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Cats & Dogs on DVD

Cats & Dogs on DVD

Therein Lies a Tail…

Let's get one thing straight: this movie is not "Cats & Dogs." It's actually "Dogs & Cats," and if you're a cat lover you'll probably be disappointed in this flick.

That's because it's written from a dog lover's point of view, with the dogs as the good guys and the cats as evil megalomaniacs bent on world domination.

Which might make this movie seem like a documentary to some - but that is something it definitely isn't.

The movie opens with a dognapping perpetrated by cats. As it turns out, the snatched pooch was actually part of a network of secret agent dogs who are monitoring and protecting scatterbrained scientist Professor Brody (is there any other type in Hollywood) played by Jeff Goldblum. He's working on a formula that'll rid the world forever of the allergy to dogs (not cats, though), so the dogs have a vested interest in seeing him succeed: they want to ensure they remain man's best friend.

But the cats, led by a particularly evil feline called Mr. Tinkles, don't want any part of that. They're angry that the human race has risen to world dominance and are bent on regaining what they consider to be their rightful place on top of the food chain.

We can understand why Mr. Tinkles would be angry. His human's maid insists on dressing him up in those horrible clothes that look so stupid on pets (though this never seems to happen to dogs in this flick) - and he's just plain obnoxious anyway.

Still, those cats are organized and skilled - there are even ninja cats who swoop into Goldblum's house on a mission and wreak havoc on the house.

The movie is full of high tech gadgets, mostly "manned" by the animals of the title, and spy movie-like intrigue, and it certainly has its moments. The animals are for the most part very well done, too.

But the movie fails if only because of its simplistic and mean spirited portrayal of cats, and that's too bad. There's plenty of imagination on hand, and the effects are for the most part first rate, but in the end we went away unsatisfied.

The humans, Goldblum, Elizabeth Perkins and Alexander Pollack, are content to be filler for the animals, and that's as it should be in this flick. Animal voices are provided by Tobey Maguire, Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Charlton Heston, and others.

You might find the DVD a bit of a rip off if you aren't careful. Warner Brothers has seen fit to release the film in both Pan&Scan and widescreen versions, which is fine - but NOT ON THE SAME DISC! So if you don't check out the top of the box front, you may not end up with the version you want.

We would have preferred the widescreen version but received the Pan&Scan one, and the picture seems a tad small. Still, the video quality is excellent, even zoomed out to fill a 16x9 TV, and the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is also first rate.

There are plenty of extras as well. There's a feature length commentary featuring the director, producer, production designer and one of the cast members. You also get 2 behind the scenes documentaries, storyboard comparisons, the trailer, etc.

Cats & Dogs, from Warner Home Video
87 min. Pan&Scan (1.33:1), also available in widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Jeff Goldblum, Elizabeth Perkins, Alexander Pollock and various others as animal voices
Produced by Andrew Lazar Chris Defaria Warren Zide Craig Perry
Written by John Requa & Glenn Ficarra, Directed by Lawrence Guterman.


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Updated May 13, 2006