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What Is The Movie Cats About

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How Does The Cats Movie End

In the film version of Cats, Victoria becomes the central heroine: a former house cat abandoned by her owner, who finds herself part of the Jellicle Tribe as they meet to make their annual Jellicle Choice. Tribe leader Old Deuteronomy picks one cat every year to ascend to the Heaviside Layer where they will be reborn into the life they have always wanted. The Jellicle Ball of the movie has many candidates this year, including Bustopher Jones , Jennyanydots , and Gus the Theater Cat However, after each of them makes their musical case for being chosen, Macavity kidnaps them with the intention of forcing Old Deuteronomy to choose him as the winner.

She is eventually saved by Mr. Mistoffelees , and the choice can be made free of Macavitys meddling. After singing the shows most iconic song Memory, Grizabella is chosen as the winner. She ascends into the sky towards the Heaviside Layer in a chandelier attached to a hot air balloon. Macavity, however, tries to make one last attempt at escape, latching into a rope hanging from the chandelier. He loses his grip and ends up stuck on the top of Nelsons Column with no hope of rescue as Grizabella journeys towards a new life.

Don’t Forget About The Digital Fur Technology

Even if you’ve never seen Cats, there are a couple of things the musical is known for: the song “Memory,” the scruffy costumes, and the oversize sets. There was always something of a disconnect seeing respected Broadway actors belt out technically accomplished showtunes while wearing ’80s-looking leotards and cat whiskers.

This production promises to be different. The creators promise “digital fur technology,” which is said to completely cover the actors in cat fur.

The sets, as you can see, stay true to the spirit of the original Cats sets, in that they’re full of chairs, tables, and props that are blown up so big, they make people look cat-sized.

Cats Is What Youd See If Your Third Eye Suddenly Opened Polygon

“The facts are these: Cats undermines itself in both editing and musical arrangement, barely has a plot to hang its hat on, and is CGI-ed into oblivion,” wrote Karen Han. “Yet theres something weirdly wonderful about just how committed Hooper is to his vision, which feels like it should have been audience-tested into something less phantasmagorical.”

What Was The Critical Response To The Cats Premiere

Cats had its world premiere in New York City on Dec. 16, with Hooper telling the assembled audience including nearly all of the movies stars, from Elba to Swift to Derulo that he had only finished editing the movie the morning prior. The movie left many attendees baffled and amused. The question remains: what exactly is the plot of Cats? Reactions have been mixed.

Why Did Cats Director Tom Hooper Make The Sets So Big

Cats review: The movie Cats doesnt even know what the ...

The new film features the lavish, carefully oversized furniture and backdrops of director Tom Hoopers set all designed to make the humans appear cat-sized. But as strange as this might seem, Hooper is adapting this faithfully from Cats original production design, which transformed the stage of the Winter Garden theater into a massive junkyard featuring an assortment of trash and accoutrements that were more than three times human size.

The problem youll run into with the film, however, is that Cats sense of scale shifts wildly from sequence to sequence: for example, the cats keep running into CGI mice that are actually as small as theyd be if the cats were human-sized. Dont try to make sense of this, because you wont: just assume that this is how big cats think they are. Or something.

Cats Movie Ending Explained: What It Really Means

Cats has been confusing audiences for decades on stage but the movies changes make its ending even more perplexing than usual!

Cats has been confusing audiences for decades on stage but the movies changes make its ending even more perplexing than usual! Universal Pictures and director Tom Hooper took on the unenviable task of adapting Andrew Lloyd Webbers wildly popular but deeply weird musical for the big screen. Most musical lovers have long considered the show, one of the longest-running on both the West End and Broadway, to be inherently unadaptable. After all, this is a musical with no spoken dialogue thats all about a group of cats singing to compete for the honor to die and be reincarnated.

Still, Cats is a massively beloved show that audiences still feel a lot of goodwill to, so its no wonder that Universal put down a reported $95 million budget for a family-friendly movie musical, just in time for Christmas. But with only a few days left of 2019, Cats stands as one of the true mega-flops of the year and perhaps one of the worst-reviewed movies of the decade.

