The new trailer for Cats was released on June 18, 2019. The holiday movie has an explosive lineup, including acting and singing heavyweights like Judi Dench, Ian McKellan, Idris Elba, Rebel Wilson, Jennifer Hudson, and Taylor Swift. It is based on the 1981 musical Cats, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
In turn, that musical was actually based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, a book of poems about cats. The story is about a troupe of cats called the Jellicles who must decide which one of them will ascend to the Heaviside layer and be reborn. When this first trailer was released, the internet had a lot of opinions to express.
10 To The People Who Loved The Trailer
Many are excited, of course. The musical was wildly popular and has been performed and revived numerous times for decades now. The cast is full of many extremely talented actors and singers who are sure to deliver memorable performances in this musical adaptation. The music in the trailer sounds wonderful. People who loved the musical are ready to see it adapted to the big screen. Maybe the people that are excited will just take a really long cat nap until the movie is released in December.
9 Giving Cats Attention
People have paid more attention to "Cats" in the last 24 hours than cats have paid attention to people in history.— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) July 19, 2019
We can trust Stephen Colbert to always deliver a laugh. The internet fur-vor over the new trailer has included many jokes, questions, and excitement, but we can trust that our real life cat friends have gone on with their lives as usual.
Perhaps the indifference we sense from so many cats is the reason why we had to make a musical about them in the first place. If your real cat forgets to get you a gift this holiday season, you can always take yourself to see Cats and feel a little bit better.
8 The Grace Of A Dancing Cat
Naturally, there's plenty of dancing in the new trailer, from small moves to big showstoppers. In reaction to the new movie, cat lovers everywhere have been posting photos of their own cats "dancing." Some of these cats have moves, too. Like this great series from @ZiziFothSi--this cat is all beauty, talent, and grace. Why isn't this little buddy in the movie too? (Click through to see the full video of this cat's dance number!)
7 Where Is Little Boy Cat?
Little Boy Cat was not asked to audition for CATS and frankly we're appalled. pic.twitter.com/MEfV1uLoLh— Psych_USA (@Psych_USA) July 19, 2019
In addition to home movies of talented cats, there's a lot of professional felines wondering why they didn't get a call. Psych--the show about someone who solves crimes after duping the police into believing he's psychic--was especially appalled that their resident star wasn't invited to participate in the film project. His scenes in Psych unequivocally proved that he is a talented feline actor and some people are horrified that the movie cast anyone else over him.
And, let's be honest: TV shows throwing shade on Twitter is always a good time.
6 All Those Feline Snapchat Filters
CATS is our punishment for Snapchat filters.— Emily Tannenbaum (@ectannenbaum) July 18, 2019
But, for every person that is excited there's about a hundred who found the CGI cat-human blend to be disturbing. For some people, the movie is inspiring some serious nightmare horror vibes. Is it the uncanny valley in the CGI faces? The incomprehensible universe--how big, or small, are these cats? For anyone who hasn't seen the musical, the lack of clear plot seems to inspire genuine dread.
So while a lot of people are excited to see this iconic musical come to the big screen, many are wondering if this film is our punishment for something. A leading contender? Snapchat filters. We sowed a world of superimposing human faces onto non-human things, and this movie is what we reap.
5 Marked Safe From Cats
But some people are able to laugh about the whole thing. While the internet was busy cowering in fear or showing the trailer to their feline friends, @kilgallon84 made sure to create a useful tool for tracking who has survived the two and a half minute long trailer. Playing on the Facebook disaster check in--a very useful, if less funny, tool--he was able to assure us that he's fine. Are you? Did you survive the trailer?
4 Want To Feel Something
I love the CATS trailer because I WANT to be horrified. I WANT to feel!!!— JuanPa (@jpbrammer) July 19, 2019
But some people are here for the nightmare. After all, Cats has always been a sort of strange tale of a series of animals introducing themselves in song until one of them dies. So if this is what you were expecting, then the trailer is perfect. It delivers on the promise the musical made. Musicals are about big emotion, so anyone who wants to feel something is in the right place.
As the New York Times wrote in 1982, the musical was all about transporting people to a fantasy land populated by anthropomorphic animals with a difficult choice to make.
3 Sonic's Reaction
Naturally, the trailer reminded some people of the other 2019 movie that was wildly criticized for the appearance of its human/animal hybrids. Among many criticisms that Sonic faced, one of the biggest was everyone's discomfort with the human teeth the hedgehog possesed. The studio pulled the movie and is doing redesigns before the theatrical release.
Will Universal make the same move with Cats? The criticism the movie is facing is extremely similar to the criticism Sonic faced: the superimposed human faces on non-human bodies is strange. The cats all have human teeth and human lips on their furry faces. And why do all the female cats retain human breasts? Universal has yet to respond.
2 The Polyjuice Potion
A lot of Twitter users took the internet's backlash against the trailer to share other cat-human hybrids that have slunk into our movies over the years. Whether they were saying another movie did it better or worse, there were plenty of changes to compare Cats (2019) with movies past. Judging by the perfect photo of Hermione Granger from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) our ability to blend cats and humans into one cohesive creature hasn't improved much in the past 17 years. Who wore it better, Emma Watson or Taylor Swift?
1 Inspiration From A Trailer
This thing I’m trying to write is too weird, it’ll never work.— Eric Smith (@ericsmithrocks) July 18, 2019
*watches trailer for Cats*
Well f*ck alright let’s go.
But if nothing else, the sheer weirdness of Cats has inspired another generation of writers to write the story they really want to tell. Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical was criticiszed for being a bit strange too, but it went on to become an absolute classic. There will always be people who are up for a weird story about singing cats deciding who is going to die next, so there's really no such thing as "too weird" in fiction. Thank you, Cats trailer, for reminding us all of that.