It’s true that cats are ubiquitous on the Internet now, and it’s a wonder we haven’t seen more films about them outside of Garfield. Is it still possible, though, for a real cat to become a movie star when dogs seem to be the better scene-stealers? Particularly when you match up the new online phenomenon of sedentary Grumpy Cat with more active Uggie the Dog from “The Artist”, the cuteness of the dog may ultimately win out.
That’s because an animal in action is always going to be worthier for the big screen. Or can that be proven wrong now that Grumpy Cat has a film deal for a movie? If a cat that works with only his or her expressions is considered to be worthy of a feature green light, what does it mean for the genre of the cat movie?
There hasn’t been a movie featuring a real cat in years, and it initially gave the sinking feeling of Grumpy Cat being a CGI creation in the guise of the “Garfield” movie franchise. Although we’re long overdue for another movie that features a real cat as moviegoers used to see in years prior to the 1990s. Anyone who grew up with Disney knows how many cats they employed, albeit surrounded by human actors and not many solo ventures.
The only exception to the above would be “The Incredible Journey” and its remakes where moviegoers were finally able to partially see what was inside the mind of a feline. Perhaps the only way now toward making a cat film interesting is returning to that concept as “Babe” did with every other animal. How that works, though, without turning Grumpy Cat into the next Garfield should give a screenwriter a raise for not catering to derivative options.
What makes it interesting for Grumpy Cat is that he has those expressions to go on. No matter how cute real cats have been in films before, you can’t say they were able to create an acting expression that garners a laugh. Ultimately, it’s far better to let the expressions speak for Grumpy rather than hiring someone who sounds as droll as Bill Murray to do the voice work.
This cat will have to find some way to move, though. And the inspiration for that might come from an unlikely place: The White House. Those of you who’ve ever taken a gander at the videos made there of Bo the Dog will know that they give a first-dog approach to the video as if Bo has taken over the premises. They do this without a shred of dialogue and only Bo’s priceless expressions.
Should the Grumpy Cat movie be made this way? Yahoo! Movies has already explored the possibilities and it turns out that it apparently will be made in the Garfield mold, with the hunt on for a voice actor and human star. The fact that it has to resort to the equivalent of using a Jon Arbuckle character to carry it proves the movie meme of keeping a status quo is alive and well.
At least “The Artist” proved that silence is golden in animals able to literally express themselves. Grumpy Cat could have been ready-made for the renaissance of the silent film had he not entered a movie world so devoid of ideas. But the concept of the quotable sound bite still outweighs the potential for the expression bite.