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Film / Cool Cat Saves the Kids

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"Remember, Cool Cat loves you!"

Cool Cat Saves the Kids is a 2015 direct-to-video educational film directed by and starring Derek Savage, a man who once posed for Playgirl magazine and appeared as an extra in Back to School, Fatal Beauty and other films before turning his attention to writing and filmmaking. Its aim was to teach kids about bullying and the dangers of guns. It was patched together from three short films Savage worked on before.

It gained massive notoriety thanks to a two-part review by and other reviews from the likes of Bobsheaux and I Hate Everything, which Savage attempted to take down as copyright infringement.

A recut of the film called Cool Cat Kids Superhero was released in late June 2018, after months of changing and unclear release dates. While many believed it would be a remake or a sequel, the finished film is nothing more than a re-release of Cool Cat Saves The Kids with a few minutes of additional scenes. In November 2021, Savage announced another recut called Cool Cat Saves the Kids: Director's Cut, which was released in early 2022.


Following the Parkland school shooting, another sequel, called Cool Cat Stops a School Shooting, was announced by Daddy Derek, and it was meant to be a PSA specializing in school shooting/active shooter scenario education. However, despite receiving a Colbert Bump from Mumkey Jones (who would've also starred in the film), it became clear that the film's fundraising project would not be getting enough money in time for the deadline. Daddy Derek reformatted the fundraiser for a smaller backup project tentatively titled Cool Cat: Stranger Danger Alert. It was released as Cool Cat’s Crazy Dream in 2019, which was mostly just unused footage from the Hollywood parade segment of the first movie.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020, Savage announced plans to release a short called Cool Cat Fights Coronavirus. It was released to his Kickstarter supporters on March 24, 2021, as an unlisted video, with the DVD release coming later on.


No relation to a late-1960s Warner Bros.-Seven Arts character of the same name.

Cool Cat loves these tropes!

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the original picture book, Butch the Bully is a particularly nasty-looking character with an ugly, adult-like face. In the film, he's a perfectly normal-looking kid.
  • Adaptation Species Change: In the Cool Cat Stops Bullying book Daddy Derek is a cat. In the movie, Derek Savage takes on the role As Himself, while Cool Cat and Momma Cat are played by actors in a cat suit (the same suit, in fact). Left unresolved is the question of why a human adult male is married to an anthropomorphic cat.
  • Adults Are Useless: Inverted: Daddy Derek does almost everything for Cool Cat.
  • Advertised Extra:
    • Vivica A. Fox and Erik Estrada are only in the film for one scene but are featured on the DVD cover.
    • Cynthia Rothrock has a voice-only role in the recut version Cool Cat Kids Superhero, but is billed with her face on the DVD cover. An older version of the Director's Cut covers has both Rothrock's face and Momma Cat (the character she voices) at the same time.
  • Aesop Amnesia: One scene has one of Cool Cat's friends nearly get hit by a car, which of course leads to a lecture about how you should always look both ways when crossing the street. Then, in the very next scene, Butch the Bully appears on the other side of the street with candy that he just stole from babies, and Cool Cat runs after him across the street without looking both ways.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Cool Cat refers to Derek as "Daddy Derek".
  • All-Loving Hero: Cool Cat. He loves everyone (including you) and wants to make sure you know it.
    Cool Cat (showing off famous cars at the parade): It's Herbie the Love Bug! AND I LOVE YOU!
  • Anachronism Stew: In Crazy Dream (released in 2019), as Cool Cat is waving to the people while driving home, a poster for Last Resort can be seen, which only makes it even more obvious that the whole thing is nothing but reused footage.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: The cast gathers together to share an anti-bullying Aesop with the audience after the closing credits.
  • And That's Terrible: During the Spinning Paper opening:
    Derek: We have terrible news. Bullies have been picking on children everywhere and it is tragic.
    • Also there's this...
      Maria: Oh no! This text says that I'm fat and ugly! Am I fat and ugly?
      Cool Cat: No, and that's TERRIBLE! You're very, very pretty!
