Cats Don't Dance
“Exciting, arousing, mysterious, vulgar...And I loved every moment of it, it's the perfect fun movie for the whole family”
“This was the first cartoon that made me slit my own wrists. And when Bambi's mom got shot I tried to hang myself.”
“Every time I looked into Danny's eyes, I could feel him mentally trying to undress me”
“I found the acting very impressive. Especially Kane Hodder's performance as Max.”
Cats Don't Dance is a 1997 animated exploitation feature film directed by Russ Meyer; the only animated feature produced by the short-lived Twisted Pictures animation unit. It was distributed to theaters by Troma Pictures.
Act I Once upon a time, a young cat named Danny lives with his parents in a forest. On his seventh birthday, Danny's parents send the young catout of their house and into the world to make his living. They warn him that because of being an anime, everyone will hate him, and he won't have any luck in being in the spotlight of Hollywood. Later, a now embittered, hardened teen Kiyo is living contentedly alone in a house of sweets in a forest. His solitude is disrupted when all the toons of the land begin showing up on his property, exiled from Mammoth Pictures by order of the diminutive Lord Thrax, L.B. Mammoth’s royal vizier. Kiyo decides to travel to see Thrax to try to regain his privacy and along the way reluctantly rescues a talkative Keronian Keroro from some of the Lord's goons. Keroro insists on tagging along. Meanwhile, Lord Thrax is torturing Olivia the mouse into revealing the whereabouts of the remaining toon creatures in hiding when his guards arrive with the one magical item for which he has been searching for years—the Magic candle Lumiere. Upon asking if Mammoth Pictures is the most perfect studio of them all, Lumiere informs him that Mammoth Pictures is not a studio because Thrax is technically not the head of it, but can become one if he marries a princess. Thrax chooses the "perfect" Princess Sawyer from three "eligible bachelorettes" but rushes out before the Mirror can explain "the little thing that happens after sunset". The Mirror shows us outcast seven-year-old Princess Sawyer dreaming of the brave knight who, her storybooks tell her, will one day rescue her from her tower, and end her mysterious curse with "True Love's First Kiss". As she grows into a teenager, and then a headstrong woman (Meg from Hercules), she becomes a little bit stir crazy, but never loses her faith in her fairy tales. Kiyo and Keroro arrive in Mammoth Pictures and make their way to Thrax's joint, disrupting a kingdom-wide lottery to choose the "brave knight" who will finally rescue Princess Sawyer from her castle (which is surrounded by lava and protected by a hydra) so that Thrax may marry her and thus become a legitimate head of Mammoth Pictures. Kiyo impresses Thrax with his size, appearance, and "expendability," and the anime toon agrees to undertake the rescue in exchange for the deed to his forest. Kiyo and Keroro set off to find Sawyer. After crossing the rickety old bridge and arriving at the castle, Kiyo sets off alone to rescue Sawyer while Keroro encounters the guardian Hydra, who sees him as a tasty snack. Keroro charms the fire-breathing creature by complimenting her teeth, and escapes death momentarily. When Kiyo finds Sawyer, his lack of interest in playing out her desired, romantic rescue scene annoys her, and Kiyo must drag her off by force. The two of them reunite with Keroro and all three attempts to escape while being chased by the angry hydra and her skeletons. Once they are safe, Sawyer insists that Kiyo reveal his identity. She is appalled that her rescuer is an anime toon, and not the toon Prince Charming her stories promised. Kiyo explains that he is merely her champion; instead, she is to wed Lord Thrax. As the trio begins their journey back to Thrax's palace, the Princess is frightened by the setting sun and insists that they rest for the night and that she spend the night, alone, in a nearby cave. Keroro and Kiyo remain awake and Keroro, delighted at being referred to by Sawyer as a "noble steed," asks Kiyo who he would be, if he didn't have to be an anime toon anymore. As Kiyo opens up to his new friend, Sawyer, transformed into a toon (Sawyer Cat from Cats Don’t Dance), stands apart and alone in the moonlight and listens. Act II The next day, Princess Sawyer rises early and sings with a bluebird and dances with a deer (before making the bird explode and throwing the deer off a cliff) and assists a Pied Piper in his rat-charming duties. Kiyo brings down her mood by attempting to give subtle hints about her groom-to-be ("Men of Thrax’s stature are in sharp supply", "He's very good at sharp talk", etc.) and mocking her tragic childhood circumstances. The two begin a contest of one-up-man-ship, each trying to out-do the other by revealing their respective pasts. Both admit to being thrown out by their parents; this connection kindles friendship. Meanwhile, back in Mammoth Pictures, Lord Thrax plans his wedding, and reveals his