Disney Challenge

Disney Challenge: Cats and Dogs

Not all Disney characters are princesses, some are our canine and feline friends. Don’t paws this month, just be sure to cat-ch up!!

There aren’t enough weeks in the month to cover all of the cats and dogs in Disney’s library, so I’m only going to cover a few. Don’t worry if your favorite was left out, there’s a good chance they’ve been slotted into a later month down the line. As always, feel free to watch along with me!!

Week 1: 101 Dalmatians

The puppies are here! Eight! Ten! Eleven! Thirteen! Fourteen! Fifteen!

I’m not gonna lie, this one isn’t great. The illustration is fantastic, but the voice acting and music leaves a little to be desired. It’s a weird combination of human voices, real animal barks/meows, and human impressions of barks and meows? Rather grating, honestly. It also doesn’t have any recognizable voices or songs, and it’s missing a bit of the Disney heart. It’s also a story about animal cruelty and skinning puppies alive, sooo…

Week 2: Bolt

Another one I’ve never seen…And with an adorable doggo!!

I made a good choice with the Cats & Dogs theme this month, because this was fun. And it wasn’t as predictable as you might expect, as they ducked some of the easy tropes that these types of cartoons can have. Not as high quality as a lot of the entries in the recent Disney library, and I didn’t care for the voice acting, but you can see how this set the stage for the next few Disney releases. They realized that “name” actors often get people to the theater, but also that putting more effort into the soundtrack—like the addition of a Miley Cyrus song—can make quite a difference.

“That meat lover’s pizza is NOT loving me back at all!”

Week 3: The Fox and the Hound

I’m not sure when Disney decided to stop killing the main character’s parents within the first five minutes of a movie, BUT IT WASN’T BEFORE THIS ONE.

It’s starts out as a movie about friendship and how, as kids, we don’t know that society sets us up to be enemies. But it’s also a movie about growing up, and growing apart. About how life takes us in different directions and we lose the childlike wonder of wanting to play all day. About how society’s expectations pit us against one another, and how our jobs lock us into a singular line of thought. Holy cats, this is depressing.

“Oh boy, these old wings ain’t what they used to be. Big Mama, you better lose a few pounds.” I know that feel, Big Mama.

Week 4: The Aristocats

I haven’t seen this movie in…well, likely before you were born.

So many of these early Disney movies about domesticated pets, were about foul humans wanting to kill them? Who wants to kill puppies and kittens?! It’s a wonder we didn’t all turn out to be serial killers.

One of the things I’m noticing as I rewatch these older Disney movies, is how much the voices overlap. O’Malley the Alley Cat is also Baloo, and Little John from Robin Hood. Napoleon was the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Lafayette was Trigger. Roquefort is Kaa the Snake, the Cheshire Cat, and Winnie the Pooh! And of course, Scatman Cruthers with the best song of this generation of Disney cartoons.

Let’s just ignore the Siamese cats.

That’s it for March! Check back in tomorrow for the sea-worthy adventures in April!