Cats ★★ Letterboxd Score
Starring: Francesca Hayward, Jennifer Hudson, James Cordon, Idris Elba, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen
The short answer is—No. But let me tell you why.
The humanization of animals and CGI is what I believe might be at the root of Cats’ demise. Not to mention nothing really made any sense about the plot…at all. But first, let’s understand why Cats the story is so popular. The recent film adaption is based on the madly successful stage musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber reiterated from T.S. Elliot’s collection poetry Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Weber’s play first debuted in 1981 at London’s popular West End Theatre and eventually moved to Broadway in New York City where as of 2019 it is currently the fourth longest running broadway show.
So why did it fail so terribly? Computer. Generated. Imagery. I firmly believe that trying to build the gap to reality by way of CGI, you lose any sincerity in the process. Although we have made so many strides in the computer generated world, we still have so much more to go to convince ourselves what’s real and not. To make things worse… When we humanize animals, we don’t inherently think it’s cute, especially when we try to make it look as “life-like” as possible. Cats turned out to be a disgusting science experiment that made everyone feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Well then, what could have been done?
Cats is actually quite enjoyable, despite having a confusing plot, it is pleasant. A whole lot of talent was offered in it’s creation and it is broadway success that has grossed around 3.5 billion worldwide since it’s humble beginnings. Which is why Universal willingly pumped about $95 million dollars into making it. So I say, why not put that money towards actual costume design? Take the time to create beautiful costumes, we really don’t want to see a bunch of humans that look like actual cats. We understand that actual cats could not be casted, so why humanize them? I know that there has to be answer out there somewhere. Let us remember other CGI mishaps in the past. When every cringed about computer generated Will Smith as Genie from Aladdin. Or when they turned the Ninja Turtles into those god awful animated atrocities. Oh my—that shark from Deep Blue Sea…sigh. But for the time being, Hollywood is going to keep making the same computer generated mistakes every single time.