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  • I have an extremely open mind when it comes to Hollywood remaking, revisiting, creating a sequel to, or otherwise building upon an established film. Consider that mind slammed firmly shut!

    The original "Darn Cat" featured a precocious feline surrounded by a village of humans (some funny, some scary, some just plain annoying). But the cat always remained at the center of the story, and the cat's actions are what propelled the whole thing forward. But here, the focus is on Patty Randall (Christina Ricci) and her FBI-rookie pal, Zeke Kelso (Doug E. Doug).

    Apparently, the producers knew that they had an up-and-coming young starlet in their midst when they created this litter-box, because the focus is moved away from D.C. and onto Ricci's bratty and generally unlikeable Patty Randall. While no producer can be blamed for seeing talent and grabbing it (Two "Addams Family" films and "Casper the Friendly Ghost" had already gotten Ricci significant exposure!), they forgot that the film's title is "That Darn Cat"... not "That Darn Pat".

    And it shows. We still have a minor league all-star cast, and we still have the FBI agent, the young girl and her cat as the heroes of the piece, but we cannot even see the villains (who provided so much of the menace in the original) and we see entirely too much of the assortment of freaks, geeks and throwaway nutcases that populate this burg.

    I submit a challenge: Watch this one, then go back and watch the original. Then TRY to remember something significant that the cat in the new version did.

    See, you're learning!
  • I guess there are two ways to make a movie with kids as the intended audience. You can either say to yourself a) "Let's make a movie that kids today will love!" or b) "Let's make a movie that I would have loved when I was a kid!" The second approach explains why Steven Spielberg often make movies that appeal to a younger audience. Prime examples are E.T., The Goonies or Indiana Jones. That Darn Cat is an example of the first approach. You see these flat, unbelievable characters saying things that is supposed to be funny but isn't. The plot itself is enough for a ten minute short, but instead it goes on and on. And although I'm not a kid, I don't quite understand what in this movie is supposed to be fun for kids? The clumsy cops chased by a dog, the old lady with a tweety bird or Christina Ricci's sarcastic oneliners? One actor showed a spark of talent with his very acrobatic humour: Doug E. Doug playing the FBI agent.
  • "That Darn Cat" is a makeover of the Disney film with Haley Mills. This time around, the world is darker, the main character is darker...and the cat is darker.

    Christina ("Addams Family," "Sleepy Hollow") Ricci is the main character for our story. She's a psychopathic, Gothic creature with black all around. She moves to a new town, finds a new cat, finds a new mystery, and solves it (I wasn't expecting that). Along the way is Thomas F. Wilson, better known as Biff from "Back to the Future," and Michael McKean--who does a bunch of nothing considering how funny the guy usually is.

    "That Darn Cat" fails on a lot of levels. It's watchable, and probably should be seen once on TV, but I wouldn't go out of your way to see it.

    Christina Ricci is fine as the title character; but I found that the whole moody, Gothic thing was a bit overdone--whether it was on the script like that or not, it was overbearing. They kept stressing to the audience, "This girl is dark," but I think I got it the first time.

    Dean Jones, from the original "That Darn Cat," makes a few cameos in this flick. Whatever happened to him? The last I remember him in a film without being a cameo was "Beethoven"...

    Thomas F. Wilson does seem to prove he can act out characters other than Biff, Griff and Buford Tannen, but if I were him I wouldn't quit the day job just yet--a film like this isn't going to get him back in the acting arena.

    The film's gags don't exactly work all the time. Sometimes they work a little bit, but on the whole, this film is a pretty big mess that should only be seen on television when nothing good is on.

