If you’re a cat lover, chances are you also appreciate a good cat movie. However, where do you start? Here are some of the most loved classic cat movies of all time. Go make some popcorn, curl up with your kitty, and get to watching these classic feline-centered films.
1. The Aristocats
The Aristocats is a beloved animated Disney movie from 1970. It stars a delicate and elegant Parisian cat, Duchess, who was left her deceased owner’s entire estate upon her death. However, a nefarious butler, charged with caring for the cat and her three kittens, dumped the cats in the country to take the money for himself. Luckily, she meets Thomas O’Malley, a suave alley cat who shows her the ways of survival and helps her make it back to Paris. Along the way, they make plenty of other cute animal friends and have quite the adventure. The movie is full of lively songs, a love story, and celebrity voices including Eva Gabor, Hermione Baddely, and Sterling Holloway. This is a great cat movie to enjoy with the whole family.
2. The Adventures of Milo and Otis
The Adventures of Milo and Otis is actually a Japanese movie that was adapted and dubbed into English. The original Japanese version was 15 minutes longer than the American one and featured poetry by Kyoko Koizumi. The Japanese version was released in 1986 but the American version, which is considered a classic by many kids who grew up in the 1990s, was released in 1989. In the live-action movie, Milo is an adventurous kitten who befriends Otis, a cute pug puppy. Otis accidentally floats down a river and Milo follows to help him. The two become lost but have an amazing adventure while trying to get back to their farm. Believe it or not, this video was edited into a story from over 74 hours of footage that were shot over the course of four years. This is another family-friendly kitty feature.
3. That Darn Cat!
That Darn Cat! is another classic movie featuring a cat. Darn Cat or DC is actually the name of the main character of the movie, a beautiful Siamese kitty. The cat loves to go on walks throughout the neighborhood. One night he discovers people being held hostage by some robbers. A smart woman replaces his collar with a watch, and DC returns to his owners who then try to unravel the mystery. Throughout the movie DC continually foils the robbers and leads them on a wild goose chase full of comedic traps and slapstick laughs. The original movie was made in 1965 and stars Hayley Mills and Dean Jones. However, there was a remake in 1997 that stars Christina Ricci and Doug E. Doug. Either one is a great option for feline hijinks, however, reviewers tend to appreciate the original 1965 film much more.
4. The Lion King
Technically lions are big cats, so this one still counts as a cat movie. This cartoon movie is a classic Disney film. If you end up loving it, there are several sequels, a photo-realistic remake, and a Broadway musical to keep you busy. The original movie came out in 1994 and is about young Simba, a lion prince, and heir to his father Mustafa’s throne. However, Simba’s jealous uncle Scar takes matters into his own hands and Simba ends up close to death all alone in the desert where he gets found and helped by two comical characters: Timon, a meerkat, and Pumba, a warthog. You’ll have to watch the movie to see how it all turns out. The movie has an all-star cast of voice actors including Matthew Broderick, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Moira Kelly, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Robert Guillaume, Rowan Atkinson, Madge Sinclair, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, and Jim Cummings.
This is a 2016 film that is one of the only cat movies that wouldn’t be great for kids. The movie is rated R because it contains some violence, swearing, drug use, and sexuality. Keanu features the comedy duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. The movie is about a cute kitten named Keanu that comes to Key and Peele’s door. They grow to love the cat, so they are devastated when the cat gets kidnapped. They discover it has been taken by a gangster who has quite a high price to give the cat back. Cat owners can relate to this movie because it shows just how far a cat lover might go to rescue their cat.
Have you ever been to Istanbul? One of my favorite parts of visiting that city was just how many cats there are in the streets. These are domesticated cats that are usually fed by passersby and tourists. And they are really good at begging for scraps! This documentary film follows the lives of a few different cats throughout the city. Even though the cats have no owners, they are an essential (and iconic) part of the city and are beloved by many in the city. The movie features views of the gorgeous city from a feline perspective. Even though it’s about cats, it’s a very touching film for people too!
7. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
In this live-action film, two cute dogs and a beautiful Himalayan cat get worried when their owners go on vacation. So, they decide to set out on an adventure to find them. They take a long journey across mountains and plains. Little do they know, the whole time their owners have been searching for them too. This is a classic movie from 1993 that has both comedic and heartwarming moments. The animals are voiced by Michael J. Fox, Don Ameche, and Sally Field. If you love this movie, you should check out the 1996 sequel, Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco.
8. Oliver & Company
Oliver & Company is an animal-friendly take on Charles Dickens’s classic novel Oliver Twist. This animated movie features Oliver, an orange kitten who is orphaned. He joins a group of tough dogs who belong to a gangster. However, through some comical antics and a foiled robbery, Oliver ends up in the home of a wealthy child who adores him, but when he gets kidnapped, the girl must try to get him back. This is a family movie that adults and kids like. Even though it is from 1988 it is pretty timeless for animal lovers.
9. Puss in Boots
Puss in Boots was originally a character from the famous movie Shrek, which is full of talking animal friends. The idea of a Puss in Boots character comes from an Italian fairy-tale from the 1600s. His character in Shrek was so lovable that they decided to give him his own movie. It stars the voices of Antonio Banderas as Puss, Salma Hayek as his love interest, Kitty Softpaws, and several other well-known actors including Zach Galifinakis, Billy Bob Thornton, and Amy Sedaris. If you enjoy this cat-centric animated movie, there is also a video game to enjoy and rumors of a sequel.
10. Harry and Tonto
Harry and Tonto is a classic movie about a wacky adventure. It features Harry, a retiree living in New York City, and his cat, Tonto. When Harry’s apartment building is torn down, he decides to give up everything he knows and travel across the country with his cat, leading to some heartwarming moments, funny scenes, and a very lovable movie. If you think traveling with a cat is hard on a plane, try convincing a bus driver to make a pit stop so your cat can visit the litter box like Harry did!
This movie that came out in 2019 is based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name. However, it’s kind of a love-to-hate situation. Despite an all-star cast and large budget, many people found the combination of CGI animation plus live action to be kind of disturbing. The original release of the film had several CGI errors that dampened the viewing experience. It received terrible reviews including some people saying it was not only the worst movie of the year but of the decade. Even Andrew Lloyd Weber, who wrote the original musical, said the movie was “ridiculous.” However, it is starting to become something of a cult classic because of its strange look and well-known music. So, you might give it a try as a “hate-watch.”
Alien is hardly a movie about cats. But it does have one amazing cat character. Ripley, the main character, has a cat named Jonesy who is brought aboard the spaceship to control any rodent issues. I won’t tell you any spoilers but there are several iconic moments with the adorable orange cat in the movie.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the best cat movie of all time?
It may be subjective, but the best cat movie of all time is The Aristocats.
What is the worst cat movie of all time?
Many people feel the 2019 movie version of the musical Cats is the worst cat movie of all time.
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- IMDB, Available here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065421/plotsummary
- Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Milo_and_Otis
- Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/That_Darn_Cat!
- Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/That_Darn_Cat_(1997_film)
- Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lion_King#Plot
- IMDB, Available here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4139124/
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- Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeward_Bound:_The_Incredible_Journey
- IMDB, Available here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107131/
- Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_%26_Company
- Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puss_in_Boots_(2011_film)
- Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puss_in_Boots
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