own sordid heritage after Lumiere asks him if his father should be on the guest list. As Kiyo and Sawyer's new-found camaraderie grows into love, Keroro insists, with the help of the Muses, that Kiyo should gather his courage and romantically engage Sawyer. Kiyo, finally beginning to come out of his caustic, protective shell, tries to find the words to explain his feelings to Sawyer. While Kiyo is out finding a flower for Sawyer, Keroro discovers that Sawyer turns into a cat-like toon at night, and she confesses that she was cursed as a child, which is why she was locked away in the tower. Only a kiss from her true love will return her to her proper form. Kiyo arrives near the end of the conversation and misunderstands Sawyer's description of herself as an unloved thing to be referencing him. Hurt by her presumed opinion, Kiyo storms off. The next day, transformed back to her human form, Sawyer decides to tell Kiyo about her curse. When Sawyer tries to explain, Kiyo rebuffs her. During the night, Kiyo went to fetch Lord Thrax, who arrives now to claim Princess Sawyer (he changes the name of the "pretty pony" he rides in each performance-some names have included Spielberg, Condoleezza, Plastic Horse, Sprinkles, Beyoncé, Queen Latifah, Miley Cyrus, and Fiberglass). While not very impressed with Thrax, Sawyer agrees to marry him and insists that they have the wedding before sunset. As they ride back to Mammoth Pictures, Keroro tries to explain the misunderstanding to Kiyo, (who's too angry to listen), and Kiyo rejects him as well, declaring that he will return to his forest alone and build a wall against the outside world, be what the world says he should be—a monster—and never allow himself to feel any kind of love again. The toon creatures, now headed for a land-fill which is to be their new home, decide Thrax's treatment of them is intolerable. Just because they are toons, doesn't mean they deserve to be hated. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Olivia the mouse, Pudge, and all the others gather new confidence in themselves and strength as they declare they'll raise their "Freak Flag" high against their tormentors. Kiyo returns to his again-private forest, but he misses Sawyer. Keroro follows him back, and convinces Kiyo of his friendship by forgiving the anime toon for his harsh words. Kiyo apologizes, and Keroro convinces him that Sawyer really cares for the anime toon. Both of them hurry back to Mammoth Pictures. Kiyo interrupts the world premiere before Thrax can kiss Sawyer, and Sawyer convinces him to let Kiyo speak with her. Kiyo finally finds the words that he's been searching for, and declares his love for Sawyer. However, his declaration of love is mocked by everyone. Sawyer, caught between love and her desire to break the curse tries to run away, but just then the exiled toon beings crash the wedding and protest their banishment. During the commotion, the sun sets, causing Sawyer to turn into a toon cat in front of everyone. Thrax, furious and disgusted over the change, orders that Kiyo be killed and Sawyer banished back to her tower. As Thrax proclaims himself the new king, Kiyo whistles for the hydra (she escaped the castle and followed Keroro back to the swamp), who crashes through the window with Keroro and devours Lord Thrax. Kiyo and Sawyer admit their love for each other and share a kiss; Sawyer's curse is broken and she takes her true form: an anime toon (Tart’s human form in ETO Ranger). She is ashamed of her looks, but Kiyo declares that she is still beautiful. The two live happily ever after and everyone celebrates.
- Danny spent most of his life as a stray cat, living mostly on spaghetti meals he stole from Lady and the Tramp behind restaurants. After years of working as a drug dealer with his uncle Fritz the Cat he finally got enough money to the bus ticket to Hollywood. Danny was forced to take various low-paying jobs in the movie industry; his main income still came from dealing drugs. He spent ten years as the stunt double for Sylvester and Tom. Danny didn't enjoy these times very much, as was quoted as saying "Those big shot jerks claim they do their own stunts, but I took every single hit from anvils, mallets and safes for them. And what did I get for that? Two bucks a day and a slap on the back!" But this still wasn't enough; Danny ended up selling himself to a Carnival run by inbreed freaks and mustache grooming enthusiasts in order to pay his rent. This is where he met his future wife, Sawyer.
- Sawyer was the bastard daughter of Leatherface and Underground Comic porn star Penelope Pussycat. While traveling around Texas with fellow porn star Jessica Rabbit she had a run-in with the homicidal Sawyer family. Lucky for Penelope, they were a clan of cannibals and were satisfied with eating Jessica. Penelope married Leatherface and they had one daughter. Leatherface was given the honor of naming their daughter, and he dubbed her AHHHHOOOOAAAAAHHHHHRRRRGHHHH Sawyer. This was a little hard on the throat, so they just called her by her last name.
