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Film / Undercover Kitty

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Undercover Kitty (Minoes in The Netherlands), also known as Miss Minoes, is a 2001 Dutch family film directed by Vincent Bal, based on the children's novel Minoes by Annie M.G. Schmidt. It stars Carice Van Houten, Theo Maassen, Sarah Bannier, Hans Kesting, Olga Zuiderhoek, Jack Wouterse and Pierre Bokma.

One night, Minoes, a female cat, stumbles upon a can of chemicals that was dropped by a truck, and drinks it. Somehow, the chemicals turn her into a human (Van Houten). She soon meets a journalist named Tibbe (Maassen), who works for the newspaper of the town of Killendoorn and badly needs scoops. Minoes helps him find scoop material since her cat friends can go anywhere and report to her. They soon start to suspect Mr. Ellemeet (Pierre Bokma), the city's wealthy chemical factory owner, to indulge in illegal activities.

Paul Verhoeven later revealed that this children's movie convinced him to cast Carice van Houten in Black Book, which boosted her career.

Undercover Kitty provides examples of:

  • Angry Mob: The whole town chases the disgraced Ellemeet all the way to his factory.
  • Animal Espionage: The cats are basically spies working for Minoes, who's thus The Spymaster.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The chemicals. They can turn a cat into a human, somehow.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Ellemeet seems to have an Irrational Hatred of cats for some reason; he even goes as far as to try and shoot them when he spots them in his garden.
  • Berserk Button: Cats are this to Ellemeet, which comes back to bite him when said cats exploit this button to taunt him into revealing his true self on camera.
  • Cassandra Truth: Tibbe's less than flattering (but truthful) article about Ellemeet is met with incredulity followed by rejection from almost everyone in Killendoorn.
  • The Cat Bites Back: The Killendoorn feline population has a personal, very good reason for wanting Ellemeet gone.
  • Cat Girl: Minoes is a cat who gets turned into a human... and still behaves mostly like a cat. She still maintains a feline behaviour such as her fear of dogs, climbing in trees, meowing on the roof with other cats, catching mice, purring and eating raw fish.
    Minoes: I can't help it, whenever I see a dog I must climb in a tree.
  • Caught on Tape: How Ellemeet finally meets his downfall. The entire town is treated to footage of him among other things shooting at beloved pet cats and hitting a little girl.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Bibi's video camera.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Ellemeet secretly gets rid of his factory's chemical waste by burying them in the forest.
  • Detective Animal: Unusually so in that Minoes is an animal in a human body.
  • Fictional Province: Killendoorn is a fictional Dutch city.
  • Happily Ever After: Minoes and Tibbe get married in the end credits.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Harri de Haringman, the fishmonger, is a friendly and jolly chap who won't hear a word against his star customer Ellemeet, who buys food from his stall everyday only to immediately throw in in the trash. Needless to say that being shown the truth about this man that Harri considered a friend is a huge slap in the face.
  • Humanity Ensues: Minoes is originally a cat, and gets turned into a human.
  • I Choose to Stay: Minoes decides to stay a human, and she and Tibbe get married in the credits.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Both Tibbe and Minoes with Bibi, the daughter of Tibbe's landlady.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Tibbe wants to be this so badly.
  • Kick The Cat: Ellemeet indulges in this frequently, and even tries to dispose of Jackie's kittens by gleefully throwing the poor things in the trash right as the garbage truck rolls by.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Tibbe considers "pregnant cat escapes from an explosion" a story worth an article, and can be seen chatting to Tinus, his boss's ginger tom.
  • Knowledge Broker: Minoes informs Tibbe on scoop-worthy stuff happening in the city, thanks to the cats who wander in the city and report to her.
  • Mama Bear: Bibi's mother becomes livid when confronted with video evidence of Ellemeet hitting her daughter.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Minoes is this to Tibbe, dramatically improving his life with the scoops she brings from her cat friends' spying and her bright outlook on life.
  • Nice Girl: Minoes, through and through. She tries to help her human friends the best she can.
  • Redhead In Green: Minoes has been turned into a red-headed woman, and she dresses mostly in green.
  • Roofhopping: Minoes somehow manages to do this on two legs while wearing heels.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Ellemeet can't run away fast enough when he is finally exposed for the horrible little man he truly is.
  • Sitting on the Roof: Minoes often sits on the roof with her cat friends, and she's later joined by the humans.
  • Stupid Evil: Ellemeet is so incensed at seeing cats in his garden that he blindly starts firing a rifle in a residential neighbourhood. It's a wonder no one called the cops.
  • Toxic Waste Can Do Anything: Like turning a cat into a human.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Tibbe seems if anything only mildly surprised to find a strange woman perched atop a tree in the middle of the square, not even when she hops back down with impressive agility. He later finds the same woman raiding his kitchen in the middle of the night, and even when she fully admits that she slipped in through the window he doesn't seem particularly alarmed. No, the limit is when he finds out that she apparently talks to cats.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Behind his friendly, personable public persona and respectable company owner image, Mr. Ellemeet indulges in animal abuse and illegal toxic waste pollution.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Ellemeet's unpleasantness also extends to children, and he strikes Bibi when she laughs at him.