Blu-Ray Review: Pets Deserve Better Than ‘Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore’

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CHICAGO – At its rare best, “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” recalls Looney Tunes productions with their brilliant blend of slapstick humor, wordplay, and breakneck pace. And the odd collection of TV-caliber guest stars including Fred Armisen (“Saturday Night Live”), Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock”), and Chris O’Donnell (“NCIS: Los Angeles”) along with a truly weird group of vocal performances that include Bette Midler and Nick Nolte of all people make for a film that sometimes resembles “Looney Tunes: Back in Action.” Sadly, resembling a funny movie does not make a comedy and this half-assed attempt at family entertainment should be sent to the pound. Blu-Ray Rating: 1.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 1.5/5.0

When I come down hard on family movies, I’m often accused of being cynical and not appreciating the target audience but I think I’m actually more critical of films like this because we are so clearly in the prime of children’s movie entertainment overall. In other words, when there are movies like “Toy Story 3,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” and even lesser-but-entertaining family movies like “Ramona and Beezus” on the market, why subject your kid to something this lazy? Even most television is smarter. Go watch “Phineas and Ferb.”

James Marsden voices Diggs, a German Shepherd police dog who starts by partnering with Chris O’Donnell but ends up sucked into a 007-esque world of espionage only with Bond replaced by a pooch and Blofeld replaced by a cat. The enemy of the piece is the titular Kitty Galore (Bette Midler), a now-hairless feline who used to work for the good guys but now wants to take down all dogs and make the world her scratching post. Other voice talent involved includes Katt Williams, Christina Applegate, Neil Patrick Harris, and Joe Pantoliano.

Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 16th, 2010
Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 16th, 2010
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Like similarly-lazy “Marmaduke,” “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” is one of those lackluster productions that feels like it’s doing the bare minimum to reach a brief running time (82 minutes) and steal parents’ hard-earned money. Kids can be easy sells and maybe I am more critical when it feels like their movie innocence is being exploited for a buck. They may find the creepy-looking Kitty Galore funny or laugh hysterically when Diggs bites a clown in the ass but just as we watch what kids eat we should watch what qualifies as their entertainment as well. This is the worst fast food for little ones — it may fill them up but it’s not nutritious in any way.

The best thing about the Blu-ray release of “The Revenge of Kitty Galore” is that it comes with an all-new Looney Tunes short called “Coyote Falls” featuring Wile E. and Road Runner. Just watch that fifteen times instead of the movie. And the less said about a “Yogi Bear” sneak peek the better.

Official Synopsis:
“Former elite agent Kitty Galore plans to unleash a diabolical device designed to not only bring her canine enemies to heel but also to take down her former kitty comrades and make the world her scratching post. Cats and dogs must now join forces for the first time ever to prevent a global cat-astrophe. This fun adventure features the voice talent of Christina Applegate, Michael Clarke Duncan, Neil Patrick Harris, Sean Hayes, James Marsden, Bette Midler and Nick Nolte and stars Chris O’Donnell and Jack McBrayer.”

Special Features:
o Dogs Dishing: Tails From the Bark Side of Hollywood
o Mash-Up: The Best of the Best Cat Vs. Dog Animated Showdowns
o Meow-Takes: Outtakes and Gag Reel
o Looney Tunes “Coyote Falls”
o Sneak Peek at the All-New “Yogi Bear” Theatrical Film
o DVD Version
o Digital Copy

‘Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore’ stars Christina Applegate, Michael Clarke Duncan, Neil Patrick Harris, Sean Hayes, James Marsden, Bette Midler, Nick Nolte, Joe Pantoliano, Katt Williams, Chris O’Donnell, Jack McBrayer, Fred Armisen, and Paul Rodriguez. It was written by Ron J. Friedman & Steve Bencich and directed by Brad Peyton. It is rated PG and runs 82 minutes. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 16th, 2010. content director Brian Tallerico

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