Western Animation / Katy La Oruga
aka: Katy Caterpillar


Katy La Oruga (Katy the Caterpillar for English dubs) is a Mexican-Spanish animated film released in 1984. It deals with Katy, a young caterpillar who is curious and playful, who lives in a cherry tree with her three sisters. Having had enough of eating cherry leaves all day long, one day she leaves her tree and encounters the spirit of Mother Nature, who tells the young caterpillar that she must make a journey to discover by herself who she really is. In the progress, Katy meets many animals, makes new friends, learns a lot of things about the world, and ultimately achieves her dream by metamorphosing into a butterfly.

Based on an original story by singer Silvia Roche (which was also the basis for the music album of the same name) the movie was a huge success in Mexico and Spain, and was even dubbed in English too. The film got a sequel in 1987 called Katy, Kiki y Koko (Katy Meets the Aliens in English). In it, Katy now as an adult butterfly, lives in the same cherry tree she used to live with her two sons, Kiki and Koko, two young caterpillars who are as curious and adventurous as Katy herself used to. Katy loves her sons, but has become a somewhat overprotective Mama Bear, which sometimes annoys them. Meanwhile, a group of Starfish Aliens from a lonely asteroid send one member of their species to Earth to capture creatures for food so they can devour them and regain their energy. Alien X as he is called, makes landfall in the forest where Katy and her friends live and it's up to the two young caterpillars to stop him.

The movies provide examples of:

  • Action Girl: Katy has her moments, moreso in the sequel which makes her an...
  • Alien Invasion: The plot of the second movie has Alien X making landfall in Katy's forest to abduct animals and the characters' attempts to stop him.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: The animals are greatly colorful, both physically and metaphorically.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: You'll never see a caterpillar as courageous as Katy.
  • Animal Talk
  • Artistic License – Biology: Lots of it. Mostly regarding insect, bird and reptilian biology. For example, Katy herself metamorphoses in a cocoon, yet in real life Moth caterpillars are the ones who encase themselves in cocoons, while butterfly caterpillars encase themselves in chrysalids.
  • Award-Bait Song: "Un Día Volare" (Someday I'll Fly)
  • Big Bad: Goliath the Cat in the first movie, the four aliens in the sequel.
  • Butterfly of Transformation: A literal example happens with Katy.
  • Catch-Phrase: "Wippity-pow!" Evidently, the author encouraged the screenwriters to have Katy say this as often as possible.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The spider Katy meets doesn't play a huge role on her own, but she does teach Katy how to knit, which turns out to come in handy when it comes time for Katy to make her cocoon.
  • Darker and Edgier: You know things take a turn for the serious when the sequel to your movie has an animal-eating, shapeshifting extraterrestrial monstrosity roaming in a forest.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: At the end, once Katy becomes a sexy butterfly, she inspires this in a pair of crows, causing them to fly into a tree after she flies by.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The crows, after Katy and Gilbert save them from being trapped inside a can of tomato sauce.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Katy tries to make friends with almost every creature she comes across, but most turn out to be jerks or want to eat her. She does make a few friends, though — Gilbert the mouse most notably, and Bee #5344, the horse, and the city rat are all pretty nice to her. The crows also become friends with Katy and Gilbert after being rescued by them.
  • Species Surname: Katy calls herself "Katy Caterpillar" in the English dub, though most English media translate the Spanish title more literally as "Katy the Caterpillar".
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The crows and the cat are incredibly focused on catching Katy and Gilbert, to the point of following them all the way to the city rather than simply trying to find new prey.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The titular aliens in the sequel are about as goofy as the other antagonists, but Alien X out in the field is definitely not.

Alternative Title(s): Katy Caterpillar