Animation and Cartoons Wiki

Cats Don't Dance is an animated feature length film produced by Turner Feature Animation, and distributed by Warner Bros. Family Entertainment. It was released on the 26th of March in the year 1997. The film follows Danny, an anthropomorphic cat, as he seeks to enter a musical career in Hollywood during the year 1939. The film has a run time of 75 minutes.


In 1939, Danny, an optimistic cat, dreams of Hollywood stardom, so he travels from Kokomo, Indiana to Hollywood in hopes of starting a career there. After meeting a new friend Pudge, Danny is selected by agent Farley Wink to feature in a film called Li'l Ark Angel that is in production alongside a white cat named Sawyer at Mammoth Studios. Upon joining fellow animals; Tillie, Cranston, Frances, and T.W., Danny is dismayed on learning how minor his role is and tries to weasel his way into more time in the spotlight. Danny winds up angering Darla Dimple, a popular, extremely spoiled child actress and star of the film, so she assigns her valet Max to intimidate Danny into no longer trying to enlarge his part.

Danny learns from the studio's mascot Woolie that human actors are normally given more important roles than animals; a fact that none of them are very happy with but know they must accept. He longs for the spotlight and tries to make a plan that will encourage humans to provide animal actors with better scenarios — such as by assembling a massive cluster of animals and putting on a musical performance for the humans.

Later, Danny is given advice by Darla (while masking her true villainous nature with a sweet one as she always does) through song on how to interest and satisfy audiences. He takes this information to heart and groups the animals for an audition on the Ark in hopes of attracting the humans' attention. However, Darla, fearing that the animals are jeopardizing her spotlight, has Max help her flood the stage, while L.B. Mammoth, the head of Mammoth Studios; and Flanagan, the film's director, are giving an interview, gets the animals blamed for the damage, and gets them fired. The animals are depressed at being barred from acting in Mammoth Studios (especially Danny who was convinced by Darla that she was trying to help the animals). As Woolie tells Danny to leave for home, Tillie suggests Sawyer to follow Danny.

After a comment from the bus driver and seeing Pudge wander the streets, Danny comes up with a plan yet again. He secretly invites Sawyer, her friends, and Woolie to the premiere of Lil' Ark Angel. After the screening and a battle with Max that sends him flying away on a Darla Dimple balloon, Danny calls the audience's attention. Upon Sawyer, Woolie; Tillie bringing Cranston, Frances, and T.W. backstage to help Danny, the eight animals put on a musical performance that entertains and impresses its viewers. Meanwhile, Darla attempts to sabotage the show by tampering with the set and special effects equipment, but her attempts instead cause her to inadvertently enhance the performance as well as injure herself. Then last, she tries to ruin the show by pulling a big all-switch, though this sets off an enormous fireworks finale, making the animals' performance a complete success.

Furious and fuming at the animals, Darla berates Danny, then she accidentally confesses to flooding Mammoth Studios and framing the animals when it is broadcast over the theater's sound system thanks to an open microphone, revealing the truth about the incident to the audience, including L.B. Mammoth and Flanagan, who are horrified seeing Darla for her true colors. Pudge pulls a lever, sending Darla down a trapdoor. At last, the animals' demand for larger roles are met and their dreams are fulfilled after so long, and Danny and Sawyer admit their feelings for each other.

There is a montage of film poster parodies which put the main animals in roles. It is shown afterwards that Darla is fired from show business and is now working as a janitor as punishment for her crimes and getting the animals fired by flooding Mammoth Studios. She puts up a "The End" poster on a wall, and it falls down and wraps around her.


"One of the things that stuck in my mind after we spoke with people who'd been part of Hollywood's Golden Age was the number of times they described an effect or stunt that they had never done before. They said, `We just did it, and if it worked, we left it.' I like to think that we've kind of tipped our hats to the best of both worlds with Cats Don't Dance; it's an homage to the past, but created with the talents of the present and the technology of the future. And the message -- giving everyone a chance to be his or her best by pursuing what they truly love is timeless." - Mark Dindal

The film was produced by Turner Feature Animation, and is notable for being the only feature length film produced by Turner Feature Animation. This is due to a merger of Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting Systems which resulted in Turner Feature Animation becoming one with Time Warner Animation, the Animation Studio of Time Warner. The film serves as former Disney Animator Mark Dindal's debut as a director and as Betty Lou Gerson's last film role. Its musical numbers were written by Randy Newmanand includes Gene Kelly's contributions as choreographer, before his death in 1996. The film was Kelly's final film project, and is dedicated to him.





The film became the first non-Disney animated film to receive the Best Animated Feature award.