Characters / Cats Don't Dance

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    Danny 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/danny.png
Voiced by: Scott Bakula

An orange tomcat with dreams of becoming a Hollywood star.
  • Adorkable: His optimism and energetic dancing and singing, makes him quite adorable. Also, when he becomes a couple with Sawyer after he realizes what she meant about the new item on his list "Get the girl".
  • Ascended Fanboy: His dreams of making it big in Hollywood. He had to work a lot harder for it than he had imagined, though.
  • Badass Adorable: A cute, friendly little cat who manages to make his and dreams of all his friends come true and even manages to fight off MAX.
  • Batman Gambit: The ending number, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now," is a perfect example. By this point, Danny has realized how egotistical and cheating Darla really is. So he sets this whole audition up by first pretending to honor her, then tricking her into saying that she arranged a special live show with animals for the audience, and then whatever cheating Darla comes up with when the show starts, he coaches the other animals to go along with it. This results in the most spectacular audition in cinema history, and Darla outing herself as the one who flooded Mammoth Studios and then getting fired.
  • Blithe Spirit: His optimism is what helps his friends remember their dreams.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Gender-flipped. The optimistic Gentle Boy to Sawyer's cynical Brooding Girl.
  • Cool Big Bro: To Pudge.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not as much as Sawyer, but he has his sassy moments, especially when he comments on Sawyer's dancing during the Animal Jam song. Bonus points for him sliding across the floor with his tail while lounging.
    Danny: Not bad. A little rusty, but hey, who's perfect?
  • Determinator: He's extremely determined to become a Hollywood star. He won't let Hollywood's standards stop him for even a minute.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In his arrival song, he dreamed of being a Hollywood star since he was little. Soon after he helps Pudge with a block of ice, and becomes fast friends with him, dancing with him as well. He also sings how even the most impossible dream can come true if someone believes it. Then when he was on his way to get an agent, he boards a taxi, not knowing that Sawyer needs it to get to work on time, and then boards a bus, and accidentally knocks Sawyer into a fountain. This establishes Danny as a kind-hearted, fun-loving, idealistic, yet naive and clumsy character.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: His Fatal Flaw is that he doesn't understand how evil Darla is or what great lengths she'll pull to destroy his dream. After Darla revealed her manipulations however and Danny gets called out for believing her, Danny finally understands the extent of Darla's evil, and as such in the climax song, he cleverly uses Darla's ego and cheating tendencies to boost his and his friends' performances.
  • He's Back: After Darla's manipulations get all the animals fired from Mammoth Studios, Danny gives up completely and decides to just get on the bus back to Kokomo. However, after listening to the bus driver's negative comments on how animals would never reach the top and seeing all of the other animals suffering on the streets, he quickly regains his confidence and gets off the bus, triumphantly declaring:
    Danny: See you in the movies!
  • Hidden Depths: He is shown to have a high level of resourcefulness, as shown throughout the film. Whenever he learns about the odds against him, he thinks of clever ways to overcome them. It reaches its climax when he sets up the audition song in a way that whatever cheating Darla comes up with, he coaches his friends to go along with it, therefore boosting their performances.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Danny trusting Darla to set up an audition with L.B. Mammoth. The other animals call him out on this after he got them fired.
    Sawyer (shocked): She's your little angel?
    Danny: She- she said she wanted to help.
    Tilly: And you believed her?
    Danny: I... I...
    (Sawyer walks away)
  • Keet: He's very upbeat and energetic.
  • Love at First Sight: Implied. He does have that look when he first meets Sawyer. And they end up together.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Guy: To Sawyer. He doesn't have a backstory of his own and wants to be a star. Sawyer has given up her dreams of being a singer and dancer by working as a secretary, accepting reality, only to be persuaded to pursue her dream by Danny.
  • Na´ve Newcomer: Danny believes that he can easily become a big time Hollywood star based solely on his talent. Reality however is not so kind and easy as he initially thought.
  • Nice Guy: Danny is polite and kind-hearted. He is also very caring towards those who have their dreams broken by Hollywood's standards, and works hard to make their dreams come true, as well as his own.
  • Nice Hat: His straw hat.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Danny's attempt to get the animals' talent noticed allows Darla to make things much worse for them.
  • Official Couple: With Sawyer.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Before the climatic song, when the animals protest against performing, Danny gets impatient, then gives out this very tough response, to which they all fall silent in response. This is the only time in the film that Danny is serious.
    Danny: (sternly) Look, if you're willing to accept what they think of you, then you can go! I almost did.
  • Redhead In Green: Danny typically wears a green shirt.
  • Rousing Speech: Danny gives this to the animals before the climax song.
    Danny: Why are you still here? (Nobody answers) Because you can't forget the feeling, can you? The feeling you have when... (gestures to Cranston and Frances) ...when you two danced together, (gestures to Woolie) when you play, (gestures to Sawyer, who smiles) and when you sing. They cursed you, humiliated you, even slam the door on your face, but they still haven't made you forget, have they?
    T.W. Turtle: (reading one of his fortune cookie straps) They can smash your cookie, but... but you'll always have your fortune.
    Danny: Come on! Let's go show them what we can do.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Inverted. He's the Keet Energetic Guy to Sawyer's Broken Bird Savvy Girl.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Even though he's a cat, this still applies to him. He's an orange tomcat with green eyes and is the main protagonist.
  • Took a Level in Badass: This is basically Danny's character arc. He starts off being na´ve and too idealistic for his own good. By the climax and the end of the film, after dealing with a lot of cynicism, scorn, prejudice, and manipulation along the way, Danny not only does a successful Batman Gambit that makes his and his friends dreams come true, but he also manages to fight off a dreaded butler and also gets tough with the animals when they protest against performing so that he can help them achieve their dreams.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Danny wholeheartedly believes that he and the other animals can become actors if they try hard enough.

