For their first animated feature without Walt at the helm, Disney introduced audiences to a lovable collection of felines in the 1971 film, The Aristocats. Featuring an all-star cast of voices including Eva Gabor, Phil Harris. Scatman Crothers and Sterling Holloway, this entertaining romp through Paris and the surrounding countryside proved that, with or without their leader, the Disney name would remain synonymous with quality animated films.
When wealthy opera singer Madame Adelaide Bonfamille makes out her will, she leaves everything to the furry inhabitants of her home, the equally aristocratic feline Dutchess and her three young kittens, Berloiz, Toulouse, and Marie. This doesn’t sit well with her sinister butler Edgar, who realizes that the only way for him to inherit this fortune is to do away with the cats. Giving them sleeping pills, he removes them from the home and takes them to the outskirts of town with every intention of making sure they never return. Luckily, two hound dogs named Napoleon and Lafayette disrupt his plans and he is forced to make a quick getaway, leaving the kitty clan in the middle of nowhere to fend for themselves.
Disoriented and hungry, things aren’t looking good for the cats until help arrives in the form of a vagabond alley cat named Thomas O’Malley, and his sidekick Scat Cat, who offer to take them back to Paris. The journey is a treacherous one, but they find help along the way from a pair of geese named Abigail and Amelia Gabble, as well as a loveable little mouse named Roquefort.
Filled with adventure, a jazz-laden soundtrack, and a collection of upbeat songs from the wonderful Sherman Brothers, Disney scored another animated hit with The Aristocats and proved that they were still a force to be reckoned with. Today, it’s one of the many timeless classics that continues to delight new generations.
If you hold fond memories of this 70s feline film, we hope you’ll share your recollections of The Aristocats with us in our comments section.