In this Disney movie, a spaceship is stranded on Earth and impounded by the U.S. government. Its pilot, a cat-like alien named Zunar-J-5/9 Doric-4-7, or Jake for short, has a collar that has special powers, including the ability to allow Jake to communicate with humans. Jake has eluded the authorities and needs the help of a man named Frank in order to reclaim and repair his ship to get back home.After Frank determines that they need gold in order to fix Jake's ship. Jake uses his collar's powers to affect the outcome of various sporting events, including horse races and pool games, to win money to buy the needed gold and repair his saucer. So Frank; Frank's friend Norman Link and Frank's new girlfriend, Liz, help Jake find the gold he needs.Unfortunately, another problem arises when Liz is kidnapped by billionaire Charles Olympus, who wants the power of Jake's collar. Frank, Jake, and Link must track down Liz and her kidnappers and rescue her.
This movie provides examples of:
- Alien Among Us: Jake, aka Zunar-J-5/9 Doric-4-7.
- Alien Animals
- Alien Catnip: The pool player's sandwich is able to revive an unconscious Jake just in the nick of time.
- Aliens Speaking English: Jake uses his collar for telepathy, which presumably doesn't need translation. He does seem to understand spoken English without any problems though, possibly due to a kind of telepathic "translation".
- Amusing Alien: Though Jake is more The Comically Serious at first, he quickly evolves into a Not So Above It All type.
- Ascended Fanboy: Frank, a fanboy of "Science"!
- Bad Boss: Charles Olympus, when he and his henchmen bail from their helicopter:Liz: Wait a minute, I haven't got a parachute!
Olympus: Then you have a problem.
Stallwood: I haven't got a parachute either!
Olympus: Then you have the same problem.
- Benevolent Alien Invasion: Jake even becomes an official citizen of the United States by the end of the film.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Olympus and his lackeys. And let us not forget General Stilton and his men who all seem Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket.
- Captured Super-Entity: Slightly subverted, Mr. Olympus wants Jake's collar, not Jake. Which is actually kinda stupid when you think about it. All the technical advancements Olympus could make by interrogating Jake. Instead, he just tries stealing some alien tech that's hard for a human to use.
- Cassandra Truth: Anyone who talks to General Stilton.
- When Frank has the alien tech presented to him, he comes very close to unraveling the prevailing principle of its operation. General Stilton doesn't believe him, even though Jake later confirms that he was on the right track - albeit years from a breakthrough.
- When Frank breaks into the Army base, Stilton is rather bemused that his men are making so much fuss over the intruder having brought a cat along.
- Finally, General Stilton is informed by the forensics team that the alien spaceship's likely pilot is a cat. He's less than a second away from trashing the equipment when he remembers the intruder having a cat. Of course, this is rather academic, as the machine finally finishes processing all the fingerprints Frank left inside the ship, which has Stilton screaming about the techs focusing on the cat hairs.
- Cats Are Magic: Well, super-evolved with superior alien technology, but same idea.
- Cats Are Superior: And may also be aliens.
- Cultural Posturing: Jake, but a very mild case.
- Delegation Relay: The Army officers, led by Harry Morgan, who chased Jake and Frank around fall into this running gag several times during the movie.General Stilton: *gives a command* Colonel!
Sergeant: Yes sir!
- Diabolical Mastermind: Mr. Olympus.
- Drives Like Crazy: Jake, as weird as it sounds.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Zunar-J-5/9 Doric-4-7... or Jake for short.
- Evolutionary Levels: Jake tells Frank that the reason his people are cats is that on his planet, "that's as far as we needed to evolve."
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: If you sat down to watch a movie called "The Cat From Outer Space" and expected something else, prepare to be disappointed.
- Expy: Mr. Olympus and his henchmen are obviously supposed to be Bond villain expies.
- First Contact: With humans and... Space Cats?
- Hidden in Plain Sight: Looking exactly like a normal cat has its advantages.
- Hot Scientist: Liz
- Imported Alien Phlebotinum: The spare collar Frank uses during the film.
- I Choose to Stay: Jake eventually decides that he likes Frank and the other humans too much to leave them.
- Innocent Aliens: Jake's cat-race.
- Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Jake and the other alien cats aren't all that interested in Earth. He just had to make an emergency landing there.
- Inspector Javert: It's easy not to like General Stilton, but he really isn't a bad man or even a bad soldier - he just wound up with a bad situation that had to be handled. At the end of the movie, he does help Jake make a deal with the President.
- Interspecies Romance: Alien cat Jake has quite the crush on Earth cat Lucy-Belle.
- Just Plane Wrong: There's nothing in an Aérospatiale Gazelle anywhere near where Stallwood fires his flare gun that would cause the controls to lock up.
- Little Stowaway: Jake.
- Oh, Crap!: Stallwood has one of these moments when Mr. Olympus tells him it would not be wise to let Liz live. He appears to have genuinely believed up to that point that his employer was a man of his word.
- Parachute in a Tree: What happens to Mr. Olympus and his henchmen. Hanging off the edge of a cliff, for that matter.
- Psychic Powers: Jake, naturally. Or his collar, at least. Jake's very skilled in its use, but Frank is able to use one to fly around, make pool balls repeatedly ricochet clear across a room, and even access computers.
- Red Scare: Near the beginning of the movie, General Stilton assumes Jake's ship is a Soviet one.
- Some Call Me "Tim": The titular cat's name is Zunar-J-5/9 Doric-4-7, but the human that the cat stays with decides to call him Jake.
- Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Played with realistically and fictitiously by both the military and the villains.
- Translator Collar: Jake's collar.
- The Mothership: Who's pilot apparently is also a cat.
- Whole Plot Reference: The Futurama episode "That Darn Katz!" is a spoof of this movie, right down to the spaceship and the mind powers. The only real change being that the cats are evil beings who want to invade the Earth.
- Worthless Yellow Rocks: Gold is clearly a rather common metal on Jake's planet, because they use it as spaceship fuel. Frank has to explain to him how expensive it is on Earth.
- You Can Talk?: Frank's response when Jake first reveals his telepathy:Frank: You? That's you?
Jake: Well, it isn't the mouse.
Frank: But your lips aren't moving! You're not... speaking.
Jake: Thought transference. Nothing exceptional where I come from.