The film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway musical “Cats” was recently released for the very first time. In a trailer that clocks in at just over two minutes, you can get a glimpse of what the star-studded film has in store.
Not only will you see performances by A-list entertainers such as Judi Dench, Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson and James Corden, but you’ll also get to hear them belt out the beautiful musical numbers. So far so good, yes? But, here’s where it starts to get a bit strange. They’ll be doing all of this while looking like cats. We’re not talking traditional costumes you see on stage. No, this is full-on computer-generated imagery that makes your favorite actors and singers into cat versions of themselves.
Early in the trailer, the white cat’s ears flatten when other cats approach at a gate — and that’s just not something a human actor can do!
What’s more, as you can see, the cats in the film version don’t look a bit like the Broadway version, which uses hair, makeup and costumes to transform the cast into felines. In the image below, you can get a sense of what the Broadway musical number looks like:
Since the furry creatures in the film are really unlike anything audiences have seen before, viewers had some interesting reactions after watching this trailer.
Based on what people have said online, they’re left feeling mostly uncomfortable after watching it.
Twitter user @DrC_UArk pointed out that this trailer is something you can’t un-see:
— Dr. Stephen Caldwell (@DrC_UArk) July 20, 2019
Twitter user @chloescmv wrote, “I’m legit having a midlife crisis” after seeing the movie clip:
— Chloe Moon 🌙🇵🇭 (@chloescmv) July 20, 2019
People also began letting their cats watch the “Cats” trailer to gauge their reactions, and even the animals were confused as to exactly what they were seeing.
Twitter user @easilydiverted said the cat “turned [the trailer] off”:
— . (@simplyduckling) July 20, 2019
This video from Twitter user @SpaceCatPics shows that other cats are mostly just unimpressed:
One person who did actually seem to appreciate the cats they saw on-screen? Actress Busy Phillips’ 6-year-old:
Showed my girls the CATS trailer and my 6 year old declared it "beautiful" so…there's one person in America not completely horrified by it?
— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) July 20, 2019
So, maybe the kiddos will enjoy this film!
Admittedly, if you can get past the CGI, the film does seem to feature a lot for adults to enjoy, too, including incredible musical performances, which Hudson also demonstrates in the short preview of the film.
James Corden, who acted in the film, did admit that there were moments that felt very strange throughout the process, however, proving that even those involved were a bit skeptical at times. “We had two days where it was myself, Rebel Wilson, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen filming in the same scene and we’re all pretending to be cats. There is a very definite moment where you don’t know if you’re high or not … Because this is right up there with the strangest experiences you could ever have,” Corden told Variety.
But, then again, there were cat-lovers on-set who enjoyed every minute of this experience.
Swift posted about the trailer on Instagram, writing, “I am a cat now and somehow that was everything”:
An article from Teen Vogue points out that anyone who’s seen the live musical version of this tale will understand the eccentric nature of “Cats” — and that if you can get beyond the CGI, there’s way more to appreciate about this story.
“Within the virtuosity, this musical is actually much more rooted in spirituality and community than you think,” Shonica Gooden, who played Rumpleteazer in the 2016 Broadway revival of “Cats,” told Teen Vogue in an interview. “There is the power of love, acceptance, and forgiveness at the core of this story. There is the power of unity and pride in one’s ‘tribe’ and where they come from. There is the power of wisdom and second chances.”
So, now that you’ve seen the trailer, what do you think?