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Film: Cats & Dogs

The quintessential Cats Are Mean movie.

The movie opens like a fairly standard comedy. A dog named Buddy chases a cat throughout a small suburb, causing havoc as they go. Things get weird when a truck pulls up in front of Buddy and he is captured by the many cats driving it. As soon as this happens, a call goes out to dogs around the world, letting them all know that their agent has been "cat-napped." So opens Cats & Dogs.

As it turns out, cats and dogs are a lot smarter and better organized than us humans think. Many of the world's dogs are actually members of an international secret organization dedicated to protecting humans from the evil cats. Buddy was on a particularly vital case, protecting the Brody family, while the father of the household finishes his formula to eliminate dog allergies. Obviously, the cats don't want that to happen, and so the Brody family needs constant protection, in the form of a dog agent disguised as the family pet.

The dogs plan to have a trained agent puppy take over Buddy's job, but a slip-up in the replacement of the dogs at the puppy farm causes a young civilian beagle, named Lou, to become the Brody family's pet. It's now Lou's job to protect the Brody family from the diabolical machinations of the evil, horrible, unspeakable feline mastermind known as... Mr. Tinkles!

A sequel to the movie was released July of 2010: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore. It increases the James Bond/Spy Film references and spoofs. It also retcons away the innate evilness of felines seen in the first film, establishing that there are heroic cats, they just tend to keep to themselves. Until now...

Tropes in both films:

  • Always Chaotic Evil: Cats in the first film, though this is dropped in the sequel.
  • Always Lawful Good: Dogs. Mentioned as not the case in the sequel, though no non-good dog actually shows up.
  • Animal Jingoism: Dogs versus cats. Very self explanatory.
  • Animals Lack Attributes: Lou is played by a couple of different beagles. Any scene in which he rolls on his back (particularly if someone is scratching his belly) will be played by a female, who naturally has less in that department. Despite this, Butch's comment on his immaturity is "He's still got his you-know-whats, for cryin' out loud!"
  • Animal Superheroes: Superspies, at the very least.
  • Big Bad: Mr. Tinkles in the first film. While he still appears in the second film, Kitty Galore takes over the role of Big Bad.
  • Big Red Button:
    • You don't just press the big button! It's actually transport to HQ.
    • A big red button appears on the satellite in the sequel. The heroes attempt to press it in an attempt to shut off the machine, but it turns out to be the button that activates the machine. Oops.
    Kitty Galore: "Thank you!"
  • Black and White Morality:
    • Dogs are good, and cats are evil.
    • Subverted in the second film, where it's revealed there's a secret cat organization that protects humans as well as catkind.
  • Breaking Speech: Mr. Tinkles reminds Butch that he's still just a field agent, figures out that Diggs was kicked out of the K-9 unit, and implies that Catherine has daddy issues. Seamus he just threatened to eat.
  • Butt Monkey:
    • Mr. Tinkles' henchman Calico in the first film.
    • Also, the unfortunate mouse Kitty Galore keeps as a pet, whom she names Scrumptious. She treats the rodent as her own personal plaything, throwing him up in the air repeatedly, squeezing him, and, at one point, pounding on his head thinking that he is a computer mouse.
  • Cats Are Mean: Since ancient Egypt where they were worshiped as gods.
    • The second film essentially works on subverting this trope by revealing that, although some cats are mean, plenty are heroic and care about humans just as much as the dogs.
  • Cat Stereotype: There's a Russian Blue cat who not only has a Russian accent but also acts like a spy movie villain.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Parodied with both Mr. Tinkles and Kitty Galore.
  • The Door Slams You: This happens to the Russian Blue as he tries to set off the bomb (deactivated by Butch seconds before) when Brody comes out of the lab unexpectedly. He even says "Ouch!" a few seconds later, and when the door closes, he peels off the wall in a funny manner.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Mr. Tinkles. Very often.
    • And Kitty Galore. Also very often (but used effectively to show her madness).
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Who do you think? Oh, okay, it's Mr. Tinkles...
  • Good Animals, Evil Animals:
    • The dogs are the heroes. The cats are the villains. Simple, no?
    • Somewhat averted in the sequel, but the main villain still happens to be a cat.
  • Large Ham: Mr. Tinkles and Kitty Galore.
  • Magic Countdown: The one-minute timer on the bomb took much longer than one minute to reach 0:01.
  • Pun:
  • Right-Hand Cat:
    • Mr. Tinkles. For bonus points, he's the Big Bad and the cat.
    • Switched around with Kitty Galore, who has a right hand mouse named Scrumptious (albeit an unwilling one).
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spy Gadgets: A number of them in both films. Dog houses are secret bases. Toilets and squirrels are communicators. Collars are actually a multi-purpose Utility Belt. Doggy treats are disguised as bombs. The list goes on and on.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • "This is your boss, Mr. Mason. Not an evil talking cat trying to take over the world."
    • The sequel has a pair of Scottish tabbies, Angus and Duncan, trying to kill Seamus. Angus gets rid of the humans by hacking into the radio and saying, "This is your captain, Angus Mc... uh... Not-a-cat, speaking!"
  • Technicolor Science:
    • The shelves upon shelves of vials and beakers in Professor Brody's basement laboratory.
    • The inside structure of the secret organizations of the cats and dogs in the sequel.
  • Tom the Dark Lord: Mr. Tinkles.
  • World Domination:
    • Mr. Tinkles's ultimate goal.
    • Also the goal of Kitty Galore.