RELATED: Cats Film Award Considerations Pulled By Universal

What Is The Heaviside Layer

The Heaviside Layer is actually a real thing, although it is typically better-known as the Kennelly-Heaviside layer. This is the name given to the layer of ionized gas occurring between roughly 56 and 93 miles above the ground. It’s one of several layers in the Earth’s ionosphere and one that was discovered would reflect radio signals back to earth.

The Heaviside Layer did not appear in T.S. Eliot’s original collection of poems, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, on which the musical is based. Rather, during correspondence with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, Eliot’s widow and the executor of his estate Valerie Eliot mentioned that all cars eventually go up up up to the Heaviside Layer.” This was helpful for Lloyd Webber and the production team of Cats in that it gave them something to string these disconnected and random poems together.  In the context of Cats, the Heaviside Layer is essentially Heaven, or the next step of existence that leads to reincarnation. It’s where the chosen Jellicle cat is sent before they can become the cat they have always wanted to be reborn into.

There are various ways the journey to the Heaviside Layer can be interpreted. Most see it as a sort of Christian afterlife, since the show itself is pretty full of similar imagery and rhetoric. Others have more morbidly imagined the Jellicle choice as a feline ritual sacrifice or an escape from the purgatory of the Jellicle junkyard .

When Will Cats The Movie Be Released Cast Trailer And Release Date Revealed

From Sir Ian McKellen to Taylor Swift, the new film adaptation of Cats is set to star some of biggest names from the acting and singing worlds.

A new movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webbers musicalCats is coming to the silver screen on 20 December 2019, starring Dame Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson and James Corden.

The film is expected to feature all the songs from the original stage musical, including Memory. From the release date to whos in the cast, heres everything we know so far.

Cats: Highlights From The Motion Picture Soundtrack

Cats: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack

All tracks are written by Andrew Lloyd Webber &T.S. Eliot , except where noted. All tracks are produced by Lloyd Webber, Tom Hooper and David Wilson, except where noted.

Cats: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack

“Prologue: Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats” Cast of the Motion Picture Cats 4:49
“Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer”
  • Danny Collins
“Old Deuteronomy”
  • Fairchild
“Magical Gus ” Lloyd Webber
“Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat”
  • Steven McRae
“Macavity: The Mystery Cat”
  • Swift
“The Ad-Dressing of Cats” Dench
Beautiful Ghosts Swift
UK Soundtrack Albums 3
US Soundtrack Albums ” rel=”nofollow”>Billboard) 8

Andrew Lloyd Webber Isn’t Sweating The ‘cats’ Movie

And lets not even get started on the tiny mice with human faces, or the dancing cockroaches, yes, which also serve as crunchy snacks for Rebel Wilsons Jennyanydots, a zaftig cat with showbiz aspirations who milks strained laughs from countless chunky-girl pratfalls.

In addition to the generally off-putting appearance of the cats, the proportions are all wrong with respect to their surrounding environment. Sometimes they go from appearing minuscule to giant-size within the same scene. And when Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler assembles much of the large ensemble in the dance number that officially kicks off the Jellicle Ball , they just look like hairy naked humans wearing cat ears. In fact, that interlude made me think of a hirsute equivalent of the frantic volcano opener from Goddess, the Vegas revue in Showgirls. Its very busy.

The misconceived movie musical that more frequently comes to mind, however, is Sidney Lumets The Wiz, a 1978 blunder that shares this films stubbornly unmagical handle on fantasy material, along with its overproduced bloat and lurid palette although Cats arguably has the edge in aesthetic ugliness. Small children might go for its glittery paint-box visuals and freakish anthropomorphic animals. But if youre among the millions who have always been perplexed by the popularity of Lloyd Webbers musical behemoth, this film will not solve that puzzle.

