 Digital track gives clarity and good sound separation throughout. But you’re not watching Jurassic Park 3 here, don’t expect massive whizzes and bangs – it certainly does the job, put it that way. Now, here we come to the extras, and what a selection we have. The first thing to pop up on the screen when you start the disc is a question: ’What side are you on?’ You can select between ‘Cats’ or ‘Dogs’ the choice you make gives you a different set of menus, as well as a few different extras to pick from. First up, lets’ take a look at the ‘Cats’ choice - here we get to see some screen test for Mr Tinkles when he was a struggling actor – see him in such films as Forrest Gump, On the Waterfront, The Terminator and of course, the harrowing Vietnam movie, ‘Apocalypse Meow’. A real giggle and a nice idea that’s well executed. On the Dog side of things, we get a short little feature that shows us how the combine CGI with the animals, and also how they trained the dogs and cats do some of those tricks we see during the film – it’s not very long like I say, but the information is quite interesting and certainly worth a watch. Those are the two ‘unique’ f
eatures, but we get more features that are available regardless of which side you pledge your allegiance to. We get the obligatory ‘First look’ which is introduced by Sean Hayes (the voice of Mr Tinkles) this shows excerpts from the film, a little of how scenes the various scenes were put together and also a couple of interviews with the various stars of the movie. These type of features are usually pretty bland, but this is well worth watching just to see those very clever animals in action once again. One thing I enjoy watching is the ‘storyboard comparison’ – this is where we see how a scene was originally drafted to run before the filming took place. In this feature we focus on the ‘Ninja cat’ sequence – the screen split in two with concept drawings on one side and the finished article on the other side. This scene always makes me laugh – so it’s something I personally really enjoyed. The other extra is a trailer for the movie, it serves it’s purpose well and is probably only something you’ll watch the once – still nice to have though. The last real extra is a commentary you can listen to whilst watching the movie. This is provided by Lawrence Guterman (film director), Chris Defaria (Producer), James Bissel (production designer) and Sean Hayes (Mr Tinkles). Now, the first thing is that it sounds as though Sean Hayes has recorded his commentary anecdotes separately from the others – he doesn’t seem to interact with any of them and it’s a bit of a shame really – the others bounce off each other really well though and we get a few useful bits of info about the technical aspects of making such a film. Interesting stuff if you are interested in computer CGI work or just a fan of the film. So, that wraps it up – a competent film and a very technically good DVD with a plethora of extras that really suit things well. The animat
ed menus work a treat too in keeping the ‘espionage/spy’ pretence of the film flowing. Is this DVD worth buying? I’d have to say that, if you enjoy the film – then yes, definitely, but as the movie isn’t to everyone’s cup of tea I’d recommend you renting the movie first if you haven’t seen it before.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that this was another animated film for kids but the film offers us all a chance to take part in that little domesticated row... Cats or Dogs? The film follows the adventures of our little hero Lou (Beagle puppy) and how he accidentaly implements himself into the guarding of the new allegy cure by becoming the professors (Jeff Goldblum) dog. The film creates a fun little society of cats and dogs hierarchy with Buddy (Golden Retriever) at the top with the evil Mr Tinkers (Persian). The cats are trying to steal the formula so they can reverse it and make everyone allergic to dogs while the dogs try to prevent this from happening and aid the professor in his work. The human characters who are here to support our furry little friends work really well and the kid is not annoying which i feared he would be, this being a childrens film and all. There's only the professors family and the nursemaid then the rest of the film is the animals and its a good job to because this is where we find the funniest characters you could ever hope for. On the cats side you've got the three tricky siamese ninja cats fitting the breed perfectly, slick and sly... The Russian Blue is my favourite as he has injested the evidence along with a rubber mouse 'It is you who is in trouble..!' (Cute little accent attached). The mad leader Mr Tinkles is so insane, he's fantastic (Evil does not wear a bonnet!). His impersonation of his sick master is hilarious as he tells everyone in his xmas tree factory that they are fired... 'Do not ask why.. you have noone to blame but yourselves, unless you have a dog in which case, kick him when you get home... That is all...' The dogs are just as cool with Sam the Old English Sheepdog (Blow up, Blow up!) and Pete the little scampy one with all the techno gear. The newsreporter is a wolf breed and the top dog at head office a bull dog. It's all very kitch! The little cameo by the mice is brilliant don't want to ruin it but they will do anything for cheese, Montgomery Jack to be precise. So the stage is set, Lou is placed with his new scientific family and has to fend off attacks from the evil Mr Tinkers who himself has to fend off babying attacks from his masters nursemaid! Will the proffessor make the formula, will the cats take over the world... Watch and see. This film is so entertaining it is fun for the entire family, even the twenty year old at university... Particularly for dog and cat lovers everywhere no matter which one you prefer...
