Culture Clips: Will a Curious Trailer Kill These Cats?

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Cats trailer

In case you missed it, the new trailer for the upcoming movie musical Cats came out this week and audiences are … unsure about how they feel. On the one hand, the movie is taken from one of the longest-running Broadway shows of all time. With its star-studded cast (Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellan, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Idris Elba and Jennifer Hudson for starters), it has the potential for the same commercial success as other Broadway hits turned into movies, such as Les Misérables and Chicago.

On the other hand, some people think that turning the famed Jellicle Cats into CGI human-cat hybrids is “terrifying.” Many viewers are disturbed by the furry animation made possible by motion-capture technology, and on YouTube the trailer’s received more than twice as many “thumbs down” votes as “thumbs up.” Kevin Fallon for The Daily Beast wondered, “Why, besides cinematic ego, could this endeavor not be accomplished with hair and makeup?”

The movie doesn’t come out until Dec. 20, but we’ll let you decide for yourself if these felines fit your fancy.

While Cats may be receiving mixed feedback, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood isn’t. Tom Hanks is taking on the iconic role of Fred Rogers in the upcoming movie opposite Matthew Rhys, who portrays a journalist charged with profiling Mr. Rogers for a magazine. Fans are ecstatic about the casting choice for America’s “most beloved neighbor,” and if the trailer is any indication, the movie will teach us all about “empathy, kindness, and decency.”

In other news, Avengers: Endgame finally surpassed Avatar as the highest grossing film of all time. Now, we already discussed this on Movie Monday, so why are we bringing it up again? Well, mostly because Comic-Con just wrapped up its 50th anniversary in San Diego, and some people are speculating whether or not the venerable, culture-shaping convention is on the decline. Last year, several high-profile companies (Marvel Studios included) decided not to attend, which resulted in a fall in attendance for the first time ever. And there’s a sense that the only reason Marvel had a presence at Comic-Con this year was because Warner Brothers and the DC Extended Universe backed out.

There’s a certain irony here:  The only reason Endgame even exists is because of the comics it was based on, and Comic-Con (as the name suggests) was instrumental in making the formerly niche world of comics into the cultural juggernaut it is today.

There’s another reason that  Marvel attended Comic-Con this year: So they could announce their new slate of comic-based movies and TV shows. Black Widow is getting her own movie, so maybe we’ll finally find out what happened in Budapest. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are teaming up for their own TV show, and Loki and the Scarlet Witch are each getting their own shows as well. All of these programs will debut on Disney’s new streaming platform Disney+.

That surge of Disney+ programming comes as a huge blow to streaming platform Netflix, which exclusively distributed other Marvel TV shows such as Jessica Jones and Luke Cage in the past. Netflix stock suffered a $17 billion loss on Thursday after announcing that instead of acquiring their projected 5 million new subscribers, they had only gained 2.7 million. Even with some runaway hits like Stranger Things, this does not bode well for the future of the company, especially since Disney+ isn’t even available yet.

It also doesn’t bode well for Comic-Con. Perhaps the reason Marvel has been shifty in its attendance is because its parent company is tired of getting lost in the swarm of studios that attends every year. Disney has been working on creating its own conventions exclusively for its children, with the next Star Wars Celebration scheduled for August 2020. Might broader Disney-centric conventions be on the way? This doesn’t necessarily mean that fans will stop coming to Comic-Con completely, but certain fandoms may begin to forgo the event in favor of conventions tailored more specifically to their favorite entertainment.

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Julienne Dy 7 months ago
My friend thinks it would have turned out better with traditional animation but looks forward to it all the same.  I'm honestly a bit creeped out. 