  • Angry Eyebrows: When Cool Cat finally stands up to Butch the Bully, his eyebrows are suddenly placed down at the bottom of his forehead. The brows are still in that position in the wide shot before Butch walks up, making it look like Cool Cat is royally pissed off about building sandcastles.
  • Animal Jingoism: Averted. Cool Cat mentions that dogs are his friends.
  • Arc Words: As documented in this video, "cool" is said an excessive number of times in the film, as part of Cool Cat's name, and as part of his constant reminders to do "cool" things and to avoid doing things that are "not cool".
  • Artistic Age: Cool Cat is clearly meant to be a young child given his high-pitched voice, the fact that he attends elementary school, and his general kiddy behavior. Yet he's played by an adult, meaning he towers over his friends of the same age as well as his father. And in one scene he's shown driving a car, with no comment given on it.
  • As Himself: Derek Savage, Vivica A. Fox, and Erik Estrada all appear in the movie playing very cheesy versions of themselves. Eric Roberts and Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse also appear in a bonus feature to give gun safety PSAs.
  • Axes at School: After finding a gun, Butch brings it to school with the intention of stealing lunch money with it. Thankfully for all involved, a cop shows up before he blows anyone away.
  • Author Avatar: Daddy Derek is obviously one for Derek Savage. Cool Cat himself is also one as he was essentially created as a mouthpiece for Derek.
  • Barbaric Bully: Butch turns into this when he kicks sand in Cool Cat's face. When adults Cool Cat stands up to him he immediately starts crying and runs away. invoked
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Cool Cat wears a shirt and shorts but no footwear.
  • Big Bad: Butch the Bully, who harasses Cool Cat and his friends and commits petty crimes, as well as planning to use a gun to rob people of their lunch money.
  • Big Eater: Butch the Bully's plan after finding the gun is to steal everyone's lunch money so he can have "fat time."
  • Bleached Underpants:
    • The actor who plays the police officer who arrests Butch the Bully, Steve Crest, has previously appeared in a number of porn films.
    • Derek Savage himself both posed for Playgirl and wrote a novel dealing with the life of a male stripper in the past.
  • Broken Aesop: The movie preaches that you should ignore cyberbullying and not read messages from the bullies. A good lesson, but earlier on, Cool Cat broke this message by encouraging Maria to read messages from a cyberbully.
  • Buffoonish Tomcat: Cool Cat often comes off this way, due to his excitable personality and the many poor decisions he makes.
  • The Bully: Butch the Bully likes to send mean texts and emails, and kicks down sandcastles, all for the fun of being a bully.
  • The Cameo: Aside from the various cars Cool Cat encounters during the parade, there are several moments in the aforementioned parade while Cool Cat is riding down the street while a Jokey Smurf balloon floats by. The recuts also add another scene of Cool Cat encountering a Elmo balloon.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Butch the Bully knows he's a bully, and he absolutely loves it. He's a young Dastardly Whiplash in the making.
  • Carpet of Virility: Daddy Derek likes to wear partly-unbuttoned dress shirts and low-cut t-shirts that show off his chest hair. In a kids' movie.
  • Cat Folk: Cool Cat and his mother both have the head and tail of a cat but the body of a human.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Cool Cat, a fictional character created by Derek Savage, at one point writes a book about Trolly the Trout, another fictional character created by Savage, while also having his father played by Derek Savage.
  • Character as Himself: Not only does Cool Cat get billed this way,note  he's also credited as an associate producer.
  • Character Shilling: Cool Cat is cool. Nearly every character says so.
  • Clueless Aesop:
    • The morality concerning why bullies do what they do comes across as this due to a stilted delivery. Cool Cat tells every bully he encounters that they do what they do simply because they have no friends, forgetting that most of the kids that generally get picked on are the ones with few friends/supporters. (Hence why bullies often target them in the first place) As YMS put it, "it's bullies themselves that travel in packs." While feelings of loneliness can be a factor in lashing out, the movie presents it as the sole reason bullying exists.
