Characters: Cats Don't Dance
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Voiced by: Scott BakulaAn orange male cat with dreams of becoming a Hollywood star.
- Ascended Fanboy: His dreams of making it big in Hollywood. He had to work a lot harder for it than he had imagined, though.
- Blithe Spirit: His optimism is what helps his friends remember their dreams.
- Determinator: He's extremely determined to become a Hollywood star.
- 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.
- 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)
- Love at First Sight: Implied. He does have that look when he first meets Sawyer. And they end up together.
- 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.
- 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.
- Red-Headed Hero: More like "Red Furred Hero", but he's definitely an orange tabby cat.
- Redhead In Green: Danny typically wears a green shirt.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Inverted. He's the Energetic Guy to Sawyer's Savvy Girl.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Even though he's a cat, this still applies to him.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Danny wholeheartedly believes that he and the other animals can become actors if they try hard enough.
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...
- Brown Eyes: Representing her more down-to-earth qualities.
- 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 Danny.
- Hidden Depths: She is actually a great singer and dancer despite initially introduced as simply being a secretary.
- 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 NajimyA 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.
- The Pollyanna
- Shipper on Deck: She supports Danny and Sawyer.
Voiced by: Hal HolbrookA 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 GersonA female fish who is a dancer and a close friend (or maybe more?) to Cranston.
Voiced by: John Rhys-DaviesAn 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.
- Gentle Giant: His kindness outmatches his huge size.
- Honorable Elephant
- Meaningful Name: Woolies were prehistoric creatures that are related to the present-day elephants.
- The Mentor: Acts as one to Danny.
- Nice Guy: Woolie is quite the gentleman.
Voiced by: Matthew HerriedA young penguin who meets Danny and gets involved in his aspirations.
- The Dog Bites Back: After being mistreated by Darla with the other animals, Pudge delivers her final comeuppance.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: Especially if the said penguin is a cutie.
- Free-Range Children: Pudge's parents apparently let him go off to Hollywood on his own.
- Hidden Depths: He can play the saxophone.
- Nice Guy: Pudge is helpful, loyal, and just a sweet guy all around.
- Nice Hat: Wears a few throughout the movie.
- Pint-Sized Kid: Justified since Pudge is a juvenile aged penguin.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Of the anthropomorphic variety.
- Tagalong Kid: Instead of being the annoying kind, Pudge helps out a lot.
- Undying Loyalty: To Danny.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Even more so than Danny.
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.
- 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.
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.
- Alliterative Name: Darla Dimple.
- Big Bad
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She acts all friendly in the eyes of the general public. In reality, she is extremely mean and self-centered.
- Blondes Are Evil: Even though her blonde curly locks are clearly meant to invoke the polar opposite trope to her audience, she's rotten to the very core.
- Enfant Terrible: She is an extremely bratty little girl off screen.
- Evil Laugh
- The Fake Cutie: She acts like a cutie on screen and to the general public but in reality, she is not.
- Fatal Flaw: Her temper and her ego.
- 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: Subverted like whoa.
- It's All About Me: Pretty obvious.
- Jabba Table Manners: When she pigs out on a huge pile of junk food — and one apple — in her balcony box.
- Laser-Guided Karma: After nearly 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.
- 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 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. This is false by the way.
- 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 little girl with a love for animals you'll ever meet. Off screen, she's a self centered primadonna 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 played more for cuteness instead of fanservice, as was common during the time the movie is set.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: Not that she's official royalty, but Darla is surrounded by sugar-pink and purple and hearts and cuddly wuddly stuffed animals to project an image of innocent cuteness.
- 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.
- Spoiled Brat: She's the main star of Mammoth studios, has a butler, a huge home and lots of stuff, and is very much a brat.
- Squashed Flat: Darla gets this treatment in the climax.
- Stepford Smiler
- The Sociopath
- 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: Oddly and disturbingly enough.
- 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 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 DindalDarla'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
- Battle Butler: He is a gigantic butler who does most of Darla's physical work such as hurting animals who upstage her.
- The Brute/The Dragon: To Darla.
- Catch Phrase: "YEEEEEEEES MEEESS DEEM-POOOOOLLLL..."
- The Comically Serious
- Evil Sounds Deep
- 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.
- 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
- Perpetual Frowner/The Stoic: 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.
Voiced by: George KennedyThe man in charge of Mammoth Studios.