Face It: People Dressing as Cats Has ALWAYS Been Creepy
December of 2019 saw the release of the big-budget all-star cast version of “Cats”. Depending on how you count decades, “Cats” is going to go down as either one of the biggest box office disasters of the 20-teens or of the 2020s. It was widely panned by critics, averaging 3.77 out of 10 on Rotten Tomatoes review aggregator. Some of the CGI was so glitchy that Universal had to rush out a “fixed” version to theaters within the first week of release.
And audiences stayed away in droves. Projections are that the film is going to lose between $75 and $100 MILLION! Universal might have had an inkling of impending doom when the trailer came out and all fans, even fans of the Broadway musical, could do was note how “creepy AF” the whole thing looked.
I’d just like to point out that “Cats” has always looked creepy. “Cats” was the first professionally done musical I even saw. It was so off-putting and horrifying that for fifteen years I thought I hated Broadway musicals. It turns out I LOVE Broadway. I just hated THAT play.
To prove that actors dressed up as nightmarish cat/people mutant hybrids has always been uber-creepy here is a PSA that ran on TV in 1984, the height of Broadway “Cats” mania.
The PSA was put out by the Department of Transportation and the message was anti-getting-in-a-car-wreck, I guess? When Old Deuteronomy says, “No one wants a child to become…a memory!” you have about one second to hope they don’t segue into the song “Memory” before they actually do. Maybe if they did an updated version for 2020 you’d have Jennifer Hudson and Idris Elba saying, “Nobody wants a child to become…a Beautiful Ghost. "