Especially nowadays, if someone asked “What’s your favorite Disney movie?” Chances are you won’t hear. “The Aristocats ” in response. That doesn’t mean it will never be said. Every Disney movie is someone’s favorite Disney movie. There are people who genuinely love it, but it’s usually not one that most people could choose from, especially compared to princess classics like Cinderella, or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, or even any of the renaissance movies like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, or The king of lions.
Today 50 years ago, The Aristocats was released in theaters. Fans will know that I usually write about the turbulent past regarding production, which The Aristocats he did not have. Instead, I’ve put together some of my favorite trivia and fun anecdotes about the 20th feature-length animated feature film from Walt Disney Animation Studios.
The Aristocats is inspired by a true story
The first film to be fully completed after the death of Walt Disney, The Aristocats tells the story of a family of aristocratic cats and how an acquaintance of the cats in the alley helps them after the butler Edgar kidnaps them in order to gain the wealth of his mistress, who was supposed to go to the cats. This is actually inspired by the true story of a group of Parisian cats who inherited their owner’s fortune in 1910. It has now proved that this specific case is very difficult to find more information about, however, to date the practice of leaving money and items after the death of their pets is one that is still happening. The story was originally supposed to be a two-part entrance to The The wonderful world of Disney, but before his death, Walt Disney suggested that it might work better as an animated film. Directed by one of Walt’s “Nine Old Men,” Wolfgang Reitherman, the animated film is the first to have no direct input (other than an animation proposal) from Walt Disney himself. Many consider this one of the main flaws of the film, citing it as one of the weaker entries from the studio as a whole, as it sometimes turns out to be detached and missing, especially compared to 101 Dalmatian which was published earlier and had a different story, but a similar action points to The Aristocats. Not to mention the infamous use of “recycled” animation, which has unfortunately become a bit of a trademark of director Woolie Reitherman. See also: Robin Hood.
Scat Cat was originally intended for the voice of Louis Armstrong
Although the film is set in 1910, and Jazz was introduced to France only after the First World War, the musical style has a prominent place in The Aristocats. The character of Scat Cat, originally called “Satchmo Cat” was to be brought out by legendary jazz musician Louis Armstrong. Walt Disney Studios had a strong working relationship with the musician. He would play at Disneyland aboard Mark Twain, as he played at Disneyland After Dark special, and even made an album cover of classic Disney tunes, the so-called Disney songs Satchmo Way 1968
The character is even designed to look like Satchm himself, especially in the way they animated the character playing the trumpet, and especially the gap in his teeth, which is extremely similar to Armstrong’s. Allegedly, just because he got sick and couldn’t record the dialogue, he couldn’t take on a role in the production. The team, however, was so excited that they did most of the story for the character and gave him their own jazz number. When the role was taken over by Scatman Crothers, the character’s name was changed to Scat Cat and the song “Everybody Wants To Be A Cat” was introduced. Crothers was reportedly told on set that he was “pretending to be Satchmo.” The song became the anthem of the film, and Scat Cat became one of the most popular characters from the production, and there is even a salon named after him in Walt Disney WorldPort Orleans Resort – French Quarter, Scat Cat’s Club.
Aristocrats II Was Canceled
In the early mid-2000s, a series of sequels to classic animated films were shot directly on video. The sequels were mostly produced by DisneyToon Studios, not Walt Disney Animation Studios, then better known as Walt Disney Feature Animation. They were poor in story and animation quality, and they were created simply as grabbing money to take advantage of the domestic video and DVD market, especially when you look at the fact that Walt Disney said he never wanted sequels to animated films. In fact, the first sequel to Disney animation ever was in 1990, well after his death, with the theatrical release of the film Lifeguards down below. The Aristocats 2 went into production in 2005 and is scheduled for direct release in the 2007/8 video edition. In fact, the acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios played a significant role in this story, as under that deal, then-Pixar boss John Lasseter took over as chief creative officer of all branches and affiliates of Disney Animation and halted the trend directly to video sequels. This has stopped Aristocrats II dead on the trail. Apparently the film had problems with the script and story from the beginning, and we don’t even know what could have happened to this film, and probably a big reason why Lasseter didn’t have a problem shutting down production.