    2/5 stars -

    John Ulmer

    P.S.--Be on the lookout for cameos galore, including "Cheers" man John Ratzenburger.
  • Massimolazio5 February 2005
    I was 12 years old when I saw the original film (I lived in Italy and the Italian title was "FBI, OPERATION CAT!") That was a fun film and not just for kids. This awful remake it's pathetic even for a 5 year old! What possessed Disney to ruin their reputation and the memory of a lovely film I don't know and I just can't believe it. Even the title song in the original film (both original version and the dubbed Italian version) was extremely nice and creating the mood for the story. On this remake the title song is even worst than the movie itself. It was just nice to see Dean Jones even if for just a cameo appearance, he was a regular on the great old Disney's films. I cannot honestly see anything else positive in this remade movie.
  • They made this movie modern, but they also made it more realistic! I am soooo sick of this "Reality TV" era. People seem to have forgotten that fantasy and exercising the imagination are the original reasons for and the very fabric of entertainment movies. For example, in the original, Patricia Randall and her older sister, Ingrid, were living alone at their house while their parents were traveling in Europe. The character of Ingrid was not even in this movie. Part of the fun of the original was that Ingrid Randall and Zeke Kelso were starting to fall in love. Their parents never called their daughters or anything. In real life, few parents would actually stay away that long at once, and even if they did, they would keep closer tabs on their girls. In the new version, Patricia Randall is an only child and her parents happen to be out of the house or just unaware of what is happening. Who cares whether or not it would happen in real life? That was the original point to making movies like that Darn Cat; so that people would get to see things happen the way that they WANT them to happen, not the way that they actually do happen. Christina Ricci also degraded the precocious but sweet character that Hayley Mills originated. Of course, the decay and crudity of the modern world had to be embedded into this movie that was assumed to be like the original; safe and fun for all ages! It was nice to see Dean Jones in the movie, but that is just about the only positive thing I can think of about this version. On top of everything else, the original version immortalized D.C. as a SIAMESE cat(No other kind of cat should have been used), and the rocky title song of this movie was JUNK! It was not at all worthy to be compared to the soothing, orchestrated title song in the original, written by Richard and Robert Sherman, the composers of music for many other Disney classics (e.g. The Parent Trap, Mary Poppins),and sung beautifully by Bobby Darin. What is wrong with today's producers? Do they not want their children to enjoy the same harmless but fun entertainment that helped make their own childhoods memorable? It is a good thing that the classics are being re-released on video and DVD because right now, the past seems to be the only place to find true family entertainment.
  • Chris Ricci sleepwalks her way through most of this, but then quickly takes on an air of boredom and disdain - much as I did when watching it. Without her this would be no more than a cheap kids' movie, but at least she does add an air of quality. There are few, if any, more visually striking and charismatic young actresses in the business.

    There's not much wrong with it as long as you accept it for what it is - a cheap Disney re-make aimed at very undemanding children. I could watch Ricci all day so I'm probably oblivious to many of the movie's shortcomings, but unless you too are a Ricci fan, a cat-lover, or very small child, I doubt you will find this very entertaining.
  • Disney Productions…I don't suppose I'm still a part of their target group, but I am complete Christina Ricci target group on my own! That was pretty much the only reason for me to see this film, since I'm not that interested in a cat ‘s adventures… The film is a remake of a 1965 film with the same name, also produced by the Disney Studio's. Christina is an angry and introvert teenage girl – Patti - who's loathes the boring, little town she's living in. Her mother is vain and super-polite, she has no friends and the only one she feels some affection for is her cat, J.D. This cat `witnesses' a kidnapping during one of her nightly escapades and Patti alarms the goofy FBI Agent Zeke (Doug E. Doug).

    The film causes a surprisingly big amount of chuckles, since the little town and its inhabitants are so wondrously stereotypical. The grand finale – which involves a boisterous car chase through the town – will certainly impress and please the younger viewers. Some overall good acting as well. First and foremost by the lovely Christina Ricci, but also by a few familiar and respected side characters like George Dzundza (Basic Instinct), Peter Boyle (F.I.S.T) and Michael McKean (Airheads)… Doug E. Doug simply has to act like a Eddie Murphy or Chris Rock clone but he's pretty good in doing so. That Darn Cat is warmly recommend fun for young families and animal lovers.
  • I switched on the TV and started watching this movie part way through. I found it so funny I wanted to find out more.

    Its style of humour makes jokes in quite a sophisticated way, assuming the audience is smart and paying attention. From the reviews I have read I think very few critics were paying attention.

    I loved the way the movie takes sideswipes at American society, rich people and the not so rich.

