Characters / Cats Don't Dance

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Voiced by: Scott Bakula

An orange tomcat with dreams of becoming a Hollywood star.

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...
  • 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.
  • 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 Savvy Girl to Danny's 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.

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.

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.

Voiced by: Donnie Knotts (speaking), Rick Logan (singing)

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

Voiced by: Betty Lou Gerson

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

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
  • 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.

Voiced by: Matthew Herried

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

Voiced by: Rene Auberjonois

    Darla Dimple
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.
  • 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 is seen grumpily working 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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: For Darla.
  • 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 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.
  • 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
Voiced by: George Kennedy

The man in charge of Mammoth Studios.