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The Cats trailer is here and the internet is terrified

Reiss Smith July 19, 2019
Judi Dench as a cat

Dame Judi Dench in the Cats movie trailer. (Universal)

The first trailer for the ‘live action’ Cats movie has united the internet in sheer horror.

Director Tom Hooper may be questioning his choices after the first trailer for his forthcoming Cats adaptation was described by Twitter users as “cursed,” “an abomination” and “a demented dream ballet for kids.”

The concept behind the big-budget adaption appeared at first to be a simple one: assemble a cast of stars including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen and Taylor Swift to transform Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s beloved musical into an equally bankable blockbuster.

But in attempting to one-up the stage show’s instantly-recognisable aesthetic, Hooper appears to have complicated matters.

Cats trailer debuts ‘digital fur technology’

Where the Broadway and West End musical used face paint, wigs and lycra to transmogrify its cast, the director has developed a dubious-sounding “digital fur technology” to create CGI cat-human hybrids.

Writer Louis Virtel described the effect as “miniature yet huge cats with human celebrity faces and sexy breasts performing a demented dream ballet for kids.”

Author Celese Ng pointed out that Dench’s character—the gender-flipped Deuteronomy—appears to be wearing a fur coat, a strange proposition for a naturally hirsute creature.

“Do you think those are meant to be their own fur, or are they wearing the fur of some other animal that they, the cats, have skimmed and fashioned into garments?” she asked.

Though it was revealed in April that the titular animals would be the size of real, four-legged cats, the beasts in the trailer appear to be—alternately—the size of a dinner knife, big enough to sit in a dustbin lid, and half as tall as the 20-foot lion statues at the base of the Nelson’s Column.

Original Cats musical has LGBT+ undertones

Soundtracking the trailer is Jennifer Hudson’s emotive rendition of ‘Memory’.

In the original stage show, which debuted in at the dawn of the AIDS crisis in 1981, Hudson’s character Grizabella is shunned by her fellow cats until she delivers her climactic refrain.

The website Theatre Nerds suggested that this plot line can be read as an allegory for the treatment of LGBT+ people living with HIV/AIDS by an uneducated cis-het society.

More: cats, ian mckellen, jude dench, taylor swift

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