    I have been the barrage of negative criticism from professional critics and viewers. It's a mystery to me.

    Brilliant cast. Brilliant writing. How did they get the cat to act like that?
  • kilorulez17 August 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    First off, what people don't realize in this film is that it is an attempt by Disney to create an art flick that represents many television shows that were popular when the original movie came out. For instance, the reference to Monte Carlo is pointing to Herbie goes Bananas, in which the same car that the criminals in That Darn Cat was used in Monte Carlo. Also, the scene where the car jumps over the police car is a reference to the Dukes of Hazard county, who like to jump over Boss Hoggs (another rent-a-cop with a butch). These are but two of many references to old television shows and movies that Disney sought to represent in this underrated piece. Too bad they aimed at the wrong target audience. It has gone the way of Cabin Fever.
  • An abomination. Disney's remake of their own 1965 slapstick classic concerns a clever feline leading an F.B.I. agent to a kidnapped woman. Christina Ricci gives a churlish, let-me-outta-here performance as the cat's owner, while the the fed is played embarrassingly over-the-top by Doug E. Doug, who has been directed to resemble a human cartoon. A pair of rich neurotics (Dyan Cannon and original "Cat" cast member Dean Jones) are amusing, and the formula plot still has a little juice left in it; but the handling here is so heavy and lugubrious--and the cat so dull and lifeless--that the whole project feels dog-tired. NO STARS from ****
  • But I still enjoyed watching her, so I gave it a 3 instead of a 1. Her expressions are priceless. Some of the other cast members (e.g., Michael McKean) are really slumming, too. The cat himself is somewhat amusing. Aside from that, the movie is all cliche, culminating in a much-too-long car chase. (It's also at this point that the movie becomes unnecessarily crude, having been very "family" until then.)
  • The main reason why I wanted to see this movie remake was because of Christina Ricci who I loved in Casper and the two Addams Family movies. While she was decent in the title role, although her character is pretty bratty and unlikeable, the cat is cute and Doug E.Doug brings a touch of class to Zeke, the whole film could have been much better. Other than Ricci and Jones, the remainder of the cast are unexceptional and that for me was a disappointment as I like Michael McKean, he is very talented, as was Peter Boyle. The cinematography and scenery from decent to adequate, but the real problems were in the story and the script. The story is very predictable, and there are parts where it drags very badly. The script is also very weak, lacking in a lot of areas, and I did feel the music was not that great either. The length is just right, but with such pedestrian pacing it feels twice as long sometimes. Also there is nothing new from the original, which was very entertaining otherwise unexceptional. Overall, watchable but disappointing. 4/10 Bethany Cox
  • The only entertaining thing that I found about watching this movie was listening to Star Wars coming through the wall of the movie theatre (yes I go to a really bad movie theatre). This movie is so mind numbingly bad that I think I would rather have my eyes scratched out by a cat rather than watch it again.

    Let's compare it to the original. One is charming, funny, exciting, well acted, and one of the best movies ever made, the other is so far from funny that all you can do is hope that your eyeballs will fall out so you don't have to watch any more. I'm sorry Christina Ricci is a fine actress but cannot compare with Hailley Mills, and don't even get me started on Doug E. Doug in a part one occupied by the amazing and absolutely charming Dean Jones. Dean Jones' tiny part in the new version is the only partially redeeming part of this movie, and it is the only reason I can justify a 1* rating (also because the imdb doesn't go into negatives).
  • luckybob198517 February 2002
    Ladies and Gentlemen, may we present the worst of all Disney remakes. Although the name of this movie is "That Darn Cat", it should have been "That Darn Teen" or "FBI Agent". The cat didn't get any real good scenes, Ricci's character was more annoying than funny, Doug E. Doug didn't get any good lines, even Dean Jones's cameo role couldn't save this movie! The only really good characters were the town's only two auto mechanics, but their scenes were only brief. In all, I'd say that if you are considering watching this movie, go get something more intelligent like a Barney video.
  • This film is a disgrace to the original film, the writing is terrible, the cat doesn't look at the other cat on the movie poster so you know there's going to be some problems. I like Christina Ricci, but my god is she annoying. Also wasn't the cat supposed to be one of the protagonists of the film. In the original, the cat had a stand out personality. It was causing trouble, it was main focus of the film. In the remake, the cat does nothing, absolutely nothing.
  • A maid is kidnapped and scratches a message onto D.C. the cat's collar and when his owner Patti (Christina Ricci) discovers this, she plays amateur detective with the help of D.C. to try to find the culprits.

