Remakes and live adaptations of just about anything have the potential to be wonderful, magical experiences. A leading example of live action adaptations is Disney with their line of live action movies of their classics such as their 2017 film Beauty and the Beast, this years film Dumbo and their next major film being The Lion King.
A trailer for a new live action movie has just dropped, but it isn't based off an animated classic. It's a Broadway musical.
CATS the musical is based on T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. It is one of the longest-running shoes in West End and Broadway history and premiered in 1981. It has been presented in over 30 countries and has been translated into 15 languages.
This wildly popular musical is about the Jellicle Cats coming out for the night of the Jellicle Ball. The cat characters tell their stories to their leader, Old Deuteronomy, who had to choose on of them to go to The Heaviside Layer to be reborn to a new Jellicle life. The beloved characters of the musical include Rum Tum Tugger, Mr. Mistoffelees, Macavity, Jennyanydots, Old Deuteronomy, Grizabella and Skimbleshanks.
The trailer just dropped for the movie and to be honest, I have horrifyingly mixed feelings.
From a financial aspect, this has the potential to become a major success. You have people who have seen a production of CATS, and now they get to see a movie production. You have generations who have never seen a production of CATS and now they get a movie and that is their way of seeing it. This will also be people's first exposure to CATS at all if they haven't heard of the musical or don't know what it is about. There are so many potential audience members that would love to see this and will make the movie a success.
With the technological advances that are being used in the movie industry, even before the live action Disney remakes such as the 2009 film Avatar, films are able to take something that could only be animated and bringing it to life. The trailer and the movie itself showcases the amount of detail that has been put into the feline characters. We can see the textures of the fur and little hairs sticking up like a real cat. It really is a beautiful way to showcase what modern technology is capable of doing.
as the trailer rolls and we see the "cats" running around, singing and dancing, I feel like I am watching a bunch of furries running around on a movie set. For those of you who don't know, a furry is the subculture interested in anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. An easy way to imagine this is to have someone dressed up in a cartoon animal costume.
With movies and especially Broadway musicals audience members have a suspension of belief where they see what is in front of them and go "okay, I'll believe this". With the Lion King, we believe that the animals can talk and a lion cub can be adopted by a warthog and meerkat.
When I look at CATS the musical, you can't have literal cats running around and talking. So if you were to see the Broadway musical, you would have the suspension of belief that these were people and see them as "cat characters". However, seeing it done in a movie, you have these humanoid cats running around like a literal cat. They have cat ears, cat tails, cat fur but human faces, hands and feet.
In all honesty, the movie looks incredibly creepy. I can't get past the fact that they look too human and remind me of furries. Given that this movie has had a lot of animation done to it given the cat features, it reminds me a little of Puss in Boots, the movie about the character Puss in Boots from the Shrek movies where the majority of the characters are cats.
I'm not sure how this movie will do. As more trailers come out we might see more interactions and less dancing, we might get more dialogue, who knows! But my first impression, this is beyond creepy!