Cats & Dogs (2001)
Warring pet film is paw-sitively delightful
I am not what you would call an animal lover. Oh sure, I do think that Animal of The Muppets is the greatest drummer of all time. I am a big fan of pro wrestling legend George “The Animal” Steele. And of course I am moved by the musical stylings of 1960s British act The Animals. But proper animals, like cats and dogs, I am not such a fan of. I guess I just don’t see the point in becoming emotionally invested in something that will, at best, learn to return a ball to you or defecate in a box.
What I am a big fan of is what comes up first when you type “cats and dogs” into Google. No, it is not a pet store, or some bizarre fetish website. Instead, you will find a link to the IMDB entry for a fantastic 2001 film titled, you guessed it, Cats & Dogs.
Unlike the rather pedestrian pets that I previously expressed my disinterest in, the canines and felines featured in this film are spectacular. Writers John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, who have teamed up to give us such rubbish as Bad Santa and I Love You Phillip Morris, showed that they do have some talent for writing when they penned this action-packed comedy.
In Cats & Dogs, we learn that these quadrupedal beasts are not helpless creatures relying on their human counterparts to provide their every need. Rather, they are extremely intelligent animals, while humans, in fact, are oblivious buffoons.
The cats and dogs in this film are engaged in a high stakes game of cat and mouse. An evil cat named Mr. Tinkles (voiced by Sean Hayes of Will and Grace) has hatched a fiendish plot to make people allergic to dogs, thereby making cats the dominant family pet. But a brave group of dog secret agents, voiced by the likes of Alec Baldwin, Tobey Maguire and Charlton Heston, are prepared to sniff asses and take names to ensure this doesn’t come to pass.
The voice work in Cats & Dogs is terrific. In addition to the aforementioned actors, we also get Susan Sarandon, Jon Lovitz and Michael Clarke Duncan lending their golden tones to this picture. The dogs and cats do an excellent job moving their mouths in synch with the voices. As do co-stars Jeff Goldblum and Elizabeth Perkins.
So while real cats and dogs may rank high in my list of pet peeves, the same cannot be said about this sensational motion picture. Cats & Dogs is the type of film that upon completion compels you to stand up and give it a round of applause… or should I say a round of a-paws. Thankfully this film franchise was not spayed or neutered, and a sequel, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, was unleashed in 2010.