Well, I finally got round to watching Cats and Dogs on Easter Monday. No, not with the kids, don’t be silly, I watched it alone at ten o’clock at night. That way I could really enjoy it. You see, it’s my video, I bought it, but the kids have watched it loads of times and I don’t actually want to know there’s a funny bit coming up or this is the bit where… To get the boring plot stuff over with first – the story is basically that the cats and dogs are at war. The dogs are happy to share the world with people, while the cats want supremacy all for themselves. An eccentric scientist (played by Jeff Goldblum) is trying to invent a potion that will cure his allergy to dogs. The cats want to prevent this, because it’s in their favour for people to be allergic to dogs, it helps the cats’ cause. Therefore, the cats are constantly trying to break into the inventor’s laboratory and steal the work he has done. The dogs have to ensure the house is well guarded, so place one of their best dogs there. However, it comes time for the old dog to be pensioned off to a retirement in the sun and a newer, younger model must be chosen in his place. Enter Lou, a rather cute beagle. Destined for fame and a lifetime of bravery. Well, no, not really. The dog powers-that-be planted a litter of well-trained fierce Chihuahuas, but somehow, Lou slipped through the net. Now here he is, a dog with a mission – except no-one’s quite told him what to do. The dog side of things includes an Old English Sheepdog with a fringe problem, a Chinese Crested with a love of all things techie, a long-eared female Borzoi with an overdose of tummy tickling and Butch, the toughest of them all. Up against them, we have a mixture of street cats and pedigrees, ninja cats who back flip better than an Olympic gymnast, a Russian pedigree with a penchant for nasty weapons and, at the head of it all –
; a cute white fluffy cat called Mr. Tinkles. Beneath the pretty clothes and nice, clean baths he is forced to suffer, not to mention the very silly name, Mr. Tinkles is the meanest, most evil and ruthless cat on the planet. Oh yes. No, really, he is. Well, on a good day anyway. This is just my kind of film, I love cute movies with lots of sweet animals in and this had plenty – even hundreds of mice, yippee!! The effects are brilliant, there are loads of funny lines in it and it is one you can happily watch again and again. True, the humans are a bit boring and one-dimensional, but what do you expect? Look at Stuart Little. Jeff Goldblum and Elizabeth Perkins are good enough as Mr. And Mrs. Brody, while Alexander Pollock lands just on the right side of sickly as the little kid. Well, you knew there had to be one somewhere. But the stars of the film are the animals – and rightly so. Voiced by a variety of star names – Alec Baldwin, Charlton Heston, Jon Lovitz, Sean Hayes, Susan Sarandon – they purr and growl their way into our hearts, as we get caught up in this new slant on the good guys vs bad guys story. I loved it, but then I always love these kinds of films. My favourite movies include Monsters Inc. and A Bug’s Life, I’m a sucker for a cute animal and some clever lines. If you can’t stand that kind of thing, give this one a miss or let the kids watch it on their own. Right, I still haven’t seen 102 Dalmatians yet either. Off to bed, kids, Mum wants to watch the telly ;-)
This film will always help you identify those who like dogs and cats. Those that like the film are dog persons and those that didn't like it are lovers of cats. To be fair, cats do get a very negative image in this film. Always sly, evil, self-serving. The dogs, well, they're meant to be lovable, no matter what they look like. Long and short of the film is that a puppy is accidentally taken to a scientists home to help the dog forces to protect his lab work (an allergy cure against dogs) from the cats who want to rule. One cat wants to stop this work so that they can gain the upper hand, and attempts to kill the puppy several times, by exploding dog bones, ninja cats (they were cool!) or a Blue Russian assassin. The camera work was very cleverly done, you really see the world through their eyes, but the bits with the humans didn't really work too well, and it's a shame that they didn't flesh out Jeff Goldblums role any more. As usual they have a kid in the film that is too cute. Story was in parts too far fetched, but my children enjoyed it, and now expect me to get a dog with a kennel that has a link to their headquarters, and expect it to talk.. DVD has a good startup, you can choose to be either dog or cat person. In short, great for kids, okay for adults, as long as the animals are on the screen. Cats Rule!! NOT!!! UPDATE 9/4/02 - This is the set of extras you will find on the disc 1, The obligatory trailer (why do they bother putting this on?) 2, Jump to scene access 3, A TV promo programme 4, Audio commentary from Mr. Tinkles, Christopher De Faria (producer), James D. Bissell (art director) and Lawrence Guterman (director) 5, Trivia game about cats and dogs 6, A section on Mr. Tinkles in audition for several films like The Sixth Scratch, C2:Catinator, Apocalypse Meow and Furriest Gump. There are ot
her features on this like web links to the website for the film, and it's rumoured that there are Easter eggs on this, but I've yet to find them.
