We should’ve seen it coming. When we first learned that a film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running Broadway musical Cats, would be a mix of live-action and CGI, there was a collective dread over how the computer-generated human-cat hybrids would look on-screen. Earlier this week, the stars of the film – notably Taylor Swift – shared a “behind-the-scenes” teaser of the movie, fawning over the musical’s history and showing off their choreography without a whiff of the actual felines. Now we know why.
The first official Cats trailer is arguably creepier than the It Chapter 2 trailer also released on Thursday. The faces of James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Rebel Wilson, Jason Derulo, and Dame Judi Dench are grafted onto CGI heads with stiff cat ears and tufts of fur that move and sway with all the liveliness of a Shrek technical goof. That’s nothing to speak of the Barbie-doll bodies to which those fake heads are affixed. The fur looks like it was rendered in 1995.
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Listen, is CGI animation okay? I know there are more pressing technological issues, what with surveillance and climate change and apps that age your face in seconds while stealing your privacy, but in the realm of animated entertainment, have we flown too close to the sun? What was that Miyazaki quote I’m thinking of?
There we go. Cats is in theaters December 20th.
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