Tropes only in the first film:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Professor Brody, to the point where he loses track of time during his work and forgets to come to his son's soccer tryouts, despite him promising to be there.
  • Bowdlerise: Butch's line "We tolerate that stupid boojie-boojie baby talk crap" is cut short when aired on Disney. Guess where.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Mr. Tinkles.
  • Disney Death: Oh, come on, they wouldn't kill off Lou for real!
  • Formally Named Pet / Fluffy the Terrible: Mr. Tinkles.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Lou.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The movie poster.
  • Mission Control: Peek.
  • Ninja: Ninja cats, of course.
  • Offhand Backhand: Lou, during his fight against the ninja cats.
  • Reverse the Polarity: Mr. Tinkles's master plan is to get Professor Brody's formula and reverse it into a disease capable of spreading dog-allergy to the entire world! Mwahahahahah!
  • Shiny New Australia: To the world's mouse population, having convinced them of its status as a bastion of the dairy industry.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Mr. Tinkles.
  • Vader Breath: After the cats render the Brody family unconscious with a gas bomb, one of the cats shows up wearing a gas mask and breathing like Darth Vader.
  • Wire Dilemma: The dogs actually know which color wire to pull. The only problem?
    Butch: "We're dogs. We're colorblind!"
  • You Can Talk?: Pretty much the whole family's reaction to the villain cat's Big Reveal. Scott thought it was kind of cool at first, though.
  • You Have Failed Me: Mr. Tinkles orders the elimination of the Ninjas after they fail to kill Lou. Also, there's this little exchange with Calico as they leave a burning room.
    Mr. Tinkles: I want you to stay here.
    Calico: Why?
    Mr. Tinkles: Because I hate you.

Tropes only in Revenge of Kitty Galore:

  • Action Girl: Catherine
  • Animated Credits Opening: And they're actually pretty badass. It is basically a James Bond opening, with cats & dogs instead of human females.
  • Big Good: Lou in PAWS and Tab Lazenby in MEOWS.
  • Cats Hate Water: Catherine is depicted having a severe phobia of water.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Played straight and spoofed. Butch teaches Diggs the "fetch a stick" move (throw an object to distract someone). When Diggs attempts it, he hits the target in the head by accident. Later, it's played straight with Diggs' rope-swinging skill.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Seamus the pigeon
  • Crazy Cat Lady: The house where Calico hides is owned by one such lady, and her host of... stoner cats (on catnip). She briefly gives Catherine a hug to her great displeasure.
  • Cryptic Conversation: A detained Mr. Tinkles does this purposely (because it sounds mysterious) as a way to find Kitty Galore.
    Mr. Tinkles: Look... I can't help you find other villains, all right? It's a professional courtesy thing! I'd be blackballed! Laughed at! I'd lose my pension! However... I will say this. A cat's eye... reveals... everything!
    Seamus: What? What's that supposed to mean?
    Mr. Tinkles: It's a riddle, Sherlock! I was trying to be mysterio— oh, never mind.
  • Cute Kitten: Catherine's adorable nieces.
  • Demoted to Extra: Mr. Tinkles, the main villain from the first movie, spends most of the time locked up Hannibal Lecter-style in Alcatraz's cat prison before making his escape towards the very end. Lou, the beagle from the first movie, is also demoted into a supporting character by making him leader of the doggy spy agency, putting him on the sidelines. Sam gets the worst of them all, appearing for all of 5 seconds and only getting in about one line before walking away to never be seen again.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Kitty's right hand mouse, Scrumptious, snaps after so much time as her coddling plaything and releases her from her constraints atop the satellite dish, sending her flying into a cotton candy machine.
  • The Dragon: Paws is definitely this for Kitty Galore. He starts off as an Expy of Jaws and at the climax it turns out he's also a kitty version of the Terminator.
  • Enemy Mine: Kitty Galore's plot apparently is so evil that cats, dogs, and pigeons team up to take her down.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Kitty Galore was angry when Paws tries to eat Scrumptious. She also is horrified to see her master trying to attempt a magic trick that turned out to be fatal. Not to mention, he was going to do that trick on her.
  • Expy: Kitty Galore's personality is a lot like Zira's in The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride.
  • Fatal Flaw
    • Diggs' inability to trust others and follow orders, as well as his extreme hatred towards cats.
    • As is typical of her species, Catherine has a debilitating fear of water. She is frozen with fear when she tries to save Diggs, who is hanging precariously over the edge of a boat in motion, and nearly breaks down when she and Diggs are threatened with drowning. In the end, she overcomes her phobia just in time to save themselves from drowning.
  • Freudian Excuse: Kitty Galore was once a member of MEOWS, but one of her missions had her accidentally fall into a vat of hair remover, turning her hairless and making her the the butt of jokes of the organization, as well as getting her kicked out by her human owners who were disgusted by her appearance (and on Christmas too!). This single event is said to have turned her into one of the most dangerous and evil cats of them all.
  • Good Vs Good: Initially, Diggs vs. Catherine.
  • High On Catnip: The cats belonging to the cat lady act like stoners when they're around catnip.
  • Interspecies Romance: Implied with Diggs and Catherine, even including an interrupted Anguished Declaration of Love... well, like.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Diggs suffers this majorly. Catherine and Butch make a careful plan to sneak up and catch Calico and his pigeon liason, but it gets thrown out the window when Diggs just charges right in due to his impatience. His tendency to do things his way without getting permission had cost his team several times because of his inability to follow orders.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Both MEOWS and DOG are going after Kitty Galore (DOG citing that she's a cat threatening dogs, while MEOWS claim that she's their mess — that is, their ex-agent), and are unwilling to let the other take over. Resolved by an unprecedented step in the political history of the organisations: Cats & Dogs working together.
  • Keet: Seamus the pigeon.
  • Precious Puppies: A brief scene of Lou's kids causing innocent trouble in his office.
  • Renegade Cat: Kitty Galore certainly went renegade from the Cats.
  • The Reveal: This page may not make a secret of it, but up until Catherine's interrogation (over twenty minutes into the movie), there's nothing to indicate that Revenge of Kitty Galore hasn't kept up the first movie's Always Chaotic Evil stance on cats. Then Catherine's collar malfunctions and Butch recognises some of the words heard...
  • Robotic Reveal: Kitty's hechman Paws turns out to be an automaton during the final battle. This is actually a bit weird, since we previously saw him trying to eat a mouse...
  • Sequel Hook
    • After defeating Kitty Galore, Diggs is called to HQ and is shown a live video showing that Mr. Tinkles has escaped from prison with Calico. Subverted after the credits, when Mr. Tinkles says where he is not knowing that his camera is still on, so the Dogs know where he is and will promptly arrest him again.
    • It is also shown that Diggs, Butch, Catherine, and Seamus are still working together, hinting at another sequel.
  • Too Dumb to Live
    • Mr. Tinkles' henchman Calico is flanderized in the sequel from simply being clumsy and incompetent to "so dumb that when he is cornered by the heroes in a closed room, he releases a trap of piling cat litter before realizing he's not outside."
    Seamus: And with that, I am no longer the dumbest animal in the room!
  • Was Too Hard on Him: After Diggs messes up the mission majorly, Butch chews him out on his behavior and kicks him off the team. When he and Seamus search for clues later, he admits that he had been a little too harsh on Diggs.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Kitty Galore / Ivana Clawyu.

Captain Corelli's MandolinFilms of 2000 - 2004 The Cats Meow
The Cat ReturnsAnimal Title IndexCatscratch

alternative title(s): Cats And Dogs
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