So What Is Cats About

Okay, so now youve seen the trailer for the movie titled Cats and maybe you have some questions. Why are the cats singing? Why are the cats wearing fur coats? Why any of it at all? Well, sit down little kitty because Old Vulture is here to explain it to you. Now the problem with trying to explain the plot of Cats is that even once someone does it, youre not really going to believe them. Youre going to assume that they left out some element that would give the whole thing some motivation, would help explain why exactly any of this is happening. But no. There is none, and even though this post is now going to explain to you roughly what Cats is about right now, the truth is that its hard to even accept until you see it.

There are a bunch of cats all running around in an alley. Many of them have personalities and names, names like Rum Tum Tugger and Grizabella and Macavity, and together they call themselves the Jellicle Cats. But this designation means nothing, really, and has little impact on the plot. The main takeaway is that they are cats who have names. Then a really big cat shows up named Old Deuteronomy who tells everyone that on this very night one cat gets to go to heaven. Old Deuteronomy calls it the Heaviside Layer, but most of the potential metaphors in Cats make no sense and this is the only one thats pretty clear. Its heaven.

And thats it? Cats! As the key art for the movie explains, You Will Believe. In what? No one knows.

What Is New In The Cats Movie

The movie turns Haywards character Victoria into a kind of audience surrogate, introducing her to the Jellicle world and including a new solo song for her penned by Swift and Lloyd Webber, Beautiful Ghosts, as a response to Hudsons emotional rendition of Memory. Also, the evil Macavity appears throughout. There are also now a few lines of dialogue, including some jokes for Corden and Wilson to share. And we see what happens following the musical numbers of Jennyanydots, Bustopher Jones and Gus, closing the loop on their story arcs. Meanwhile, Swifts Bombalurina is now a henchwoman of Macavity. And the reason Grizabella is so hated by the other Jellicle cats she turned to Macavity is more clearly articulated, although it remains fuzzy.

But mostly, the new Cats is a faithful adaptation of the stage play.

What Does Jellicle Mean

Why The Cats Movie Looks So Terrifying

The cats in Cats are Jellicle Cats. Its difficult to pinpoint what exactly jellicle is supposed to mean, but according to a Telegraph report, the phrase comes from T.S. Eliots very young niece trying to pronounce the words dear little cat.

From the song The Jellicle Ball, we learn that Jellicle Cats are black and white, Jellicle Cats are rather small, Jellicle Cats are merry and bright, and pleasant to hear when they caterwaul . That being said, the same song confirms that Jellicle Cats are of moderate size, so what is the truth? Additionally, the cats that attend the Jellicle Ball are of a variety of coat patterns far more than the simple black and white that the lyrics suggest.

What Did The Cats Look Like

In the stage musical, the performers dress in tight fur-patterned suits with fuzzy collars, arm warmers, leg warmers and fuzzy headpieces with ears. They wear cat face paint. These extremely tight catsuits are the source of much childhood confusion or distress surrounding the Cats VHS.

In the film, there are no catsuits or face paint! The cat fur, tails, ears, and whiskers are added digitally.

It was one of the coolest things Ive seen, Taylor Swift, who plays Bombalurina, told Entertainment Weekly. I want to know what else Taylor Swift has seen.

Its not animated, Swift said. And its not motion capture. Its somehow this new way that hasnt been done before. And theyre giving us a tail that moves naturally, and ears and whiskers.

Andrew Lloyd Webber himself appeared on Good Morning Britain and confirmed that theyve got this technique which isnt like CGI, but it turns you into a cat.

So you know its Taylor Swift … but shes a cat. He said that Taylor Swift wanted to see that part of the trailer 10 times.

What In The Jellicle Is Going On With The New ‘cats’ Movie


Every generation needs its baptism by fire.

I refer, of course, to ones first experience of Andrew Lloyd Webbers musical Cats, based on T.S. Eliots 1939 poetry collection titled Old Possums Book of Practical Cats. Perhaps some experienced Cats in the fur on Broadway, where it ran from 1982 to 2000 , while others were exposed to the whiskers-and-leg-warmers jamboree via VHS tape or community theater production. Nevertheless, it seems that many younger millennials and Gen Z have somehow escaped the Cats phenomenon, which director Tom Hooper seeks to correct with his movie version of Cats, covered in a fine digital fur.

