(out of 5)
Absolutely wonderful Disney film that is a treat for all ages. After a wealthy dowager dies, she leaves her entire fortune to her beautiful cat Duchess (voiced marvelously by Eva Gabor) and her adorable little kittens. The deceased’s long-suffering butler is mighty angry at the turnout and decides to dispose of the animals and keep the fortune for himself. After he has dumped the entire cat family in the middle of nowhere with no means of survival, Duchess begins a journey across the country in order to get herself back home where she belongs. Adventures they have, and new friends they do make, particularly after one alley cat named J. Thomas O’Malley (Phil Harris) takes them to his jazz crib for an all-night music festival. Duchess is a wise and loving character that children and adults can learn from: despite being of wealthy pedigree and good breeding, she has no problem staying at Thomas’s raggedy house and never for a second looks down her nose at anyone. This, as well as the fantastic musical score that culminates with the exciting “Ev’rybody Wants To Be A Cat” number, are just a few of the reasons to watch this excellent film.
Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman
Produced by Winston Hibler, Wolfgang Reitherman
Music by George Bruns
Production Design by Ken Anderson
Film Editing by Tom Acosta