Veteran Disney director Wolfgang Reitherman (The Jungle Book, Winnie The Pooh and The Blustery Day, Robin Hood) helms a high energy mixture of wild adventure, colorful characters and toe tapping musical numbers. Feline heiress Duchess and her three darling kittens Toulouse, Berlioz & Marie are joined by a stellar cast of lovable animal friends, including Thomas O'Malley (aka the Alley Cat), Scat Cat, Roquefort the Mouse and the amusingly woozy goose, Uncle Waldo.
The film features inspired performances from favorite Disney voice performers including Eva Gabor, Phil Harris and Sterling Halloway. Maurice Chevalier, who performs the opening song, came out of retirement especially for this film. The last film that Walt Disney put into production himself, The Aristocats brims with comedy, romance and joy.
The Aristocats Voice Cast List
Lord Tim Hudson
... J. Thomas O'Malley
... Roquefort the Mouse
... Edgar the Butler
... Scat Cat
... Chinese Cat
... English Cat
... Italian Cat
... Russian Cat
... Madame Adelaide Bonfamille
... Georges Hautecourt
... Abigail Gabble
... Amelia Gabble
... Frou-Frou the Carriage Horse
... Uncle Waldo
Duchess (Eva Gabor) and her three adorable kittens, Berlioz, Marie and Toulouse, hit the jackpot when their eccentric Paris millionairess owner bequeaths them her entire estate. Their life of luxury is cut short, however, when the mistress's greedy butler Edgar plots to inherit the fortune himself by absconding with the little feline family and abandoning them far from home. Lost in the French countryside, they meet a rough-and-tumble, big-hearted tomcat named Thomas O'Malley (Phil Harris), who takes them under his wing and introduces them to his life as a jazzy bohemian hepcat, before he helps them find their way back to the Paris. Musical numbers such as "Ev'rybody Wants to be a Cat," "Scales and Arpeggios" and "Thomas O'Malley Cat" from Academy Award® Best Song (the unforgettable "Chim Chim Cheree," from Mary Poppins) winning team of Robert B. and Richard M. Sherman (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Jungle Book and The Tigger Movie) keep spirits high in this delightfully droll animated adventure.
The Aristocats is one those Disney classic animated films. This film is the last that Walt Disney himself greenlit. The film follows the adventures of the very pampered cat, Duchess, and her three kittens find themselves dumped in the French countryside by Edgar the butler. The majority of the film follows their adventure to get back to their caring human mistress in Paris. Along the way, they hook up with Thomas O'Malley, an alley cat, and two prim geese. Once they all reach Paris, they encounter Uncle Waldo and lastly Scat Cat and his band of alley cats. The film climaxes with all the cats (with the help of Frou-Frou the horse and Roquefort the mouse) thwarting Edgar's scheme.
The film follows the usual Disney formula, although this film probably skews even younger than most since the "bad guy" here is more of a baffoon and far less threatening or nightmare-inspiring than a witch (Snow White) or pirate (Peter Pan) or tiger (The Jungle Book) and the protagonists are a brood of cute cats. The film has a handful of catchy tunes from the Sherman brothers and a number of memorable supporting characters: Roquefort the mouse, Frou-Frou the horse, Uncle Waldo the goose and his two nieces, Scat Cat and the rest of the alley cats. The Aristocats is one of those rare classics that is timeless and worthy of adding to your film collection for future generations.
This being a single disc Special Edition DVD, rather than the two-disc Platinum Editions that are also gradually being issued, the extras clock in at just over thirty minutes and are mostly aimed at younger viewers. The extras mostly fit into the three standard categories: Backstage Disney, Games & Activities and Music & More. The Backstage Disney extras include a featurette on the Sherman brothers and is disappointingly short. We hope that additional material is being held back for the eventual Platinum Edition release. The other two Backstage Disney extras are an art gallery of original sketches and footage from a Walt Disney-hosted animated piece on the history of the domestic cat. These along with the deleted song, "She Never Felt Alone" are the only extras for adults. The remaining extras include two set-top games which are for kids, but very time consuming and unlikely to hold attention for long. The Music & More section is basically film clips of the four songs featured in the film with optional captioning. The final extra is a short animated film featuring Figaro the cat and his mistress Minnie Mouse. The reissue of the film is enough to pick up the DVD and so the extras make for a little bonus.
The Aristocats Special Edition DVD Extras:
— Deleted Song: "She Never Felt Alone" [~7:50] - Introduced by Disney songwriter Richard Sherman
— Backstage Disney: The Sherman Brothers - The Aristocrats of Disney Songs [~4:20]
— Backstage Disney: The Great Cat Family [~12:50] - (Excerpt) Original Air Date: September 19, 1956
— Backstage Disney: The Aristocats Scrapbook - Art Gallery
— Music & More: "The Aristocats", "Scales and Arpeggios", "Thomas O'Malley Cat" and "Ev'rybody Wants To Be A Cat"
— Games & Activities: Disney Virtual Kitten - In a set-top feature, adopt your own virtual kitty.
— Games & Activities: The Aristocats Fun with Languages Game
— Bonus Short: Figaro's Bath Day [6:35] - Animated short.