Top Cat: The Movie, 2011.
Directed by Alberto Mar.
Featuring the voice talents of Jason Harris, Chris Edgerly, Ben Diskin, Matthew Piazzi, Bill Lobely, Melissa Disney, Fred Tatasciore and Bob Kaliban.
Top Cat has to contend with a new police chief who is unhappy with Officer Dibble’s efforts to control TC and the gang.
I have very vivid memories of watching all of those great old Hanna Barbera cartoons when I was a wee one, with The Flintstones being the obvious favourite, one that I used to watch over and over amongst breaks in watching He-Man, Ghostbusters or Thundercats. Their characters were always fun, and the comedy, both the set pieces and the physical tomfoolery, drew me in like a moth to a flame. As did Top Cat, the rapscallion alley cat who was always up to mischief.
Now, like many of the others, Top Cat has made it to the silver screen, thanks in no small part to the financial success of Alvin and The Chipmunks and The Smurfs. And with the backing of Mexican and Spanish distributors, Top Cat has arrived ready for the summer holidays. But where the likes of The Chipmunks and Smurfs made passable entertainments for kids, Top Cat sadly fails in every department, and is not only a terrible movie, but will have its creators rolling around in their graves.
What the show had in spades during its surprisingly short run back in the 60s (fun, energy, laughs) are sorely lacking in this effort. The story is wafer thin, with Top Cat and his gang brought into “modern day” New York, having to deal with mobile phones, the Internet and futuristic robots, whilst they dodge the attentions of Officer Dibble, the buffoonish policeman trying desperately to keep the cats in check. The bigger fish though is demented madman Strickland, who after taking over as new police chief, takes over the city with robots and Big Brother style tactics, and throws Top Cat into doggy jail as his reign of terror gets bigger and bigger.
Sadly though, as “exciting” as all that sounds in theory, in practice it’s another story. It’s a dreadful film from beginning to end, and one that will definitely rank on the end of year “worst” lists. The animation is uninspired and dull throughout, despite the overindulgence in colour, and the less said about the “purr-fect” 3D the better (warning: get ready for some headaches). Add to this some horrible over-dubbed voices, which more often than not are terribly out-of-sync, even for an animated feature, and you’re left with a humourless, lifeless mess that even with its short running time, feels like a chore.
You know a film aimed at kids is bad when a cinema full of the little ones is completely motionless throughout, not uttering one word or laugh at the action on screen, unsure just what to make of all the commotion. Reading this, parents may think of this film as an antidote for the rambunctious nature of kids during the summer months; sadly, it will probably make them worse. And I doubt many of them would be sad if this kitty was put to sleep.
Flickering Myth Rating: Film ★ / Movie ★