    • In the recut versions, Cool Cat tells Maria that she shouldn't open messages from people she doesn't know, but she can in this instant because he's there with her. Then, when Maria suggests that the message could be about winning money in a contest, instead of warning her that it's likely a scam designed to steal personal information, Cool Cat instead cheers that they can go on a trip together. The message comes across as "don't open messages from strangers, but it's okay to give information to said strangers if they've told you that they're going to give you something". note 
  • Coincidental Broadcast: There are several radio bulletins about Butch's candy-stealing spree, which also crosses over into Worst News Judgment Ever.
  • Compilation Movie: The film was stitched together from three separate Cool Cat short films on different topics (Stops Bullying, Rides in the Hollywood Parade, and Finds a Gun). This explains why the movie is so disjointed.
  • Cool Cat: Take a guess who it is...
  • Cool Old Guy: Daddy Derek is helpful, very encouraging, and owns a guitar allegedly signed by Van Halen.
  • Cyberbullying: The movie attempts to address this issue. Butch sends mean texts to Maria and mean emails to Cool Cat, but Cool Cat decides to feed the troll on the second instance, and he encouraged Maria to open the unsolicited text.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: The cover blurb ("Cool Cat is Cooler than Barney the Dinosaur!") is an unintentional example. Even funnier since it's actually a quote from the film's producer (who, according to Jason Johnson, got that title simply because he was Savage's roommate at the time).
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The posters in Cool Cat's room say things like "Cool Cat is the Coolest Cool Cat".
  • Deep South: Derek Savage's accent strongly implies he is from here.note  And in the original cut of the movie Momma Cat also speaks with a distinctive Southern accent, though loses it when her lines are re-recorded by Cynthia Rothrock for Cool Cat the Kid's Superhero re-cut.
  • Did I Mention It's Christmas?: Although a good chunk of the movie is devoted to Cool Cat's appearance in the Hollywood Christmas Parade, the season isn't otherwise really even mentioned. There is a Christmas tree plus some indoor holiday lights at his house.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: There are two instances in the film where Cool Cat does this strange action that involves pumping his fist near his crotch and twitching his leg...does he need some time alone?
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Derek Savage makes it clear that kids should not be messing with guns. He actually provides the best advice that you can give when it comes to teaching kids about firearms: don't touch them and tell your parent/teacher if you find one.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Cool Cat slips into this very briefly with this line:
    "Because making a lot of friends is su-per gweat! Yay!"
    • Due to his lisp, Butch the Bully also has his moments, such as mispronouncing Maria's name as "Ma-wee-a".
  • Evil Laugh: Butch has one. Sometimes it makes one wonder if it's a vocal tic that he can't control.
    Butch: (sees Cool Cat running towards him) It's Cool Cat! And he's fast! I be'er run—HHHHA-HA-HA! This candy will trip 'im and he will fall flat on his face!"
  • Evil Is Petty: Butch the Bully. His terrible crimes include kicking over sandcastles and literally stealing candy from babies.
  • Expy: Cool Cat seems to be an attempt at "Big Bird meets Barney."
  • Fat Bastard: Butch is a pretty chunky kid and a bully who goes so far as to try and threaten people at gunpoint.
  • Flat Character: Pretty much everyone. Butch the Bully is a cliche bully with no reason or backstory for doing the things that he does in the movie, Maria exists solely to be Cool Cat's friend, and more.
  • For the Evulz: Butch the Bully simply does things because he's a bully, and finds great joy in bullying others.
  • Friend to All Children: "I'm Cool Cat, and I love all kids!" Though he may be a kid himself.
  • Friendly Enemy: Butch the Bully is shown in the cast at the end of the credits.
  • Funny Animal: Both Cool Cat and his mother are anthropomorphic cats.
  • Funny Background Event: Many unintentional ones:
    • When Cool Cat confronts the graffiti sprayers: a man can be seen walking out of a house then slowly backing up when he realizes he's in the shot. If you pay close attention to some of the shots before this you'll notice that the house he's walking out of is actually Cool Cat's house, so he's probably a crew member, but one interpretation is that he's a random guy who lives in the same neighborhood and wants nothing to do with this madness.