    This movie is sitting pretty low on IMDb. Anything below a 5 is usually pretty awful, and I am sad to see this end up there. Yes, it's true, this is far from Ricci's best role (I think we've mostly forgotten about it). And yes, the humor gears more towards kids than adults. But is that a bad thing? What's interesting looking back on the film now (2016) is seeing some great actors in a film few care about. Michael McKean plays a good father, Tom Wilson is a bumbling cop. Peter Boyle is always great. This is really a nice lead role for Doug E. Doug, which begs the question: what ever happened to Doug E. Doug?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    That Darn Cat (1997): Dir: Bob Spiers / Cast: Christina Ricci, Doug E. Doug, Michael McKean, Dyan Cannon, Peter Boyle: Utterly boring and stupid remake of the 1965 original. This version is about as exciting as getting a vasectomy. Witless plot regards a cat that prowls out at exactly eight-o-clock. It diverts a dog's attention so to steal its food before the mutt receives a fence board to the head. It would watch a bird through a window, then a cat, etc, etc. Who gives a crap. A kidnapped rich woman slips a watch around its neck and its owner played by Christina Ricci investigates. She is joined by rookie cop Doug E. Doug who will obviously prove himself to his fellow cops. The cat is not half as interesting as the Siamese in the original. Uninspired directing by Bob Spiers whose locations are the only area of compliment. Ricci deserves better than this, and Doug overacts as the rookie cop viewed as a joke to others on the force. Being part of this film will not likely help him in the popularity polls either. Michael McKean, Peter Boyle and Dyan Cannon make forgettable appearances and that is pretty pathetic considering the talent involved. It is a family mystery but lacks the intrigue of the original, which wasn't quite as corny as this turned out to be. Perhaps if the cat was given a personality then perhaps this film might have rose above mediocre, otherwise it has all the ambition of a cut dog. Score: 1 / 10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    OK, I'm sorry already. I liked this remake better than the 1965 Disney original. Why...Christina Ricci, that's why. Ricci plays the same role of Patti earlier played by Hayley Mills. Patti's alley cat D.C., short for Darn Cat, accidentally finds a kidnap victim, who scratches a plea for help on her wristwatch and places it around the cat's neck. When discovered by Patti, she joins forces with a bumbling FBI agent, Zeke(Doug E. Doug), who follows the frisky D.C. through crook and cranny hoping it will return to the kidnap victim. The abductors(Peter Boyle and Rebecca Schull)are discovered and a wild, destructive car chase closes the caper.

    Bob Spiers directs a star-studded cast that features: Michael McKean, Dyan Cannon, Megan Cavanagh, John Ratzenberger, George Dzundza and Dean Jones, who also played in the original. Oh yes, D.C. is played by a cat named Elvis.
  • This remake is entitled "That Darn Cat", but D.C. the cat is more of a sideline than the major character. Patti Randall was not likable at all in this remake either. She reminded me of one of those high school Goth jerks you read about who have been angry since the day they were born, so they end up opening fire on the rest of the school one day. The federal cop, Kelso was okay, but not as good as the one in the original. I guess Disney was trying to make Christina Ricci and Doug Doug (or whatever goofy name he has) into stars, but they don't hold a candle to Hayley Mills and Dean Jones in the original. I'm an animal lover and a cat lover and I don't blame D.C. for the remake being so much more inferior to the original movie. After all, they nearly cut him out of the whole movie. All in all, a very poor remake.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I really enjoyed the first film and when it turned up again, without thinking, or checking, I took a family of friends to see it. I was ashamed that I had enthused so much about it to them.

    Disney processed the original film just like the human body processes a delicious meal - takes in something good and turns out ... well, you know. And by having a dark-skinned person as the FBI man, the results of fingerprinting the informant were subdued.

