thoughts on the trailer for ‘cats’
The internet is in meltdown.
First of all, what -- and I cannot emphasise this enough -- the F. Has everyone seen the new trailer for the movie adaption of Cats? Ok, good. So like, I thought I had seen everything the internet had to offer. I had gone to the edges of acceptability. I had come of age in the era of Rotten.com and 2 Girls 1 Cup. I had come back with the thousand mile stare of a Vietnam vet, knowing that I had seen all there was to see. And then the internet gave us the trailer for Cats (2019). The horror, the horror.
The trailer has captivated and divided both the internet and the i-D office. As far as we can see, there are two distinct camps. One camp has decried the trailer as an affront to both cinema and humanity. The other argue that it looks “good” and “fun”. Whether you liked it or hated it, it’s indisputable that the Cats trailer left us with more questions than it answered. Here are some of those questions, for which we still have no solutions.
Are we the only ones who expected that the Cats movie would utilise CGI to produce realistic not anthropomorphic cats? Is it unrealistic to expect that the creators would have capitalised on the success of The Jungle Book and The Lion King to follow this tried and tested formula, and not instead given us these half-human, half-cat monster hybrids?
Are the cats supposed to be sexy to us, the human viewer? If the answer is no then what was the thought process behind giving the cats human breasts and asses, before finishing off with their cat tail?
Why are the cats smaller than the size of a normal cat? Surely if they are humanesque they should be bigger, not smaller, than a normal household pet? There is a scene in this trailer where a fork is bigger than a cat played by Taylor Swift. It makes no sense to me.
If you had to play shag, marry, kill with the cats, how would you justify your decision?
Are we, by simply criticising the trailer for Cats, simply giving in to mob mentality? Is there not a part of us deep down that looks at this deeply odd video and says "well, at least it isn't another movie about a Marvel superhero?" Yes, the cats are odd to look at, but perhaps we've become so homogenised by the movie industry that our visceral instinct to immediately ridicule it is not just predictable but cruel.
After all, the original T.S Eliot text, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, and the award-winning Andrew Lloyd Webber musical it inspired were just, if not more, batshit insane than this trailer could ever hope for. At the heart of it, is it not our expectation that a film with characters named Rum Rum Tugger, Rumpus Cat, Jennyanydots, Old Deuteronomy and Bombalurina, should be realistic that is truly the ridiculous aspect of this release? The absurdity of the concept is nothing if not exciting -- even the fact that the actors, from Rebel Wilson to James Corden to Jason Derulo have changed their social media handles to the names of their characters. Even they're excited. And though we might joke, we all collectively (admit it) came away from watching the trailer with the same final reaction: "Well I mean, of course we have to see it."
At any rate, hasn't the trailer done what it was supposed to do? It has well and truly broken the internet, and as everyone woke up this morning and mechanically refreshed their Twitter, they were talking not about Donald Trump or the equally exciting trailer for It: Chapter 2 or even last night's episode of Love Island. We are all talking about Cats. Job done.
I’ll leave you to ponder those questions, and also to reflect upon what we have done to veteran actor Dame Judi Dench, 84 years of age. She has lived through a World War, and we, collectively as humanity, put her in a fur coat with her tits out and said “Cat. It’s a cat.”