    • At one point you can see Cool Cat's tail get caught on a bush near his front door.
  • Genre-Busting: The DVD cover describes it as "an anti-bullying kid's [sic] gun safety movie". In actuality, it's an educational film with some musical numbers and even a couple of attempts at intentional comedy (far outnumbered by the unintentionally funny moments, though).
  • George Lucas Altered Version:
    • Savage made a new version of the film in mid-2015 in response to YMS' review, with a few minor cuts and dialogue redubs (in response to some of the backlash against specific scenes), plus a couple new scenes.
    • Cool Cat Kids Superhero (sic) is actually just Cool Cat Saves the Kids with the aforementioned changes, as well as 13 minutes or so of new footage and Cynthia Rothrock replacing April Ann Reese as the voice of Momma Cat.
    • Another new cut, Cool Cat Saves the Kids: Director's Cut, adds footage from the unreleased Cool Cat Flips a House and has Savage dub over Jason Johnson as Cool Cat.
  • Goofy Suit: Cool Cat (and Momma Cat) is portrayed by an actor wearing one.note 
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Butch says "dag nab it!", "shoot!" and "that darn Vivica A. Fox and Erik Estrada messed it up!"
  • Gratuitous Rap: "Cool Cat Boogie", which even starts out with "Yo! Yo! My name is Cool Cat." Cool Cat Kids Superhero adds a second one, "Cool Cat Rap Master", with vocals by Derek Savage (which puts it into Piss Take Rap territory).
  • Halfway Plot Switch: About halfway through the movie, they stop talking about bullying and just focus on how cool Cool Cat is. Then they go back to the bullying.
  • Hand Rubbing: Butch the Bully does this quite frequently, in case you couldn't tell he was the villain.
  • Hypocrite: Oh, boy...
    • Cool Cat and Maria keep insulting Butch for having no friends and make no effort to try to help Butch redeem himself. Yet Cool Cat also teaches anti-bullying messages. In the same film. And claims to "love all kids".
    • Kids Superhero adds a scene in which Maria taunts Butch before going with Cool Cat to Vivica's house, even though, once again, she also teaches anti-bullying messages.
    • In Cool Cat Fights Coronavirus, Cool Cat delivers several safety tips on how to avoid catching the virus. Despite saying to wear a face mask, and correcting one of the kids for wearing her mask improperly, Cool Cat himself spends the entire movie without one. He’s wearing one in the segment at the end, with the excuse being that he simply forgot to wear it. He also says that it's important to respect others' opinions on masks and it's okay to not wear one, which could reflect Daddy Derek's anti-mask views.
    • In the same film, one scene involves Cool Cat (and Angela and Brittany) taunting Dirty Dog for being a poor thrower. That's rich considering Cool Cat Saves the Kids is meant to be an anti-bullying film.
  • Informed Attribute: We're intended to see Cool Cat as, well, cool, and a Friend to All Children. However, his excitable nature, Vague Age, and his reactions to getting bullied make him come off as a Manchild.
  • Informed Species: Cool Cat's features don't quite come across as feline. In fact, he vaguely resembles a fox. Also, his excitable personality isn't very catlike.
  • Interspecies Romance: Daddy Derek, a human male, is with Cool Cat's mother. This is subverted in the books where Cool Cat's parents were both cats.
  • I Shall Taunt You: In Cool Cat Kids Superhero, Maria taunts Butch about Cool Cat being in the Parade and she and Cool Cat going to a movie star's house later. Just earlier, she was complaining about being bullied by him, and now, there she is, doing the same thing to Butch.
  • Keet: Cool Cat, at his most excitable.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Butch the Bully sends hateful texts to Maria, cyberbullies Cool Cat, kicks sand in his face and literally takes candy from a baby.
  • Kids Driving Cars: Cool Cat, whose age is implied to be around 8 or so, is briefly shown driving the "Cool Cat Convertible".