    Sawyer 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sawyer.jpg
Voiced by: Jasmine Guy (speaking), Natalie Cole (singing)

A white female cat who works as a secretary for the Animal Actors' Agency. She originally came to the Hollywood business to become an actress prior to the movie. Despite her singing voice, she was not accepted as an actress.
  • Broken Bird: She came to the Hollywood filled with dreams and an amazing singing voice. Hollywood standards against animal actors however broke her hopes.
    Woolie: Ah, poor Sawyer. I thought she'd be the one to make it. Such a dancer, with a voice like an angel...
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Gender-flipped. The cynical Brooding Girl to Danny's optimistic Gentle Boy.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: Sawyer is a very Deadpan Snarker.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Sawyer eventually warms up to Danny.
  • Deuteragonist: She's the second main character after Danny.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Sawyer falls for the red tomcat, Danny.
  • Hidden Depths: She is actually a great singer and dancer despite initially introduced as simply being a secretary.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sawyer comes off as a cynical and snarky cat at first, but it later becomes clear that Hollywood broke her heart. And even though she initially attempts to discourage Danny from following his dream, it's to stop him from having his heart broken. Besides that, she later comes around to fully supporting to him.
  • Not So Different: Like Danny, Sawyer came into Hollywood with the same dream of being a singer and dancer, and the same optimism. Sawyer eventually discovers this similarity between herself and Danny when she finds his list.
  • Not So Stoic: During the Animal Jam song, Sawyer begins typing along to the beat, her color getting a bit brighter, and then enthusiastically returns the typing carriage to its original position, only to suddenly get hold of herself and straighten up. Also happens again just a few seconds later when she accidentally makes an emergency ladder slam to the ground... with her on it. Her fur puffs up and her claws extend while she makes a very amusing neurotic expression, eyes darting around, then immediately pretends nothing happened and composes herself. Typical cat.
  • Official Couple: With Danny.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Inverted. She's the Broken Bird Savvy Girl to Danny's Keet Energetic Guy.
  • Sexy Secretary: A cat version.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Sawyer develops feelings for Danny not only because he's a nice guy, but because his optimism reignited her own as well.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Sawyer's cynical outlook on life is just a mask to hide her broken bird status.

    Tillie 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tillie_hippo.jpg
Voiced by: Kathy Najimy

A hyperactive hippo who tends to look at the bright side of things.
  • Big Fun: The fact that she's played by Kathy Najimy is a dead givaway...
  • Genki Girl: She is a hilarious hippopotamus, as hinted out by her giggling and snorting, and by how quickly she introduces lots of people (and fellow animals).
  • Motor Mouth: Especially when she introduces one person to another.
  • Nice Girl: The only one who's nice to Danny and feels really bad after making fun of his early performance.

    Cranston 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hqdefault16.jpg
Voiced by: Hal Holbrook

A cynical goat.
  • Beta Couple: With Frances.
  • The Cynic: As a result of having his dreams crushed.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments of this.
  • Grumpy Bear: Cranston seems to be one of the most bitter main characters, as he was one of the last ones to fully accept Danny. He is very pessimistic, even more so than Frances.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He might come across harsh, but he has a good heart beneath it all.
  • Nice Hat: A brown one that can be seen in the picture on the right.
  • When He Smiles: After he finally shows his talent and is appreciated because of it.

    T.W. 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tw_turtle.jpg
Voiced by: Donnie Knotts (speaking), Rick Logan (singing)

A nervous turtle who is always seen reading his fortune cookies.

    Frances 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/frances_albacore.jpg
Voiced by: Betty Lou Gerson

A female fish who is a dancer and a close friend (or maybe more?) to Cranston.