Cats and Dogs has recieved a lot of hype and from the adverts in the cinemas looked like the kind of kids movie that adults can watch and enjoy as much as the kids. CARTOONS IN LIVE ACTION The film recreates Tom and Jerry style action with live actors and real animals mixed with puppets. In this respect the film is very impressive. The animals are in the main cute and the action is very cleverly given that zany cartoon magic and violence that we've come to expect of the great classic cartoon houses. GOOEY! This is the only word that I know of to describe that slushy niceness that the likes of Disney add to movies. If you don't like the animal Disney movies you'll find this film heavy going too. The lead dog is sweet and childlike whilst the cats are little Arnie Schwartzeneggers with fur! It was funny at first but the whole thing started to feel as though it only had one joke and this joke was milked! OKAY, cats and dogs fight!!! We get it!! CLEVER CAMERA WORK If ...and only if you've ever wondered what it's like to see the world from a pet perspective you'll like the way the camera shots are all at knee height - its makes the action scenes a bit more in your face. STUFF THAT DIDN'T WORK Dog kennels filled with laptops, Drain covers with underground intelligence centres underneath them. Jeff Goldblum is wasted in this movie. He plays a scientist dad who is allergic to pets (oooh how contrived!) and has his experiments into allergy cures ruined by our hero the cute ickle puppy. THAT'S KIND OF WHERE I GAVE UP. I apologise, but for those of you like me who get bored with this kind of film I have to warn you - we switched it off after 30 minutes. The only thing that did interest us was the interactivity at the start where you could choose whose side you were on - Cats or Dogs. You could then view bits of the film etc related to your particular favourite. STILL AT
LEAST... The cats were superb....(not a big fan of dogs I'm afraid!)
For eons humans have thought they controlled the world. In reality the world has been controlled through an uneasy truce between cats and dogs. All this will soon to be disrupted if a certain Professor Brody is successful in developing a cure for the allergic reaction certain people have to dogs. If he is successful with his cure, it will upset the very fragile balance and dogs will rule. Fearful of this happening, a maniacal Persian cat named Mr. Tinkles is leading a massive covert operation to capture Professor Brody and destroy his cure for dog allergies. In addition, Mr. Tinkles plans to use the Professor?s cure to develop a virus that will make all humans allergic to dogs, not just a few. In the end Mr. Tinkles plans for cats to rule. So Mr. Tinkles and his crew of agents use a brave cat to lure the Professor?s beagle, Buddy, away from his home and ?catnap? him, leaving the Professor?s laboratory unprotected. However, the Brodys soon replace Buddy with a younger beagle named Lou. While Lou doesn?t possess Buddy?s experience he is blessed with a streak of luck that makes up for his inexperience. In addition, Lou is assisted by Butch, and his boss named Mastiff, who are seasoned agents in the covert dog command. What follows is an all out war for world domination as cats and dogs use all their tools to try and win and dominate forever. The ninja cats, Peek, the dog?s electronics wizard, the virus spreading rats and the power-hungry Mr. Tinkles, add some moments of humor. But only occasionally. The computer generated special effects work only sporadically. This film suffers from a lack of humor and some overwrought acting by Jeff Goldblum as Professor Brody. Directed by Lawrence Guterman. John Requa and Glenn Ficarra wrote the screenplay. This film has been rated "PG" by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). It was given this rating for "animal action and h
umor". "Some material may not be suitable for children".