  • Large and in Charge: Cool Cat is the leader of his group of friends and easily the tallest. He even towers over his own parents.
  • Large Ham: Cool Cat constantly speaks in a very excited manner. There's also Butch the Bully, who acts more like a supervillain than anything else, Conner Dean (the child actor playing him) clearly enjoyed every second of the role. Then there's Erik Estrada.
    Erik: Did you see that!? That kid kicked sand in Cool Cat's FACE!
    • Daddy Derek seems really excited in every scene he's in.
    • Vivica A. Fox is no slouch either.
    Vivica: And where is COOL CAT?!
    Vivica: (tilts head and gives a look of joy bordering on amazement and awe)
  • Left Hanging: It is never elaborated on as to either why there was a gun in Cool Cat's backyard, or who left it there in the first place.
  • Most Writers Are Adults: Zig-zags this trope. Cool Cat generally acts like a very young child, sometimes to the point of coming off as unrealistic. On the other hand, it's doubtful that most kids would be as excited as Cool Cat at seeing cars from Starsky & Hutch, Magnum, P.I., or Smokey and the Bandit.
  • Multilingual Song: The song "Cool Cat Loves to Rock" features verses in both English and Spanish.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: A small-time Christmas parade, and Cool Cat's minor participation in it, is treated with the same weight as if it's a huge amazing spectacle.
  • No Indoor Voice: Cool Cat is constantly talking in a raised voice. (see here)
    Cool Cat: "I'm a bully and I'm gonna get you tomorrow?" OH NOOOOOOOOOOOO! WHAT SHOULD I DOOOOOOOOOOOOO?!
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: It's implied Butch was going to go from petty crime to threatening his classmates with a gun to get their lunch money.
  • Parental Bonus: The scene where Cool Cat checks out cars from old movies and TV shows. At the time this movie came out, how many of the kids in the movie's target demo do you think had ever seen Magnum, P.I., Ghostbusters, or Smokey and the Bandit? Oddly, they completely ignore the Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo and the Turtle Van, shows that are actually for children.
  • Peer-Pressured Bully: When Cool Cat confronts Butch the Bully's cronies for spray painting a wall, they admit they only do bad things to look cool and stop when Cool Cat explains that's not actually cool. Butch himself, on the other hand, is not reluctant at all about being a bully.
  • Ping-Pong Naïveté: Cool Cat bounces back-and-forth between being very dense and giving all-knowing lectures to the other kids about things like safety and bullying.
  • Poe's Law: After the YMS episodes with the film debuted, there was debate over whether it was, on some level, actually a Stealth Parody, since the over-the-topness of Cool Cat and the shoddiness of the production was so blatant. But Derek's later actions proved that the cluelessness of the film was genuine.
  • Poke the Poodle: This being a kid's movie about bullying and gun safety, Butch the Bully's antics are...not very threatening. He laughs maniacally after every major sentence and as he's announcing his plots, says mean things to Cool Cat and Maria over the phone, spray-paints some signs, cyberbullied Cool Cat, literally takes candy from babies, and kicks sand in Cool Cat's face. Even when he finds a gun, his big plan is to use it to steal everyone's lunch money, and he doesn't even follow through with it - he just shows the gun to another kid without even attempting to use it. And yet he still goes to jail.
  • Portmanteau: "I've got a grandtastic story to tell you!"
  • Power Walk: Used for some reason when Cool Cat, Maria, Mikey, and Daddy Derek walk to school. No, YMS did not add the slow-motion as a gag.
  • Product Placement:
    • The movie is promoting the existing Cool Cat novels and T-shirts. Derek also advertises his Kramer guitar signed by Van Halen. You can buy that, too, if you have $7,000 to spare.
    • Cool Cat writes a story about Trolly The Trout, who just happens to be the star of another series of Derek Savage books.
