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Cats & Dogs (DVD)
Member Name: Mush
Cats & Dogs (DVD)
Date: 07/08/01, updated on 07/08/01 (152 review reads)
Advantages: FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY, EXCELLENT ANIMAL ANTICS, MORE FUNNY!
Disadvantages: I'm gonna have to wait too long for the DVD!
I have been on the edge of my seat with excitement waiting for this one ever since I saw the trailer. I knew it was a PG, and may well be a bit young for me. I knew it was yet another movie with cute talking animals. I knew it may well (once again) be another movie with special effects instead at the expense of storyline. But generally my judgement serves me well, and this one just seemed to click.
It was very fortunate that my friends have a young son, and I suggested he might enjoy a trip to see the film (yeah...purely altruistic I know), and hey, why not bring Ms. M along for a family day out! And of course any of the gang who had nothing better to do...
Ms. M didn’t take much convincing (we had been to see Dr. Doolittle 2 last weekend, and she was on a cute animal high still), so we met the gang at the cinema...
Unbeknownst to us humans, cats and dogs have been locked in a struggle for supremacy since Egyptian times, when dogs overthrew the cats (who had enslaved humans). Since then humans and dogs have coexisted in harmony.... until NOW!
Cats and dogs have surpassed humans in sophistication and technology. Cat aeroplane backpacks, dog intercoms in collars, cats with hefty weaponry, dogs with a MASSIVE base at the centre of the earth. We simply haven’t noticed because they are far cleverer than us. They can talk too.
An evil dictator-esque feline (‘Mr. Tinkles’, with the voice of Sean Hayes) has hatched a plot to make all humans allergic to dogs by reformulating an antidote created by Professor Brody (Jeff Goldblum). All he has to do is capture the vaccine with the help of his evil kitty associates and the results will place cats in control once more. Of course the dogs are aware of the Prof.’s work, and have him (along with his family, played by Elizabeth Perkins and Alexander Pollock) guarded by a group of secret agents.
It all goes belly up w
hen the cats capture the dog secret agent who guards the Brodys. A new agent must be drafted in, and purely by accident it ends up being a puppy called Lou (voiced by Tobey Maguire). Can Lou protect the Professor, his family and the antidote? Will he be able to forge a proper relationship with the family? Will the cats take over the world? If you could lick your backside, would you?
Jeff Goldblum – funny pause, funny face, brief line, funny pause, vomit stomach acids over food, funny pause with funny face, then another brief line. Ok, maybe one of those was missing from this film.
Oh Jeff Goldblum is himself as the Professor. Lovable, dopey, innocuous. Elizabeth Perkins is OK. The kid (Alexander Pollock) is also OK (not TOO sweet). Myriam Margoyles as Mr Tinkle’s maid reprises her role from Romeo & Juliet, and is probably the strongest acting force here as the unwitting thorn in the kitty dictator’s side.
But the humans are just the fall guys. The real focus is on the animals.
Where possible the makers attempted to use real animals, but quite frankly it’s almost impossible to tell when they are not. And the animals do the business brilliantly – lots of lovely looking critters with brilliantly expressive faces (of course some expressions are computer graphics..only a few though...dogs really can smile and talk you know...). A cute beagle, a big shaggy sheepdog, a really fluffy white cat, a squashy faced calico, kittens, dobermann puppies, etc. etc all vie for the 'aahs' and the laughs. Which will both occur in abundance.
It may or may not have been intentional that the animal’s acting is far better and far less wooden than some of the humans?! (Name no names....Goldblum) The voice characterisations seem to have been well chosen in each case too.
I really can’t remember when I last laughed so much at the cinema.
This is one of the funniest films I’ve seen in ages. There are lots of kiddie gags (which can be fully appreciated when you go to an earlier viewing and the kids laugh along too) such as stealth dog poo, dogs and cats being catapulted (geddit? Or should it also be doggapulted?) and goo cannons. There are mid level funnies, like the ludicrous ninja cats and their aeroplane backpacks.
And there are the grown up jokes. A bit more subtle, but in some places just brilliant. I laughed my bottoms off when one dog accused someone of being ‘a son of my Mum’. Later on you catch a brief glimpse of the dog hanging his head out of the window of a supersonic car - all flappy ears! The cat with a furball habit who gives away secret information he was supposed to have destroyed (by eating it!). The evil Mr. Tinkles is the piece de resistance – watch carefully for some of his antics – and his come-uppance at the very end is wonderful!
The SPECIAL EFFECTS
Here you have two types of special effect. Firstly you have the talking animals getting up to all sorts of un-animal like shenanigans. And yeah, its really good. Better than Doolittle (and that’s all they had to do in Doolittle!). You’ve also got the superior technology of the animals to portray – hidden radar emplacements, cat weaponry such as boomerang knives, huge dog operations bases and communications systems. And this is also done really well, putting lots of sci-fi flicks to shame.
You never really question any of the special effects, simply because after 10 minutes you stop questioning anything!
Is it for KIDS?
Knackers is it. It’s got something for everybody.
There are cute animals and a bit of slapstick for the kids, and some top gags and one liners for the grown ups. There is loads going on to appeal to people of all ages, and it’s the sort of film you can see more than once because there is bo
und to be stuff you missed first time round.
This movie does draw on a lot of things that will have the adults all nostalgic for the old days of Warner Brother cartoons – dogs and cats fighting (you even catch a glimpse of the old cartoons), stupid humans and even an acme weapon! (blink and you’ll miss it!). There are also bits ripped from other movies, but I'll leave you to catch them!
One major criticism I have heard regarding this goes along the lines of ‘Ooh! It makes cats out to be EVIL and bad! It’s so unfair! Wah wah wah! Dogs good, cats bad! Woo woo!’. My response to this is as follows...
It’s just a bit of harmless fun! Even though I have seen a movie about cats taking over the world, I know it’s not true, and still intend to get a kitten in the Autumn!
And another thing, you never hear people going ‘Wah wah wah’ at James Bond films which have the Russians or mentally unstable people as the bad guys. Or where the bad guys are beings from outer space (they have rights too!) or monsters from ancient Egypt just trying to find their lost love (where is your compassion Brendan Fraser?!). But oh no...put the baddie in a furry cat costume, and all the feline rights campaigners chirp up with their protestations.
Balls. Take it with a pinch of salt for the fun it is. Sit back and enjoy the movie.
Also, as I have discussed many a time in other ops, the storyline isn’t the most gripping. But I’m sorry, I was having far too much fun watching the funny animals and the special effects and the brilliant action and hilarious sights flashing before my eyes to notice! You want storyline? Go see a French film, or some dull, twee trash with Richard Gere or Julia Roberts, or even better READ A BOOK!
Usually the indicator of a good film is how long it takes me
once the film has started before looking at my watch (I’m a bit of a clock watcher!). A good film will last maybe one...one and a half hours. A bad film will have me watching Mr Second hand within a half hour.
While watching Cats and Dogs I forgot I had a watch.
What are you waiting for? Go book a ticket! Go on...do it now! Well...rate the op and drop in a crown hint first, but then go...
And I didn’t even tell you about the mice...watch for the mice...