We mentioned another of Walt’s “Nine Old Men,” Wolfgang Reitherman earlier, but let’s talk for a moment about another, Eric Larson. Larson has been working on everything since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Cinderella. In the first days, as you say, he also worked on it. For The Aristocats, Larson served as a character animator, contributing to the characters of Roquefort, Kitten and Scat the Cat. These were the main efforts and the main focus of the film for him. Although this is not the last film he would ever work on (it would be Great Mouse Detective) it was the last film in which he participated significantly, as he gained a taste for teaching. It was later The Aristocats that he began to diminish his animatory role in the studio, descending to supporting characters Robin Hood, animating less and less before reducing his role to an “animation advisor” in later films. Why? He started focusing on teaching and started an employment program that would bring new talents to the studio. We can thank Larson for giving us not only Scat Cat, Marie, Toulouse and Berlioz, but also after The Aristocats, brings us animators Glen Keane, John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Tim Burton, Randy Cartwright, Ron Clements, Andreas Deja, Mark Henn, John Musker, Joe Ranft, Henry Selick and so many others.
Thomas O’Malley’s fan theory
Pronounced by Phil Harris (who also provided Baloo ‘s voice in A book about the jungle and Little John u Robin Hood), Thomas O’Malley is a street smart street cat (echoes of the Tramp in Lady and the Tramp) which helps the Duchess and her kittens throughout the film. Fans of the film are quick to point out that Thomas O’Malley (despite a famously wrong answer in the show) is not his full name. His full name would be Abraham DeLacey Giuseppe Casey Thomas O’Malley, the alley cat. Now I’m not one of those who promotes fan theories because they usually stretch and meddle in the original vision of the story. Just look at what Frozen did Tarzan which literally had to be considered wrong in Frozen 2. It could be an article in itself, but there is one theory that bases the heart, doesn’t change the plot or the story of anything else, and has a bit of an origin I can actually come up with that explains O’Malley’s name. The theory is that this could be a combination of different names given to him by different “owners” of O’Malley throughout his life. Even the duchess at one point found herself “covering” his name[s] the whole of Europe. “It’s not a complete stretch, Giuseppe is Italian, Casey and DeLacey Gaelic, O’Malley Irish …. The life of an alley cat could certainly have led him around the countries of Europe. Isn’t it simply possible that there are cute people in those countries O’Malley also has a very unique difference that he was the first Disney Stepfather. The Duchess already had her three kittens when the Bonfamille family adopted them, “I saw the cat, fed him by giving him a nickname, maybe before he moved somewhere else? were not his, which brings us to our last amusing triviality about The Aristocats:
The Aristocats Was the first Disney animated film not produced under the Hays Code
Popularly known as the Hays Code, after Will H. Hays, president of American Film Producers and Distributors (MPPDA) from 1922 to 1945, The Movie Picture Production Code was a set of industry guidelines for self-censoring content applied to most American of film films published by major studios from 1934 to 1968. The Production Code specifies what is acceptable and unacceptable content for film films produced for public audiences in the United States. The film industry followed guidelines set by the code in the late 1950s, but during that time the code began to weaken due to the combined influence of television, the influence of foreign films, controversial directors pushing boundaries, and court intervention, including the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1968, after several years of minimal implementation, the Production Code was replaced by the MPAA Film Rating System. All the details of the Hays Code are too long to get into here, but basically if it was (at the time) considered lewd, immoral, illegal, or ethically wrong, it shouldn’t, or depending on the gravity of the crime, show up on screen . While codes have been strictly applied in other animation studios, especially the character Betty Boop and a few Looney Tunes shorts, Disney is usually never censored for breaking the code, which is part of what gives them the creaky and clean reputation they have today, though the later price would they also change over time. One notable example is The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. Disney’s adaptation of the story portrayed Toad as framed for theft, while in the book (and all future adaptations) he actually steals a car. And stealing is ethically wrong and illegal, so a hero / good guy shouldn’t do that. The Aristocats reportedly it would have raised numerous eyebrows if it had been produced much earlier, although, although animated, the intention to harm animals was implied (similar but different 101 Dalmatians) and the lack of an answer as to where the Duchess’s children / kittens came from would put her in the suspicious territory of the Hays Code. Others pointed out that each of the kittens is a different color, which may involve three different fathers, which is also a violation of Hays ’law, especially without explanation. Lady and tramp sees Lady and Trump have children after living together in the same residence, implying some kind of marriage, with puppies who then look like them. Hollywood used to be second place, and The Aristocats came to his extreme tail. Despite the controversy it may have raised (if there were any) that the code was in effect at the time, it retains the MPAA G rating, the first Disney animated film to receive it.