The “Cat’s” Out Of The Bag, Aristocats Are Back On Blu-Ray

Courtesy: Disney Studios

The Aristocats is a fitting tribute to animation legend Walt Disney.  What’s not to love about the feline counterpart to 101 Dalmatians?  From the bright setting and colors, to the fun swinging jazz songs, to the comic element, it’s a wonderful posthumous eulogy to his memory.  While it came roughly four years after Walt Disney’s passing, it was a nice tribute to his memory as both the animation style and colors hinted back to Disney’s final work, The Jungle Book (1967), as did the music. Now, a whole new generation of fans is getting to enjoy this animated classic as Disney has re-released the movie in a double disc blu-ray/DVD combo set.

The story behind The Aristocats was written in total by an ensemble of writers.  Typically when this happens with a movie script, the end result is less than entertaining as having so many hands in the pot leaves the story far too bogged down in itself and hardly believable.  But in the case of The Aristocats, what audiences have gotten is a story that’s one part Lady and The Tramp and one part 101 Dalmatians.  While the concept of Madame Bonfamille (voiced by Hermione Baddeley) leaving her estate to her butler and maid only after her cats are gone may seem unbelievable, that real life figure Leona Helmseley left twelve million dollars to her own dog makes this story that much more believable.  For that matter, it makes the story seem a little ahead of its time, in a sense.  That’s especially the case thanks to the bonus features in the new blu-ray/DVD combo pack release.

One of the prime bonus features in the new blu-ray/DVD combo re-issue of The Aristocats is a feature titled simply, “The Lost Opening.”  In the lost opening, audiences are treated to an opening sequence that ended up on the cutting room floor in the final post production.  It includes a musical number with butler, Edgar.  In the song, Edgar sings of his desire to have Madame Bonfamille’s estate after he discovers that she had left the estate to him and her maid.  And it’s not until after his musical number that he hears her say that it would only be on the catch that they would only get the estate after her cats were gone. 

The musical number in “The Lost Opening” was just one of so many great numbers that made The Aristocats a classic Disney film.  Every Disney movie has had one song to which fans identify.  And if there was one song to which fans related in The Aritsocats, it was “Ev’rybody Wants To Be A Cat.”  This jazzy swing tune is the most infectious song in the movie.  Though some audiences will also relate to the song, ‘Oui Oui Marie.’ 

The music and the story go a long way to make The Aristocats a joy for families.  But they can only go so far on their own.  Another factor that makes The Aristocats such a joy is the film’s classic style animation.  The animation style of The Aristocats is very similar to the final film on which Disney worked, The Jungle Book.  The same can be said of the musical numbers.  Both the light colors and rough animation style make this story come across as a posthumous eulogy to Walt Disney, as does the movie’s lead jazzy musical number.  These factors, combined with the fun and family friendly story make Aristocats one of Disney’s best classic animated features.  The new blu-ray/DVD combo is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered online at http://www.disneystore.com.

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