Apr 4, 2014

Review: Macskafogó [Cat City] (1986)

Cat City is a Hungarian animated film that plays out like a wacky and bizarre spy/thriller. It can leave you scratching your head wondering what the hell just happened but that's what makes it interesting. It's set in a world populated by cats, rats, bats and mice but these aren't at all your cutesy animated animal movies from American mainstream cinema. 

There's some violence, right from the beginning actually but for the most part it's cartoony violence like you'd see in Looney Toons. What's truly baffling is the amount of sexual content that's presented. We're shown plenty of cat and rat cleavage which is just so weird but strangely amusing at the same time. I think it's an attempt at spoofing Western spy movies since there are some other good natured jabs at Western movies.

The time period of Cat City is 80 AMM. Don't know when that is? Of course not, it's 80 After Mickey Mouse. I doubt Disney signed off on that. Another joke is that the opening credits are in the style of the Star Wars credit craw. Funny how that's a Disney property too now.

Anyway, the story is about the cats and mice trying to gain an advantage over each other in their war against one another. The mice are trying to get their hands on some plans that could put them over the top and the cats are trying to stop them.

The cats are of course the bad guys and my favourite is Mr. Fritz Teufel. He's cold, merciless and the voice acting for him is hilarious. He's not the top guy in his organization, that would be Mr. Gatto who causes Mr. Teufel a lot of stress. At least he's got Safranek to take his anger out on which he does quite a few times. He's a spoof of many villains like you'd see in Western cinema with an eye patch, a fake metal hand and he smokes cigars non-stop.

Our hero is Grabovszky who doesn't joke around and just gets stuff done. He was actually retired but Intermouse needs him back for one last job. You know how it is.

The animation in Cat City is by no means great but it doesn't really need to be. It gets by on just being out there and wacky. Cat-head missles? You bet. A trumpet number with bat accompaniment? It's there if you need it. Cat City is  too weird and too charming not to appreciate in some capacity.

Cat City seems to have a really strong cult following as evidenced by it's 8.3 rating on IMDB from 5619 people at the time of writing this. I think that's a bit high but I'm a fan of weird movies to begin with. In the end, I can totally understand if someone were to have difficulty getting into what's just a weird and mostly nonsensical tale of cat vs. mouse.


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