Sawyer decided to pursue a career as an singer and actress and left Texas for Hollywood. At first she couldn't find work and took to gambling and prostitution to get by. After winning a gambling match at the Carnival that Danny sold himself to, she won him as her slave. They were accidentally married after a drunken night in Duckburg.
- T.W. Turtle was most known for serving his time in the military for most of the time during World War One. There he met a fellow private, a Mr. Mark Dindal. They were stranded in a trench for a course of nineteen months over which they both became gay and fell in love. After the war, the two coupled up and decided to live on the road. As they took their road trip through the heartland of America, T.W. saw the movie Plan 9 from Outerspace. Inspired by what he saw as an amazing triumph in cinema history, he decided to pursue an acting career in Hollywood.
Johnny Cash provided the talking and singing voice of Tillie the Hippo, while the body part was filled in by Oprah Winfrey. Oprah was said to be an ideal choice, due to the minimal makeup needed to make her look like how the character was intended. In addition Angus Scrimm actually was the one who played Cranston the goat, but is almost completely unrecognizable under the immense amount of prosthetics. The special effects for Elmer Fudd's shotgun massacre were done by Tom Savini. Molds of the heads of 64 characters were made for the head shot effects. For extra realism, they killed the entire cast and filled the molds with their insides.
The film got off to a rocky start. Quite often on the set, Danny and Sawyer would excuse themselves off of the set by stating that they needed some fresh air. In actuality, they went into the studio's bathrooms to snort catnip and drink milk heavily mixed with vodka. Pudge the Penguin is said to bore witness to these events, and has admitted to joining them as well.
More trouble occurred in post-production. A rumor started that an image of a naked woman appeared in the upper left hand corner for two minutes. It was actually TW Turtle in drag and appeared for two hours straight at the request of his lover, Mark Dindal.
No people were hurt during the making of this movie, only animals. Lots and lots of innocent little animals. Tilly and Woolie were known to eat actors alive for their lunches, claiming that they "taste like bacon."
- Sawyer's song "Tell Me Lies" was written by herself, and was actually a song about her dark and seedy past full of gambling, drugs, prostitution, adult film, vaudeville revival shows, professional platypus wrangling, and the theft of those little mints hotels sometimes leave on your pillow.
- If played backwards, the song "Nothing is Gonna Stop Us Now" reveals some interesting details. A mysterious sounding voice recounts the slaying of several young production assistants who had worked on the film. Towards the end of the message, a faint chanting can be heard: "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!"
- During her song; "I'm going incredibly insane", Darla Dimple's voice was removed by her own request and dubbed by Dolly Parton.
Cats Don't Dance has recently been remade for Japanese audiences in the form of an anime. Within the anime, all animal characters have been changed to humans with animalistic features. The script was also drastically changed, and randoms bits of dialogue left over from Dragon Ball Z were added in for creative purposes. In the scene where Max grabs Danny and asks him "how does the kitty cat go?" Danny points towards him and exclaims "IT'S OVER NINE THOOOOUUUUSAAAAND!"
- If you look really closely in this movie, and really open your eyes, you can find Jesus. He's in the third row behind the zebras.
- Elymra from Tiny Toon Adventures was originally meant to play Darla, but was turned down cause she strangled the original actor for Danny to death.
- Chuck Norris was originally supposed to play Danny. But as soon as he opened his mouth and began to sing, the sound waves from his vocal chords completely destroyed the Hollywood set. The movie itself had to be filmed secretly in a green-screen studio far away from Norris' location.
- PW turtle's stunt double was Raphael of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- The posters at the end are all of various sexploitation movies owned by Troma and Twisted Pictures.
- This film was Sawyer's big breakthrough. Previously, she was mostly know for obscure leather and bondage adult films.
- Preceding the feature in theaters was a newly produced short film featuring 5 minutes of Leonard Maltin crying.
- Grossing around US$2 million (US$666 million worldwide), it was a considerably large bomb, partially due to stiff competition from Bram Stoker's Duckula and Roger Rabbit VS Bugs Bunny
- The true identity of the Zodiac killer can be found within Danny's straw hat. The hat was sold a few years on ebay to a woman who was named Amanda Hugginkiss, who's unfortunate name has plagued her for her entire life. She recently changed her name and is currently living in Arizona, where she lives off of a website she runs that is determined to prove that the US moon landing videos were faked.
- A on line petition has been made for people who wants to prevent the film from ever be released on VHS, Laser disc, DVD or any other form of media. It currently has 9585674832941746238458 signatures.