    Woolie 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wooly_the_mammoth.jpg
Voiced by: John Rhys-Davies

An elephant who is making a living being the logo for Mammoth Studios. He is also a skilled pianist and composer.
  • Classically Trained Extra: Wooly is a refined, well-read elephant who can play piano. Mammoth Studios uses him as their Vanity Plate.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's a kindly, polite older animal: he openly admires Danny's performances, and he breaks the news of Hollywood's prejudices to Danny as gently as he can.
  • Gentle Giant: His kindness outmatches his huge size.
  • Honorable Elephant: A gentlemanly elephant.
  • Meaningful Name: Wooly mammoths were prehistoric creatures that are related to the present-day elephants.
  • The Mentor: Acts as one to Danny.
  • Nice Guy: Woolie is quite the kindly gentleman.

    Pudge 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/donut.jpg
Voiced by: Matthew Herried

A young penguin who meets Danny and gets involved in his aspirations.

    Flanigan 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cats_disneyscreencapscom_1748.jpg
Voiced by: Rene Auberjonois

  • Butt-Monkey: He's constantly man-handled by the movie's child-aged villain.
  • Moment Killer: Interrupted what would have been Danny and Sawyer's Big Damn Kiss.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Has this moment when Darla confesses the truth in the destruction of Mammoth Studios that got Danny and the other animals fired, leaving him horrified with L.B. Mammoth. He quickly attempts to make up with the animals alongside L.B. with ensuring their future stardom now that they proven themselves.
  • Nervous Wreck: Whenever Darla is around, expect him to be a weeping mess.
  • Nice Hat: A red beret.
  • Prima Donna Director: Despite that, though, Darla has him wrapped around her finger.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: To Darla Dimple.

    Darla Dimple 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pic_detail4dd1be8323d6c.png
Voiced by: Ashley Peldon (speaking), Lindsay Ridgeway (singing)

A child star and shining jewel of Mammoth Studios. To the general public, she is "America's Sweetheart and Lover of Animals". In reality, Darla's is a self centered actress not willing to share the limelight with anyone else. Especially animals.
  • Alliterative Name: Darla Dimple.
  • Big Bad: She is the primary obstacle for Danny and the other animals, who constantly terrorizes everyone on the set and floods the entire studio in hopes of killing them or getting them fired.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She acts friendly in the eyes of the general public. In reality, she is extremely mean and self-centered.
  • Broken Pedestal: Max genuinely admires her at first.
  • Butt-Monkey: Don't pretend she doesn't deserve it, though.
  • Enfant Terrible: She is an extremely bratty little girl off screen.
  • Evil Laugh: Preceding her Villain Song and also kind of her default laugh. In the German version, it doubles as a rather terrifying Noblewoman's Laugh.
  • The Fake Cutie: There's absolutely nothing cute about her true personality.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her temper and her ego end up doing her in.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: She keeps it under wraps usually.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Non-romantic: Darla is the Tiny Girl to Max's Huge Guy.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: They look the part, but she's far from innocent.
  • It's All About Me: Pretty obvious.
  • Jerkass: A Spoiled Brat who hates all animals, actively works to destroy their performances and has an extremely short temper. Yeah, that'll do it.
  • Jabba Table Manners: When she pigs out on a huge pile of junk food — and one apple — in her balcony box.
  • Large Ham: "BIG AND LOUD!!!!!"
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After trying to get the animals fired, she herself is put out of a job and works as a janitor in the end credits.
  • Light Is Not Good: She's heavily associated with hearts and the color pink—a motif she keeps while she's plotting Danny's downfall.
  • Kids Are Cruel: She is an extremely cruel kid.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Darla's looks are obviously based on Shirley Temple with some Jane Withers thrown in, and her first name is taken from another child star.
    • For a bonus, most of Darla's characterization is inspired by a (false) Shirley Temple rumor from back in the day - that instead of being a sweet little girl, she was really a 30-year-old chain-smoking midget who hated children and animals.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Darla's attempts to stop the animals' performance result in one of the most spectacular auditions in all cinema history, complete with gunfire and spectacular light performances.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: On screen, Darla is the sweetest and cutest animal-loving little girl you'll ever meet. Off screen, she's a self centered prima donna that can't stand animals.
  • Nightmare Face: Pulls this off to terrifying effect at the end of "Big and Loud, Part 2."
  • Oh, Crap!: After she realizes that the entire studio heard her Villainous Breakdown over the loudspeaker.
  • Panty Shot: She gets a lot of these, but they're fortunately played more for cuteness rather than fanservice, as was common during the time the movie is set.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: She's treated like a princess by the staff of Mammoth Studios, and a large percentage of her outfits and possessions are pink.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Her pupils turn red when she's extremely upset.
  • Regal Ringlets: Her hair is styled this way.
  • Sitting Sexy on a Piano: During Darla's "Big and Loud" number — since it's a Max-sized piano and she's small, she can roll around for several minutes with no danger of falling off.
  • Smug Snake: Remains entirely confident that she'll ruin the animals even as her plot slowly but surely improves their act.
  • Spoiled Brat: She's the main star of Mammoth studios, has a butler, a huge home and lots of luxuries, and is very much a brat.
  • Squashed Flat: Darla gets this treatment in the climax.
  • Stepford Smiler: Type C.
  • The Sociopath: Cares only about herself and her own fame.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: In-Universe, Darla is known as an extremely cutesy character on screen and to the general public.
  • Tiny Tyrannical Girl: She has all the adults at Mammoth Studios kowtowing to her every whim.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Seriously, what's with this girl?
  • Twitchy Eye: Darla sometimes does this when she's angry (or trying to hold back her anger).
  • The Vamp: Considering that she utilizes her cuteness and faux-sweetness rather than the usual feminine traits of this trope, she's an oddly unsexualized fit to it.
    • Fille Fatale: However, her role as the Vamp is played slightly more straight when she shows shades of this trope during the Big and Loud number.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When all her efforts to stop the animals impromptu number in the finale backfire immensely. It ends with her outing herself to an audience while she's ranting at Danny.
    Darla: I should've drowned you all when I FLOODED THE STAGE!
  • Villain Song: Big and Loud is a straight stage number, and part of a ploy to set up Danny and his friends. Played straight with the Dark Reprise.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Darla gets away with most of the crap she inflicts on everyone around her because she is the star of Mammoth studios and puts up an extremely deceptive cutesy image before the general public.
  • Wicked Heart Symbol: One of her major motifs.