If you have no prior familiarity with the wordy, purring absurdism of Cats, itll just hit harder, and youll likely have a lot of questions. First of all, what is a Jellicle cat? No one has ever adequately explained what a Jellicle cat is, despite a whole song describing Jellicle cats. According to the lyrics, Jellicle cats are blind when theyre born, can see in the dark, can look at a king and do various other activities that pretty much any cat can do. But youd better believe Jellicle cats both can and do, as they sing that at you near constantly.


½ out of 4 stars

Rating: Rated PG for peril, some thematic elements and rude humor.

Why Are All The Cats So Sexualized And What Is With The Fur

Its no real secret that humans have always had a thing for sexualizing cats and conversely using a wealth of cat euphemisms to objectify and dehumanize women. We describe two women fighting over a man as a catfight; when they get competitive, we say their claws come out. Cats plays right into this narrative, though in its egalitarian way, it sexualizes the men just as much as the women most notably, Rum Tum Tugger. Watch Terrence Mann, the original Rum Tum Tugger on Broadway, aggressively thrust sex appeal at the audience:

The blatant sexuality of this number didnt go unremarked-upon at the time; Frank Rich stated in his New York Times review that the only real flaw in this large company is Terrence V. Manns Rum Tum Tugger, who tries to imitate Mick Jaggers outlaw sexuality and misses by a wide mark.

Its not just one cat thats barely clothed and gyrating around the stage, of course, but all of them. To be fair to Cats, this is mainly because, again, its a dance musical the actors are dancing the entire time, so their costumes are skin-hugging, light uniforms out of necessity as much as style.

But Hooper, in his strange relish for recreating the exact parameters of the musicals he adapts , seems to have wanted to recreate the flesh-colored appearance of scantily clad, nearly-nude cats, in the vein of the original theatrical costumes but using photorealistic CGI fur to do it with.

If Cats Isnt Really Just About Cats What Is It About

Cats is also about the Trauma Of Old Age and the Sweet Release of Death.

During Cats development, the T.S. Eliot estate gave Lloyd Webber and Stilgoe access to a few of Elliots unpublished poems, including some sadder cat poems, and some unpublished poetic fragments that make it into Memory. The theme of Cats, if Cats can be said to have a theme beyond just cats, is whats encoded into these other unpublished works of Eliots and that theme is, um, the increasing obscurity and obsolescence of old age, and death as an escape from a nihilistic and cruel world.

Cats true underbelly is a super bleak, depressing story structured around offering its weird cultish reincarnation ritual to its oldest cats as, essentially, a mercy killing.

Both of the elderly cats in the show, Gus and Grizabella , are former performers cats who once had made names for themselves on the stage, more or less.

Gus, short for Asparagus, now hangs out as a cat usher reliving his glory days as a great actor of the Victorian age, while Grizabella is portrayed as a down-and-out stray who is hinted to have fallen into sex work after losing her once-stylish life. She haunted many a low resort, were told, and the other cats brutally reject her when she attempts to return to the community, noting that shes unrecognizable from the glamour cat she once was.

How Is Cats’ Ending Different From The Musical

Cats director Tom Hooper clearly has love for the original musical, as his movie is a fairly accurate adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking show. Yet, there are a few changes made to the source material. The most obvious is that the director attempted to give the film adaptation more of a linear narrative than the musical. The cats no longer break the fourth wall, with their stories all told through Victoria’s eyes. This choice makes sense to give Cats a more film feel, although it is startling when Judi Dench finally addresses the audience in the closing number. It was a moment that got an audible reaction from the audience during my Cats screening.

As for for Judi Dench, her role is actually gender-swapped from the usual casting of Cats the musical. Old Deuteronomy is usually played by a man, with a high baritone voice. Dench’s songs were adjusted to fit her voice, and she sounded killer in the role. If you didn’t already know Cats, you wouldn’t know any change was made. She has the necessary gravitas and wisdom for the role, and has had a long tenure in the theater.

