Live-Action ‘Aristocats’ in the Works at Disney
Disney’s collection of classic films that have received a live-action remake keeps getting bigger and bigger. According to Deadline, the studio will adapt the 1970 animated film The Aristocats for today’s audiences. Considered the start of the “Dark Age” of Disney — which ran from around 1968 to 1988 following Walt Disney’s death — The Aristocats tells the story of a family of aristocratic cats whose fortune is robbed by a greedy butler.
Filled with toe-tapping musical numbers and silly antics, The Aristocats was well-received at the box office but never reached the iconic status of many of the films before it. In the 1990s, the movie had a resurgence on home video, quickly becoming a beloved staple in many families’ VHS collections.
The Aristocats follows four Parisian felines — mother Duchess (Eva Gabor) and kittens Toulouse, Marie, and Berlioz — who are first in line to inherit a fortune from their opera diva owner. The estate’s butler, Edgar, eager to secure the fortune for himself, hatches a plan to have the kitties kidnapped. Now abandoned in the countryside, Duchess and her kittens team up with a swanky alley cat named Thomas O'Malley (Phil Harris) to find their way home.
Peter Rabbit director Will Gluck and Onward screenwriter Keith Bunin will pen the new script for Disney, with Gluck also serving as producer. It's still unclear whether this pic will have a theatrical release, or will head straight to streaming. While the project is billed as “live-action,” it will still include subtle animated elements, just like the studio’s 2019 remake of Lady and the Tramp. As long as we're looking at actual cats and not the disturbing human-feline hybrids in 2019’s Cats, we should be fine.
Perhaps this foray into Disney’s Dark Age will result in more live-action remakes of some of Disney's more offbeat animated ventures, such as Oliver and Company or The Black Cauldron. That would certainly be interesting.