Also, I don't know how, but Tom Hanks captured Mr. Rogers quite well.  I got feels just from the trailer. 
Anonymous 7 months ago
I adore Andrew Lloyd Webber. I think his music is some of the greatest ever written, especially his soundtracks to The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita.  I saw the 2004 Phantom of the Opera in the theater and absolutely loved it. Ditto with last years Jesus Christ Superstar Live on tv. But back in 2011 when Cats was part of the Bakersfield on Broadway production I went with my mom and sister to see it and absolutely hated it. Sure the song Memory was great, but the whole thing felt like one boring introduction after another, and I just couldn't get into it at all. So with that being said I do oddly enough have some interest in seeing a big screen movie version of Cats. I'm not sure I'd like it any better than the dreadful Broadway production of it, but it certainly can't be any worse.
charitysplace 7 months ago
I'm not unsure about the CATS trailer. I was appalled. All that money thrown at it, and no one thought this a bad idea? I expected animated cats who looked like actual cats, not shrunken humans (they are still smaller than real cats, btw) singing and dancing on two legs. I have never seen the original, and I won't see the big screen version -- it's positively nightmarish. And I thought the big-screen adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera was bad!

Tom Hanks is a weird choice for Fred Rogers. He looks and sounds nothing like him. I realize Hollywood no longer does "impersonations" and now does "impressions" so the actors don't have to bother themselves looking and sounding like someone famous but... having said that, the movie looks good. I'll go see it.

Comic Con is on the wane, huh? That surprises me, but maybe fans are tired of shelling out hundreds of bucks to dress up in skintight costumes and get their photos taken at outrageous prices with a bunch of celebrities.

Netflix got Narnia. That's enough to keep me on board. But I'd expect none of the streaming platforms to make as much money as they expect to, since bootlegging is so easy, it only takes about 10 hours for their "exclusive" shows to show up on illegal streaming and downloading sites.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

I also think that Cats would’ve been better as a fully animated movie. That could have been fun.

I’m not much into streaming services, but Netflix’s upcoming The Witcher series does look mildly interesting 
charitysplace 7 months ago
I hadn't heard of The Witcher until you brought it up, but ... yeah, looks cool.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I agree. I would keep Netflix for the Marvel shows, The Witcher, Stranger Things, and Narnia. 

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 7 months ago
Cats disturbed me when I saw a revival done on broadway, an they were humans wearing cat outfits, and the new version looks even more frightening. It was never my favorite musical though. I think the only song I ever liked from it was Memory.
-Bibliophile
Anonymous 7 months ago
Tom Hanks is the best choice for Mr. Rogers, it's not about the looks, it's about the talent and acting skills of portraying Mr. Rogers and Hanks did an amazing job in the trailer.

Not all fans dress in skintight costumes for Comic-Con. I would go just to watch that Hall H panel on Saturday night. Wouldn't dress up or anything.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 7 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

I don’t know. For me honestly, dressing up in costumes for events like that is half the fun. I don’t really celebrate Halloween anymore so when there’s an opportunity to wear a certain costume, more often than not I will take up the offer. 

Being able to show your love for a character/franchise in such an enthusiastic way with a bunch of other fans is a blast for me frankly, and getting to talk to other fans is also great. Recently when Spider-Man: Far From Home came out, I wore my Spider-Man costume and got quite a lot of compliments!

(Btw, welcome back A-Non-Mouse!)
Anonymous 7 months ago
Eh. I would disagree. Dressing up isn't really fun for me, but if you like it, good for you!

(thx for the welcome back. We'll see how long it lasts. Because I tried to comment for a while but they kept going to moderation.)

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 7 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

I remember seeing the trailer for Cats and I was like, “Man, Sonic’s redesign looks great!” But on a serious note, if they’re supposed to be cats, why do they have human noses?

Also, yeah, I was pretty bummed out that DC comics wasn’t attending comic con this year. They’re my go to when it comes to pop culture, and the fact that they were absent made this year’s comic con a bit of a snore fest.

And yeah, I can see more companies creating their own events so that they can have the whole spotlight to themselves (Sony and PlayStation have already taken initiative, as they dropped out of E3 entirely this year and now just do their own streaming announcements every once in a while).