    Max 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/max_cats_dont_dance.jpg
Voiced by: Mark Dindal

Darla's Frankenstein monster-like butler. He provides the muscle for Darla throughout and is generally part of the reason no one stands up to her.
  • Ambiguously Human: He looks like a cross between Frankenstein and King Kong.
  • Bald of Evil: He's hairless.
  • Battle Butler: He is a gigantic butler who does most of Darla's physical work such as hurting animals who upstage her.
  • The Brute: He serves as Darla's gigantic butler and fighter.
  • Catch-Phrase: "YEEEEEEEES MEEESS DEEM-POOOOOLLLL..."
  • The Comically Serious: An infectious tune may get him to shimmy a bit on the spot, but he'll retain his perpetual scowl.
  • The Dragon: He also plays this role to Darla as well, as there seems to be no one else besides him to look after her.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Has a deep booming voice courtesy of Mark Dindal and is The Dragon to Darla's Big Bad.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: During the climax, he tries to pull the balloon of Darla toward Danny to finish him only to realize he pulled it right in front of a sharp part of the building. Cue Oh, Crap! as Danny gives an Ironic Echo from earlier in the film and pops the balloon sending it and Max flying into the distance.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Non-romantic: Max is the Huge Guy to Darla's Tiny Girl.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Any sort of direct physical confrontation is not going to end well.
  • Not So Stoic: For the majority part of the movie he's always seen stone faced and emotionless. In the final confrontation with Danny, however he finally shows genuine emotions.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: When Darla is escorting Danny out of her mansion after giving him the Big and Loud musical number, Max holds a door open for them. They walk down the hall a short way, and Max is waiting for them at the exit with Danny's hat, despite him never moving from the first door. Leads to a Funny Moment when Danny stops, stares at Max, turns his head to see if he's still holding the door, then turns back and stares ahead blankly with a befuddled expression as Darla hands him his hat. Can be seen here at 4:18. It's implied Max can actually move at incredible speeds as he managed move away from Darla to pursue Danny in the theater without anyone noticing as well as quickly pursue Danny on the balloon float seconds after seeing him on it.
  • Perpetual Frowner: For most of the movie least till the climax where he gets a bit Axe-Crazy and his Oh, Crap! expression when Danny has him beat.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Max is apparently an expert in this despite his size.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: He is really enormous and strong, and has really small legs.
  • Undying Loyalty: He's thoroughly devoted to Ms. Dimple.

    L.B. Mammoth 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lb_mammoth.jpg
Voiced by: George Kennedy

The man in charge of Mammoth Studios.
  • Cigar Chomper: He is usually seen smoking a cigar.
  • Ironic Name: L.B. Mammoth, who turns out to be really short.
  • Large and in Charge: Has a broad build and is in charge of Mammoth Studios. Played with in that despite his build he is quite short.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Has this moment when Darla confesses the truth in the destruction of Mammoth Studios that got Danny and the other animals fired, leaving him horrified with Flanigan. He quickly makes amends with the animals afterwards and ensures their future stardom is secured.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: He's a parody of MGM executive and co-founder Louis B. Mayer.
  • Only Known by Initials: What "L.B." stands for was not revealed.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Specifically, Mammoth smokes cigars.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/CatsDontDance