When The Music Of Cats Is At Its Most Happy And Danceable Cats The Movie Shows Us Lots Of Other Stuff That Is Not A Bunch Of Happy Dancing Cats

Embedded above is the discombobulating, jarring, trippy overture to Cats. Theres a lot of discordant synthesizer noise at first that builds up, rather brilliantly, I think, to the introduction of Cats main theme at 1:11 the Jellicle cats theme. You can hear this very clearly in the orchestration: The single melody takes over from all the bombastic orchestral noise, the bottom drops out completely, and the only thing thats left is this slinky, delightfully feline melody.

What do you picture in your mind when you hear these soaring notes, my fellow travelers? Do you see, maybe, a row of curious, dizzying, daring cats venturing forth beneath an expansive London night? Or, perhaps, a single solitary cat leaping into the frame with all of the joy and majesty and agility that only a cat or a human pretending to be a cat could bring to this kind of bobbing, weaving melodic line?

Or do you see the visceral thump of a cats helpless body as it bounces off an alley step after being abandoned by its owner?

Guess which option Tom both feet in the bucket of cement Hooper got excited about? If you prayed for the former, you are, sadly, wrong.

You know like this:

What Is Cats About

Cats is an anthology-style musical that takes place over the course of one night. The cats gather in a junkyard and introduce themselves in song, making the case for why each one is worthy to enter the Heaviside Layer, the cat equivalent of Heaven, to be reborn as a younger, hotter cat. The proceedings are overseen by the delightfully rotund and kind Deuteronomy, although the shadow of the dread criminal cat Macavity looms.

Each song is generally about a cat introducing itself, or a cat telling a story about its life. During the night, a washed-up old cat named Grizabella attempts to join the festivities several times, but is rejected. The other cats judge her ragged coat and colorful past, and shun her.

After the lead cats have their moment in the spotlight, Deuteronomy decides that Grizabella deserves to ascend to the Heaviside Layer, and up she goes.

Cats: It’s All About The Jellicle Ball

Everyone Said the Same Thing About the New

While Cats might be a somewhat confusing moviegoing experience, the plot is actually simple. Just like the Cats musical, once a year the Jellicle Cats assemble for the most exciting of days– appropriately named The Jellicle Ball. It’s a grand contest, where one cat is chosen for the Jellicle Choice. See a theme here?

In the Cats musical and movie, the winner of the Jellicle Choice is given a new life. That lucky kitty ascends to the Heaviside Layer, where it transforms into everything it ever wanted to be. The stakes are high for the cats of Cats, and plenty of colorful characters show up to compete for the affections of Judi Dench’s Old Deuteronomy. O.D. is the one who makes said Jellicle Choice, and picks the most deserving candidate from the group of cats.

That’s it. Every cat wants to win, and only one will. The runtime of Cats is made up of various cats showing up to join the competition, and hopefully go to the Heaviside Layer. Each of the starring cast members pop up and sing a song, allowing for the Cats movie to function as a true ensemble project. But every competition has its winner, and for Cats that is Jennifer Hudson’s Grizabella, the glamor cat.

The Cat Fur Cgi Is Poorly Executed

So much has been written about the now-infamous “digital fur technology” of Cats and the myriad ways it failed. Tom Hooper and company decided to eschew the musical’s more theatrical approach to the cats themselves and aim for something close to realism but still from an entirely different planet. Now the actors have fully hairy bodies, cat ears, and tails. It was always a strange approach for the film to take. Why concentrate so much on making these actors look as much like cats as they can when the musical itself is heavily dance-focused and requires a greater focus on the human body? This meant that the audience could not help but spend too much time thinking about how strange and unnerving these cat-people looked and moved. Why does a cat have human feet and how can they go up en-pointe without shoes? The uncanny valley nature of it was at an all-time high.

RELATED: The Weirdest Things That Happen In Cats

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