CATS & DOGS
The fun to be had with Cats & Dogs is essentially the same as in the same years Spy Kids (2001), which Cats & Dogs has many resemblances to that of seeing a James Bond-type spy caper film being played out with kids or, in this case, by talking animals. The film has fun with the gadgetry dog collars containing communication devices, a kennel that hides a hi-tech message centre and an express train to headquarters, a parachute-dropped steak containing a bomb, fences that have secret sliding doors and so on. The results are frequently hilarious the diabolical cat mastermind Mr Tinkles (a white fluffy cat seemingly modelled on the one that Blofeld holds in the James Bond films) is perpetually having his megalomaniacal rantings undercut by his masters maid cooing over him and taking him for his shampoo bath. There are wonderfully bizarre images like that of cats flying into attack aboard miniature biplanes or fight sequences with cats conducting slow motion Bullet Time martial arts moves a la The Matrix (1999). There is an amazing sequence with the Russian Cat involving the trashing of the living room, with Lou spinning about the room on a boomerang and the Russian Cat frozen in mid-attack as Elizabeth Perkins enters the house oblivious.
The CGI allows a marvellous degree of animation to the expression on the animals faces. Director Lawrence Guterman manages, with a sublime adeptness, to obtain a perfect balance of tongue-in-cheek adventure, cuteness and audience-winking humour. An added bonus is the lack of talking animals spouting modern pop culture colloquialisms and references that has destroyed the illusion in many other recent fantasy films.
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010) was a sequel.
Director Lawrence Guterman next went on to make Son of the Mask (2005).
(Nominee for Best Special Effects at this sites Best of 2001 Awards).