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Behind-the-Scenes Look at Cats Does Nothing to Make Me Less Afraid of Cats

Cats the Movie Musical

I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to judging a movie before it comes out, but I feel like it’s okay that I’m preemptively judging Cats. I, a fan of the stage musical, was excited at first because the idea of adults dressed like cats and running around a stage is always a delightful thing to see. But then, the trailer came out for the Tom Hooper movie, and I felt all hope I ever had leave my body.

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First, let’s get into Cats a bit. Based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Elliot, the musical is a mess created by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber that makes very little sense, but it’s funny because it’s basically hot dancers dressed like kitties. So, that’s what I assumed the movie was going to be … but instead, we got this CGI mess.

Here is the original trailer for the movie:

Terrifying, right? Well, here’s the behind-the-scenes look that is absolutely not any better:

So … everyone is just really happy to be crawling around like cats, even though they’re CGI monsters in the trailer, and I have to ask: Who is responsible for this CGI choice? Especially since I’d much rather watch Idris Elba in a beanie trying to be a cat than whatever the original trailer was.

While Taylor Swift is really excited to be a cat, and I’m pretty sure James Corden would do anything if he got to sing in it, this featurette just talks about being in a musical? And what that’s like? Even though … it’s the same as how every musical adaptation kind of works? You go through a rehearsal process and get to embody your characters in a different way than you would a typical movie because, you know … musicals.

Still, I don’t really understand the difference between this film and literally any other adaptation because, when you look at Cats, it’s just a different musical, but not any more tiring than something like Cabaret or Chicago. There’s just more fur involved—well, not even, because again, they are CGI cats. (I know, I’m pretty mad about this, but if you look at Terrance Mann in the original Cats, you’ll understand. It’s a fun time.)

That being said, the plot of Cats is basically that a bunch of cats are trying to get into cat heaven or something like that, and there are beautiful ballet numbers and cats are having an existential crisis about being cats. Actually, maybe this is the perfect kind of movie for 2019.

(image: Universal Pictures)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.