Whoopeee! Some movies are just plain fun, and Cats & Dogs wins the
fun family movie 2001. Does it keep you in suspense? Not really. Is it
great piece of cinematic history? Probably not. Am I telling my friends
go, despite their mixed feelings about talking animals? You bet!
As the ads have no doubt told you, Cats & Dogs concerns itself with the
ancient rivalry. Humans have no idea what their pets are up to, and the
want to keep it that way, for reasons both noble and nefarious. What
surprise you is just how well this ridiculous setup works in a
that had the kids cheering at the end. Cat lovers, be warned: This
definitely picks sides, and yours gets the pointy end of the stick.
Kudos to everyone involved with this picture, especially the writing
but special appreciation to Jim Henson's Creature Shop, who made the
fighting animals so magically realistic. The vocal talent is also
Alec Baldwin and Tobey Maguire do terrific jobs as Butch and Lou, the
cop-new cop dog team who must protect their humans at all costs. The
general come off very well, actually.
On the cat side, I felt that the writing lacked the depth and subtlety
take the comedy through the roof. There was probably a concerted effort
to rip off Michael Myers, but clearly drawn villains really are more
enjoyed Sean Hayes' maniacal performance as Mr. Tinkles and I could
Jon Lovitz was going for with Calico, but it just didn't reach its
The real stand-out cat was the Russian kitten, who stole the show in
The humans also did a fine job, a stereotypically absent-minded
Jeff Goldblum leading the way, with Alexander Pollock a close second as
boy every puppy would love.
See an early show if you enjoy the sound of kids having a good time, or
late for more mature chuckles, but if you've ever had a pet, known
who's had a pet, or seen a picture of a creature that may or may not
been a pet, Cats & Dogs is for you.