    Taken as an isolated film, I suppose it is not too bad if one likes that weird sort of thing, but when one has read the book or seen the first film - horrible!
  • `It's as if this town has the power to suck your brain right out of your head.' -Patti

    Patti (Christina Ricci) is a sarcastic teenaged girl, bored with her all-too-average little town. Bored that is until a woman is kidnapped and she finds what she believes to be clues to the poor lady's whereabouts. Now, with the help of her precious cat `D.C.' and an inept FBI agent (Doug E. Doug) she must find her.

    That Darn Cat is a bad movie. It is quite foolish and it has humor that often falls quite flat. There are, however, a few buds of talent in it. Doug E. Doug was good in Cool Runnings. His performance as `Senga' was really funny. Here he is wasted as the bumbling FBI agent. He does have a good scene when he imitates the cat, though. Micheal Mckean plays Patti's father. His character must be the most understanding parent to ever live. This poor guy has his expensive cigar crushed, gets arrested for picking up his own cat, and gets bitched-at by his snippy wife and STILL doesn't get angry at his daughter for causing all of his troubles. I wish my old man was like that. The only real good performance is Christina Ricci's. She entertaining as the ever-annoyed Patti, but her occasional very bad dialogue pulls her performance down. You might also recognize Peter Boyle (Young Frankenstein, Everybody Loves Raymond), the old lady from Wings and Cliff from Cheers, in this movie. This is a movie that all these actors would probably like to forget. Even the cat isn't very good... I really can't recommend 1997's That Darn Cat. Some young children (under 8) might enjoy it a bit, but every one else should look elsewhere. If you're looking for a good Christina Ricci movie, I suggest Addams Family Values, The Opposite of Sex or Sleepy Hollow. If a fun family film is what you're after, try Snow Day, instead.
  • I am really at a loss as to how anyone could give this movie a 10 (or even more than a 2!). It is full of bad lines, bad acting, bad slapstick, etc. I never thought I could see worse acting than the purposefully badly acted scenes at the beginning of UHF, but this was it. And just when you think it can't possibly get any worse, it does! Over and over again! You actually could have watched this in a theater? It wasn't worth free on TV! My 4-year-old and 1-year-old liked it some, but they wanted to see the cat more and the cat was almost never on.
  • Nothing annoys me more is when I come over here to IMDB and see all of these adults that need to get a life rating and reviewing kids movies saying "Oh goodness! The characters were a bore! Not enough scenes for (so & so) oh and (so&so's) character was so annoying!" It's a damn kids movie!

    The movie was made to amuse KIDS not you pathetic adults who certainly need to get a life...

    Anyways I saw this when it came out (I was 7 or 6, don't remember) and I liked it. I was a kid and I liked it.

    I'm sure I saw it now me being 14 I wouldn't like it, but why I wouldn't like it is because the movie isn't made for me, it's made for kids.

    If you're a parent and see this is a video store rent it for your little kids, they'll like it.
  • eato_burrito24 September 2014
    This movie is great. I watch it every time it comes on TV, which isn't that frequently unfortunately. It's a nice change of pace from all the sci-fi, action and horror films I watch. Doug E Doug is always hilarious and Christina Ricci delivers a good performance, and is cute to boot. This is before her anorexia period so she looks healthy and attractive. I think her and Doug make a good pair for a comedy like this. She's a little snarky and intelligent, and Doug is just a goof -- it's a nice combo. This film is more in the vain of the Ernest movies and less of the original That Darn Cat from the 60's (which is also good).
  • I just saw this tonight on TV for the first time and loved it. I thought it was funny, warm-hearted and enjoyed the mystery story and also the cat's antic's. Perhaps it helps that I'm a cat lover. I'm an adult and don't always like kid's movies but I like some and I liked this. And that cat is super cute too. Sure this movie is not for everyone - but you can say that about every movie even the blockbusters - but well I saw it, loved it and thought it deserved a review from someone who liked the movie too! Had some laugh-out-loud moments for me and some aw moments and I thought the acting and casting were good too and the characters likable. I agree, some silly scenes but all part of the fun! The cat's pyjamas!
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