Friday, March 7, 2014

Project Disney- The Aristocats

Project Disney: The plan is to tackle all of the Disney films, re-reading the classic stories and tales that inspired many of them and to look at how the changes the filmmakers made, the new elements they introduced and the essential elements they kept. We will, of course, be talking about the films as movies as well, saying why we enjoy them and what some of our favorite moments are, but our focus will be on looking at them as adaptations. For the films that are not drawn from any one work we’ll be looking at some of the possible literary influences that we see in the stories. I am participating in Project Disney inspired by Picture Me Reading!  

This week's Project Disney is The Aristocats based off the short story by Tom Mcgowan and Tom Rowe. It has been really hard to find the source story.  I read that it is one of the few Disney films to have an original story for the premise of the film. I can't find the story anywhere, there is information on the internet on how it all went about.  It took a few years and few rejections to get this project under way.  This was the last film to be approved by Walt Disney himself before he passed away.

The Aristocats was a movie I adored growing up.  I know all the songs and can quote along with the film.  I think a lot of people tend to forget about this film.  Yes the villain Edgar is one of the weakest villains in Disney history in my opinion.  But otherwise a good film.  He is not scary, he is not a criminal mastermind with minions.  No he is a butler who has devoted his whole life to his madam (Adelaide Bonfamille) and he discovers that she is going to leave him her fortune in her will only after he takes care of her cats.  He's afraid that he will die before this happens and so then he decides to get rid of the cats.  The odd thing about this is I guess he doesn't realize that while taking care of the cats he'd have access to the fortune anyways.. but hey some plot holes have to happen right?

Now to the kitties.  The are Duchess the mother cat, then Marie, Berlioz, and Toulouse the kittens.  I love Marie so much.  Marie thinks she is such a proper little kitten and is always telling her brothers about being a lady.  I know that some people have a problem with this and would say it's not a good example for girls that Marie is always having the men do things for her.  But I just think it's fun to be a girly girl sometimes.  Edgar takes the cats to the country sides and leaves them there. Of course Duchess doesn't know what to do and ends up meeting an alley cat name Thomas O'Malley.  O'Malley agrees to help Duchess and the kittens get back to Paris.

While heading to Paris the cats meet some fun friends of O'Malley's.  This is the part of the movie where we get to hear some wonderful jazz music.  The song "Everybody Wants to Be a Cat" is a song I still sing to this day.  So catchy. Duchess and O'Malley fall in love but Duchess decides that she needs to get back to Madame.  I think having the film take place in France is fun too.. listening to all the French accents the cats have!   Though let's be honest.  Why are there American jazz artists in France in 1910? The film has a lot of plot holes but if you just watch it for the cats you will be fine. Eventually the cats do make it back to their house and of course O'Malley is accepted into the family. 

I am sorry I didn't have the story to compare the film to it this time around in Project Disney.  I think there will be a few more films coming up with original stores where it will be the same situation (Lilo and Stitch I think is one).  

Be sure to check out my other Project Disney:
Peter Pan
Treasure Planet
Sleeping Beauty
The Great Mouse Detective 
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Princess and the Frog
Beauty and the Beast
Lady and the Tramp
Alice in Wonderland
The Rescuers
The Rescuers Down Under
Oliver and Company
The Little Mermaid
101 Dalmatians
Fantasia 2000
The Jungle Book
The Emperor's New Groove
The Sword in the Stone
The Lion King
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
Robin Hood
The Black Cauldron 
Mary Poppins
Lilo and Stitch
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Make Mine Music
Fox and the Hound
Melody Time 


  1. I've never seen the movie, but I do love that song.

  2. Oooh what a neat feature! Disney! :) Ok I don't think I've seen this one. But why haven't I? I love cats!!

  3. Aww, those GIFs are the CUTEST <3 Confession: I haven't watched The Aristocats. BUT I think I'll. In real life, I'm more of a dog person but I do love me some animated kittens :) Great post!

  4. I don't think a lot of people have seen the Aristocats .. it is just one of those Disney movies that falls into the cracks. Which is too bad. It's older and just not popular. No princess in it, and witches and such. The villain is ho-hum. But it is still fun to watch at least once.

  5. If you love cats you will probably really like this movie. In fact.. Marie is quite popular. If you go to the Disney store you will see Marie tee-shirts! (she is the white kitten).

  6. How cool that you know the song!! That song is so fun.. and sometimes I'll sing it to my cats.

  7. I haven't seen this one in a long time! I really need to, so I can hear the music again! I agree with you - it is definitely fun to be a girly girl sometimes. :D

  8. When I was younger I had a few Disney sing-a-long tapes... the kind with the words at the bottom of the screen and the bouncing Mickey head to tell you when to sing. I think it must have been on one of those, because otherwise I have no idea where I would have heard it!

  9. That is too bad that there was no original story to read for this movie. The funny part is that I always claimed Marie to be my favorite Disney character. I have always disliked this movie because as a little kid I was afraid of dogs and the dog scene always gave me nightmares because I was pretty sure those dogs were chasing me. I haven't watched the movie in years and honestly I don't really care to watch the movie. I should watch it and see what my reaction is now.

  10. I had this record player when I was younger where I also had some song records. It's really how I know all the Disney songs too (even though I did have the movies also). Great songs can come from Disney movies just look at Frozen.

  11. I know right? I wanted to read this original short story but alas it was no where to be found. I looked all over the internet and nothing. Just people saying that one existed.

    I am sure you would be OK watching the movie now even though there are dogs in it. Crazy how things affect us as kids. I was always a little scared of the movie The Secret of Nimh. Just the dark film and the scary rats ?? My cousin watched Mulan at 5? I think was her age, anyways.. she was terrified of Shan Yu and I didn't really think he was going to be that scary to her. So I had to fast forward the parts with him on it.

  12. I had no idea this was based on a short story! The music in this one is up with my favourites for Disney music.

  13. I like the music too.. I just love the jazz, even though I do think that the fact that the cats run into this jazz band out of nowhere is a little bit funny.

  14. I adore this movie! I was always of a fan of Toulouse, but Marie was my second favorite. I really love this feature.

  15. Thanks! I love this feature too. I was so glad to discover it though the hosting blog doesn't blog anymore. I have continued. I can't wait to finish and be able to say that I read all the books the movies are based on.

  16. I didn't know this was the last movie approved by Walt himself! I used to love this movie when I was little. I love that song! It's been a while since I've seen the movie though. Great post, Angela.

    Sarah @Vampire (and Other Paranormal Things) Queen

  17. I too was surprised to see that this was the last movie that Walt had his hands on!!! Such great tidbits I've been learning since doing Project Disney. Lots of fun!

  18. I had the book for this one when I was little, but I think it was based on the movie, not an original short story. I loved to read it over and over though. Marie was also my fav :D Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.