9 May 2020.
There are few things more comforting than a good film. With most of the world self-isolating, entertainment is more important than ever. To help build your list of films to watch, Cat in a Flat asked our community to share their favourite cat movies. With your help, we have compiled this list of great cat films with some additional honourable mentions to try too. Comedies, golden oldies, kids films, action movies and documentaries all feature, so we hope there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
The Aristocats, is a true Disney classic that had the whole world singing “Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat”. Pampered Parisian cat Duchess and her three kittens are abandoned in the countryside by their owner’s evil butler. The Aristocats follows the family’s perilous journey back to Paris and those who help them along the way, including charming street cat Thomas O’Malley.
When Puss in Boots appeared in Shrek 2 in 2004, a star was born. The dashing feline was so well-received by audiences that he starred in his own film, Puss In Boots, in 2011. A mix of derring-do, irresistible kitten-eyes and Antonio Banderas’ honeyed voice makes Puss in Boots an icon among movie cats.
Garfield has been gorging on lasagne and hating Mondays in comic strips since 1978. The big orange cat finally hit the big screen in 2004’s Garfield: The Movie starring comedy icon Bill Murray. In the film, Garfield connives to get rid of Odie, his owner’s hapless dog. He later regrets his decision, however, and goes on a mission to get him back.
The Tom and Jerry cartoon series was created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera in the 1940s but only made it to the big screen in 1992. Tom and Jerry The Movie sees the duelling pair set aside their differences to help an orphan girl. Unusually, the movie shows the usually silent Tom and Jerry talking to each other in this colourful cartoon caper.
Big Hero 6 is one of Pixar’s funniest and most action-packed animations. Baymax, a friendly robot, helps Hiro, a kid living in futuristic San Fransokyo to avenge his brother’s death. The film also features Hiro’s cat, Mochi, who forms a unique bond with Baymax. The robot calls Mochi a “hairy baby” in one of the film’s funniest lines.
Kiki’s Delivery Service is a magical 1989 film from animation legend Hayao Miyazaki. Kiki is a witch in training who, along with her little black cat Jiji, starts a delivery service by broomstick.
The Secret Life Of Pets, is an animation following the antics of a group of animals in New York. One of the key players is Chloe, a sassy and spoilt tabby cat with a heart of gold.
Coraline is Tim Burton’s 2009 spooky stop-motion adaptation of a Neil Gaiman novella. One for older children, the film follows a young girl, Coraline, through a mysterious door in her new home into an alternate reality that is at once fantastical and threatening. A slinky black cat, Sebastian, lives in Coraline’s new home and can travel between both realities. Once through the door, Sebastian can talk to Coraline and proves to a helpful guide to the young girl.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is the story of a cat and two dogs bravely traversing the Californian wilderness. The trio set off on their Incredible Journey after wrongly believing their family has abandoned them. The 1993 film stars Sally Field as the voice of Sassy, a Himalayan cat with attitude. Cautious Sassy has to bond with her dog companions to brave the perils of the great outdoors and get home. Though aimed at children, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is hugely charming and will appeal to anyone who likes adventure.
That Darn Cat! is a Disney comedy thriller from 1965 starring Hayley Mills. A remake of the film came out in 1997, but the original still holds the most charm. In That Darn Cat! a naughty Siamese kitty called D.C. becomes accidentally embroiled in a kidnapping and bank robbery.
Withnail and I, is a beloved British cult comedy. Two unemployed actors try to escape their squalid London life with an ill-fated trip to the countryside cottage of Withnail’s eccentric uncle, Monty. When the pair visits Monty’s to procure the key, he greets them while holding a large, fluffy grey cat. The cat appears only fleetingly in Withnail & I, but his extravagant appearance makes him a memorable feline cameo.
In Nine Lives, a workaholic businessman who doesn’t spend enough time with his family becomes trapped in the body of a cat. The businessman, Tom, has a week to reconnect with his wife and children or risks becoming Mr Fuzzypants the cat forever. The enormous fluffy grey kitty that plays Mr Fuzzypants will keep cat lovers happy, and the film has plenty of funny lines too.
The Cat From Outer Space is a 1978 family-friendly science fiction comedy from Disney about the adventures of Jake, an alien who looks like a domestic cat. After crash-landing on earth, Jake has to find a way to fix his ship and get home. Twin Abyssinians, Rumple and Amber, play the part of Jake and outshine the human cast at every turn.
