The Cat from Outer Space
An alien that looks like a cat crash lands on Earth and must seek help from the planets inhabitants to fix his ship and return home.
In the 1970s, Disney produced a slew of live action children’s movies that had a kind of corny low budget charm. Movies like, Escape to Witch Mountain, Return to Witch Mountain, The Unidentified Flying Oddball, and The Cat from Outer Space. These films hold a very special place in my heart and most of them I saw in the theater upon their release. In this article, I will be covering the last on the list, which ranks up there with one of my childhood favorite films, The Cat from Outer Space.
A UFO makes an emergency landing and is taken into custody by the U.S. Government, it’s occupant, an alien that looks remarkably like a house cat, escapes unnoticed and befriends, Frank Wilson (Ken Berry) who names the “cat” Jake (voiced by Ronnie Schell, Physically played by Rumpler and Amber). In exchange for help in repairing his ship, Jake promises Frank advanced knowledge on his ships power systems, but of course their plan for repairs don’t go as planned when Liz (Sandy Duncan), Frank’s would be love interest, gets involved. Throw in an industrial spy named Smallwood (Roddy McDowall) and the rest of the U.S. Government pursuing Jake, Frank and Liz (plus her cat named Lucybell) and you have a screwball comedy just the right size for pre-teen viewing. Can Jake get his ship repaired in time to meet his mothership and return home, or will he be trapped on Earth? Watch and find out!
I love cats; I love superpowers, and I love zany antics and this movie has all three. The special effects aren’t much when compared to today’s standards, and the acting is over the top and cheesy, and the script isn’t going to be winning the Oscar anytime soon, but it has a kind of innocent magical heart and soul that endears the story to you. As a child I loved this movie. Watching it now, the nostalgic element still makes it endearing, even if it is a bit too long. The one thing that you can’t really complain about is the cast, with some acting greats. Roddy McDowall, Harry Morgan, McLean Stevenson, Sandy Duncan and Ken Berry were all well known names at the time and all of them played their parts well.
The critical response to the movie was what one would expect, the consensus is that it is a “successful G-rated family fare”. The reviewer for Variety wrote, “The fun, as usual with Disney pix, comes in the believable sight gags provided along the way. Also as usual, it’s a good cast of veterans and nothing to tax them beyond their abilities, all ably kept in place by director Norman Tokar. The aerial climax is especially good.” Having directed more than fifteen Walt Disney live action movies, this was Norman Tokar’s last film before he passed away.
This review is done in loving memory of “Squeaky” my beautiful loving little feline lady, who came into my life, captured my heart and for twelve years brought me such joy but who sadly crossed the “Rainbow Bridge” on 3/28/2023.
The Cat from Outer Space: Furry Fun for the Whole Family
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Acting - 8/108/10
- Music - 8/108/10
- Production - 8/108/10