  • Random Events Plot: The story just meanders from one vignette to the next, with none of the events really relating to each other.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Averted; when Cool Cat and Maria find a gun lying around, they leave it alone and notify an adult. Played straight by Butch the Bully though, who picks up said gun, takes it to school, and waves it about to show it to some other kid.
  • Re-Cut: In addition to the original shorts, there have been at least four different cuts of this film:
    • The original release, which was retroactively known as the "Your Movie Sucks" edition.
    • Derek's recut in response to's review, which primarily focused on removing technical mistakes and correcting poor advice. Cool Cat is redubbed to warn Maria that the message on her phone could be dangerous, but that she should open it anyway. Another change was the removal a man walking out of his house in the background of a scene and then walking back in confusion.
    • A later recut of the film was released under the name Cool Cat Kids Superhero (sic) in 2018. This edit changes some lines as well as adding additional scenes of Cool Cat doing more irrelevant activities, Maria bullying Butch and Butch watching Cool Cat during the Hollywood Parade. Momma Cat is now voiced by Creator/Cynthia Rothrock. Also, the scene where it appears that Cool Cat is "pleasuring himself" is also axed from this version of the film.
    • In 2021, Savage announced a "Director's Cut" of the film which reverts the title back to Cool Cat Saves the Kids and brings the runtime up to 100 minutes, in addition to Savage dubbing over Jason Johnson's performance as Cool Cat. The new footage seems to be recycled from the unreleased short Cool Cat Flips a House.
  • Satellite Character: Maria has virtually no character beyond being Cool Cat's friend and getting advice from him.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At one point a man comes out of his house across the street, takes one look at Cool Cat, and then walks back into his house.
  • Serious Business: The movie treats the Hollywood Christmas Parade, which is a fairly minor event, especially compared to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rose Parade, like it's one of the biggest spectacles in the world.
    • Everything Butch the Bully does is treated like this, to the point where he's shoved into the back of a police car for literally taking candy from babies. Even the act of stealing candy is bad enough to warrant the news reporter to refer to the perpetrator(s) as "bad guys".
  • "Sesame Street" Cred: Vivica A. Fox and Erik Estrada appear, for given value of "cred".
  • Species Surname: Momma Cat answers the phone with "Hello, this is the Cat residence" and Maria calls her and Daddy Derek "Mr. and Mrs. Cat", implying that all three family members have the last name Cat. But later in the movie, Derek says his name is Derek Savage.
  • Spiritual Successor: The inept No Budget filmmaking, disjointed storyline, Big-Lipped Alligator Moments, Narm, hammy acting (especially by child actors) and the presence of a bizarre character in a Goofy Suit who's treated like some beloved icon make this seem like a modern-day Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny.
  • Stock Footage: Lots of it is used throughout the film. For example, in the Hollywood Christmas Parade scene, actual footage from the broadcasts of the 2011 and 2012 events (which Derek and Cool Cat went to) is utilized.
  • Third-Person Person: Cool Cat lapses into this from time to time.
    Cool Cat looooves to boogie woogie!
  • Title Drop: A meta one:
    Mikey: They should make a kids' movie about you!
    Maria: We'll name it Cool Cat Saves The Kids!
  • Totally Radical: Derek thinks kids still say things like "punked", "groovy" and "exquisite", which are terms that haven't been used by kids in Real Life since possibly 1972.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Nobody seems to think that it's strange that a giant bipedal sentient cat exists.
  • Vague Age: Cool Cat. On one hand, he generally acts like a young child and apparently goes to elementary school. On the other, he's played by a grown man, shows interest in shows and movies most kids have never even heard of, and drives a car at one point.
  • Villainous Glutton: Between stealing candy from babies and planning to use a gun to make kids give him their lunch money, it's safe to say Butch the Bully qualifies.
  • Whip Pan: The camera quickly and blurrily pans to where Butch is revealed to be the candy thief.
  • Younger Than They Look: Cool Cat is apparently in elementary school as evidenced by the fact that part of the movie's plot has him running for class president. But he is played by and is the size of a grown man, and he drives a car, so it's hard to buy into his apparent age.

"And where is Cool Cat?"