While Simon’s Cat isn’t a film per se, the animated series is hilarious and endlessly entertaining. It has been a favourite with cat lovers since its debut in 2008 for its all-to-familiar depiction of feline behaviour. In 2017 Simon’s Cat released a fantastic full-colour movie, Off to the Vet, which is available to watch on YouTube.
Meet the Parents, follows the disastrous antics of Greg Focker as he tries to win over his in-laws. One of the family members Greg tries (and fails) to impress is a wonderfully disapproving and hugely fluffy cat, Jinxie.
Keanu is an action-comedy from hilarious duo Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key. Keanu is the name of a cute but fierce tabby kitten that the pair has to rescue from a gang of criminals.
The Coen brothers’ award-winning film Inside Llewyn Davis stars Oscar Isaac and one of cinema’s best-loved cats. Llewyn Davis is joined on his adventures around New York and across the country by a mysterious ginger cat called Ulysses. Inside Llewyn Davis is a film full of beautiful cinematography and music, made even prettier by its feline star.
Breakfast At Tiffany’s is perhaps the ultimate Audrey Hepburn film, known for its iconic style and irresistible romance. In the 1961 film, flighty Holly Golightly lives with a ginger cat, a “poor slob without a name”. The cat was played by Orangey, who appeared in many other films including The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957). The cat represents Holly’s reluctance to let people get close to her, making his crucial role in film’s final scenes truly tear provoking.
Amélie is an award-winning French romantic comedy full of whimsy, beautiful Parisian landscapes and life-affirming moments. The film follows unconventional and timid Amélie as she tries to improve the lives of those around her. Amélie often looks after the cat of her flight-attendant friend while she’s out of town. The kitty appears only briefly in the film, and while we never know his name, we do learn that he likes overhearing children’s stories. The romantic finale of the film also shows a brief glimpse of the cat.
The Third Man is a 1949 film noir based on the book of the same name by Graham Greene. In the film, a writer investigates the suspicious death of his friend in rubble-strewn post-war Vienna. A cat plays a vital part in unravelling the mystery of this suspenseful thriller.
Blockbuster Captain Marvel tells the story of Marvel Comics’ character Carol Danvers. She is an Air Force pilot turned superhero whose loveable sidekick is a cat named Goose. The ginger kitty steals almost every scene he is in, especially when acting against a gruff Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. One of the mysteries surrounding Goose is why several of the aliens we meet in the film are terrified of him. We find out why in a great twist at the end of the film.
Jonesy is undoubtedly one of cinema’s most recognisable and beloved cats. As the companion of Ellen Ripley and ship’s cat of the Nostromo, he plays a crucial role in the film Alien. Along with Ripley, Jones (as he’s also known) is one of only two survivors of the destruction of the Nostromo. At the end of Alien, Jonesy is put into cryo-sleep with Ripley and wakes with her 57 years later to appear in the film’s sequel, Aliens (1986).
Miss Minoes is an award-winning Dutch film, renamed Undercover Kitty for English-speaking audiences. Minoes is a cat that turns into a young woman after coming into contact with a chemical spill. As a woman, Minoes retains her cat-like tendencies including meowing and climbing onto roofs. She also makes friends with a shy local journalist and helps him uncover the scandalous story of the evil local chemical factory owner responsible for the spill that caused her transformation.
Catwoman is one of the comic-book world’s most compelling characters. In Batman Returns, Michelle Pfeiffer offers the most exciting interpretation of Catwoman and the film also features the superhero’s pet cat, Miss Kitty.
A Street Cat Named Bob, is based on the best-selling book of the same name based on the real-life story of James Bowen. James was a busker and recovering addict when a stray ginger cat he called Bob transformed his life. Bob played himself in most of the film’s scenes, starring alongside actor Luke Treadaway, who portrayed James. A Street Cat Named Bob has a tremendous amount of heart and truly understands the bond between a cat and their person. It is this, perhaps, that made it the most popular film nomination for this list from the Cat in a Flat community.
Kedi, 2016, is a Turkish documentary that follows the story of how cats thrive and survive in Istanbul. The film explores how stray cats have always held a unique place in the fabric and daily life of the city. Kedi is at once moving and poetic as it looks at how modernisation will affect the cat population that has roamed Istanbul’s streets for thousands of years. While this is a beautiful film full of cute moments, it doesn’t shy away from the gritty and sometimes tragic reality of these cats’ lives.
The Secret Life of Cats is a fantastic documentary for any cat owner who wants to get to know their furry friend. A fascinating study of cat behaviour, the film shows the development of a kitten into a fully-grown adult. It also looks into all of the most curious aspects of what makes Mr Whiskers tick.
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