Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Iconic musical interpretation of T.S Elliot’s poem “The Naming of Cats” is finally being portrayed on the silver screen. But upon the release of its first trailer the internet seemed to have an allergic reaction to the way it was portrayed on film. Seemingly star studded cast, including the likes of Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson, and Taylor Swift were transformed into CGI human cat hybrids.
To fans who have followed the show and seen performances this came as no surprise for the musical on stage has always featured avant garde interpretation of Cats. More than most shows, “Cats” demands not just a suspension of disbelief but a fairly complete surrender. In the live theater, this means accepting that the hot, sinewy humans in front of you are cats. But audiences new to Webber’s feline extravaganza perceived the artistic style and CGI as creepy and off-putting. As seeing the cast’s likeness morphed into a cat is uncomfortable to initially look at, especially when not knowing of the traditional costumes within “Cats”.
The Results of this controversy have contributed to Universal Pictures bracing to lose at least $70 million after critically panned movie “Cats” bombed over the holidays, according to a person close to the project. I personally think that audiences were just not prepared for the “Cats” musical and the style of its costumes. It might help to recall that from its inception, “Cats” has been a divisive show, the kind that pretty much works to make the audience confused by the shows oddities.
Sophomore Elizabeth Burnham saw the movie winter break and enjoyed the film, “I thought that the music was very good and I enjoyed the range of it throughout the movie. I think that the CGI was good and that overall they did a good job of trying to replicate the show as best as they could.”“Fifty percent of the world loves cats,” Lloyd Webber once said, “and 50 percent of the world hates them, and I’m very happy to only play to 50 percent of the world.” Whether you’re still in Lloyd Webber’s half of the world after Dec. 20, Cats will remain a show that has surprised audiences and retained its marvelous nature for decades.