The Cat That Looked at a King (2004)

Video   |    |  Animation, Short, Comedy


The Cat That Looked at a King (2004) Poster

Mary Poppins takes two children into a chalk drawing to show a tale about how a cat challenged an intellectually arrogant king.

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19 April 2005 | bob the moo
A watchable animation bookended by a flat Mary Poppins ripoff
A couple of children are engaged by the chalk paintings on the ground outside of their local park and are lucky enough to meet a woman who can take them inside them to see the stories within first hand. Following a white cat, they enter the story of a king who sees himself as the smartest in all the land and his queen, who feels isolated from him and can't see the fun loving man in him that she once loved.

Located on the Mary Poppins DVD this is an OK idea if you can get past the feeling of grave-robbing for the sake of a sequel then it is worth seeing. The plot is a simple story about an animated king and really Mary Poppins and the kids are really just a basic way in and spend most of the film just sitting watching; I would guess the plan was/is to make this into a series of shorts where they enter short animated tales via different pictures – not sure if they are worth doing but I suppose it could work. The tale is nicely written and does have a nice amount of emotion within it but I didn't really get engaged or moved by it despite this.

Part of the problem is the fact that I wasn't able to get past the feeling that they were ripping off Mary Poppins just to get a way "into" an animated short film that could just have been a short in its own right. The delivery doesn't help either because Julie Andrews looks like she has just walked onto the set in whatever she was wearing and has just been herself rather than acting in anyway. Stiers is good value for his voice work but he has awful support from a lifeless Sarah Ferguson (yes, that one) who manages to make almost every word sound as flat as the shipping forecast. Ullman is an interesting find but doesn't bring any of herself to the piece.

Overall this is an OK short film that could be stretched out into a series of DVD extras but, having watched it after Mary Poppins it is hard not to see it as a lesser film for the fact that it lifts ideas without anything interesting or clever of its own to do or say. The animation is OK and the story watchable but it is no more than that even if it will be colourful enough to please kids who can't tell the difference.

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Animation | Short | Comedy | Family | Fantasy

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