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The Aristocats [VHS]

4.6 out of 5 stars 953 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Aristocats [VHS]
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  • Lady and the Tramp [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway, Scatman Crothers, Paul Winchell
  • Directors: Wolfgang Reitherman
  • Writers: Eric Cleworth, Frank Thomas, Julius Svendsen, Ken Anderson, Larry Clemmons
  • Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated:
    G
    General Audience
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: April 23, 1996
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (953 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6303983812
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,740 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

a wealthy widow wills her estate to her cats.

Amazon.com

Duchess and her three kittens are enjoying the high life with their devoted human mistress until the wicked butler Edgar, with his eyes on a big inheritance, decides to dope them and get them out of the picture. How can these fragile creatures cope in the unfamiliar countryside and the meaner streets of Paris? Only by meeting the irrepressible alley cat O'Malley, a rough diamond with romance in his heart. After they get a taste of the wide dangerous world, he guides them home, and Edgar gets his just desserts at the wrong end of a horse. As always, it's really the voices rather than the animation that are the heart of the Disney magic: Phil Harris is brilliant as O'Malley, Eva Gabor as Duchess is... well... Eva Gabor; but perhaps the most memorable turns are by Pat Buttram and George Lindsay, who turn the old hounds Napoleon and Lafayette into a couple of bumbling Southern-fried rednecks. Their scenes with Edgar, and the musical numbers with Scat Cat and his cool-dude band, are classic. Most striking about seeing The Aristocats now is how deeply Disney's style of animation has changed since this was at the cutting edge in 1970. Perhaps the nostalgic, dated feel are just a result of being plonked down in Belle Epoque Paris, but the illustrations are fussier (a pity) and the animation and overall pace much less frenetic (sometimes a relief) than in more recent efforts such as Aladdin. --Richard Farr

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 24, 2000
Format: DVD
I'm so glad that Disney made this film. I much prefer the more innocent Disney movies of the past. Movies like Lady and the Tramp and The Aristocats are truly fun, wholesome entertainment. Don't get me started on the new Disney films which are way too interested in pushing hit pop songs and attracting adults with more action, violence, and suggestive dialogue. I know things can't stay the same so I'm glad we have this film from a more innocent era. I particularly like the fact that the pacing is relaxed and the villain is not very scary. I'm always looking for what I call "calm" movies and videos for my 2 and a half year old. I don't want him seeing frightening or fast-paced images. Lady and the Tramp and Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas are other great shows for young viewers. Unlike the sterile environment of the Teletubbies, these movies are full of wonderful images and interesting music. I find the backdrop drawings extremely interesting and stylized. I also like the setting of the film (France) as opposed to the mainly exotic locations lately of Disney films.
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Format: DVD
Considering Disney's recent track record, it would appear that they think the average kid is maturing faster than before. Thus, they seem to put out movies that are dark and inappropriate for the average kid. The only exceptions to this trend are the wonderful Toy Story movies and A Bug's Life. Flash back a decade or two, and you'll find a different Disney, a Disney that made movies everybody could enjoy. Aristocats comes from that era. True the animation from this decade is weak, and the story loses a few points in some areas. The villain is also quite tame. All of that, however, disappears under the movie's charm, upbeat attitude, and general fun. It's certainly more fun than Hercules. People looking for something intense should avoid this. Families with small children and those who love adorable cats will love this movie. From this era, I also recommend Robin Hood. As I've said before, you just can't beat old school Disney.
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Format: VHS Tape
This movie is in the old Disney fashion. This would never win an academy award but for that reason it makes a great movie for little kids. Unlike the Disney movies of the past decade, violence is very minimal to almost non-existant. The "villain" in this movie - a greedy but likable butler - is baffoonish and not prone to causing nightmares. All the music is fun and upbeat. Lots of sassy talking animals. The humor and tone is very similar to Disney's Robin Hood - another movie for good clean fun. My 2 year old LOVES the Aristocats.
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Format: DVD
With all of the violent cartoons out today, we looked long and hard for something like Aristocats to share with our daughter. She is sensitive to angry voices and loud noises so it was difficult to find a movie or cartoon that she could enjoy without having to skip the violent or noisy scenes.
Aristocats is such a perfect little show for her to watch over and over, she now knows all of the songs, imitates the kittens and runs through the house calling "Duchess, kittens, where are you??"
If you want your child to enjoy Disney classics without the witches and mean-spirited people, or worse, the later movies with violence and loud, angry voices throughout, this is the best chance you have to show your child the lighter, gentler side of Disney.
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Format: DVD
There are over a hundred reviews for The Aristocats as of this date. They all refer to the previous edition (Disney Gold Classic Edition or whatever they called it years ago when it first came out on dvd).
So now we will have those reviews mixed up with new reviews for the Feb 5, 2008 version which offers more extras and a different aspect ratio. This may make things a bit confusing.

Moving on...
People compare this film to 101 Dalmations. This is Disney's "cat" movie, they say. You can't compare them; they're too similiar somehow.
But they are both decent, cute family films.
Yes, Cruella is scary compared to the bumbling butler Edgar. There is a sense of jeopardy but Dalmations is much stronger in that sense.
Both films were made using the 1960's Xerox method where the resulting animation is more sketchy looking and more close to the original animator's drawings.
The Aristocats is more of a musical, definitely. A few forgettable songs, but also the charming and infectious tune "Everybody Wants to Be a Cat". That is the tune I think of when I remember the adventures of Duchess and Thomas and the kittens. (101 Dalmations had the little "Cruella De Vil" song, but that's it.)

Overall this is a fun vehicle but it is not a classic such as Peter Pan, Cinderella, or Lady and the Tramp. It has a nice, relaxing pace and is probably most appealing to youngsters. The voice talent, as ever with Disney cartoon features, is great. Eva Gabor's Duchess is warm and maternal while Phil Harris as Thomas O'Malley is macho yet sweet (and sounds like a lifelong diehard smoker). He also lent his vocal prowess to The Jungle Book when he played Baloo the bear.

This special edition for 2008 has some cute extras. But unless you're a total stickler for aspect ratios or you collect every version they release, the previous edition should suffice. It was fine, with a clear and bright picture/sound presentation.
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