Watch 100 Years of Cats in Movies, Plus Learn Five Surprising Facts About Famous Felines in Film — VIDEO
If you fall into the camp of discerning citizens of the world who consider themselves to be "cat people," you're going to to love what I'm about to say: you can now spend three-and-a-half minutes of your morning watching 100 years of cats in movies. It may sound too good to be true, but it is in fact a reality — Supercats! A Supercut of Cats in Movies chronicles a century of dazzling cinematic performances by famous felines. Clearly, award shows need reform. I mean, if Church — the terrifying cat from 1989's Pet Sematary — doesn't merit a golden statue of some kind, I don't know who does. Let that give you, ahem, paws (or, better yet, claws) for thought.
So who do we have to thank for this cinematic marvel? Ariel, an independent filmmaker, editor, and animator using Vimeo as a platform. "This is not meant to be a full list," Ariel explains of the cat vid. "It's just some personal selection I made. Feel free to send suggestions for future updates." Doth my ears deceive me, or is Ariel hinting at a sequel here? Perhaps Harry Potter's Crookshanks, Si and Am from Lady and the Tramp, Blofeld's cat, or Puss in Boots — kitties who failed to make the first cut — wind up in future Supercats! compilations. Until then, though, here are few fun, little-known facts about felines in film. Check out the full Supercats! video after the jump.
1. The AristoCats are Real
Well, sort of. While O'Malley, Duchess, Berlioz, Toulouse, and Marie from the 1970 animated classic The AristoCats were inspired by a true story, it seems doubtful their real-life inspirations could speak. Or play piano concertos. Still, they were modeled after a Parisian of family cats in 1910 that inherited a sizable fortune.
2. Thackery Binx was Too Scary for Kids
In the Halloween favorite Hocus Pocus, the black cat version of Thackery Binx wasn't actually a cat at all. Rather, it was a CGI representation created by Rhythm and Hues. The company took painstaking care to ensure Binx's facial features were realistic, but they perhaps did their job a little too well — the studio had them scale back, feeling Binx would be too terrifying for younger audiences. Ultimately, Rhythm and Hues shrank his fangs and made them less pointed.
3. Thomasina Had Three Lives — and Even More "Actors"
I grew up watching a VHS copy of 1964's The Three Lives of Thomasina at my grandparents' house, so this film about the mysterious death and lives of a tabby cat is near and dear to my heart. However, I never realized that several of the cats used to play the part didn't even match. One was a classic tabby, one was a mackerel tabby, and one held up shooting for two days for flatly refusing to perform a stunt "in spite of Walt Disney's frustrated bellowing."
4. Homeward Bound Didn't Originally Have A Sassy
It's hard to imagine Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey without fluffy, spoiled and, well, sassy feline known aptly as Sassy. Yet, in the Sheila Burnford novel of the same name the movie was based on, the cat in this adored trio was originally a male Siamese cat named Tao as opposed to the Himalayan Sassy we've all come to known and love.
5. The Meaning of Pyewacket Will Creep You Out
Following the release of the 1958 movie Bell Book and Candle, the name Pyewacket became popular for cats, thanks to Gillian's feline companion in the film. What most people don't know is the name's origin. As it turns out, Pyewacket was one of the familiar spirits of a witch uncovered by renowned witchfinder Matthew Hopkins in 1644. Said witch, a local woman, was arrested and kept from sleeping for nights on end — after which time she revealed a long list of familiars and their forms, including Pyewacket.
Watch 100 years of cats in cinema below: