A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No real educational content, except the implication that kids should trust their instincts.
The movie reinforces the idea that one should help out when others are in trouble, and that the police or other authority figures can be important allies. Also, it's important to trust your instincts -- even as a kid.
Positive Role Models
Patti and Ingrid are independent, confident young women who are not influenced by what others think of them. Both women are strong-willed and do exactly what they stick their minds to. Patti proves that following your gut instinct can be helpful and accurate.
Violence & Scariness
Kidnapping is part of the plot, although it's treated humorously. Voices are raised and younger viewers may find the abductors to be scary. In the final scene there is a scuffle between a detective and the kidnapper. Guns are used, but no one gets shot.
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The cat's name is D.C. for the phrase "Darn Cat," which is frequently yelled with frustration when he gets into mischief.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Canoe, a secondary character smokes a cigar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, although younger kids will enjoy the cute cat's antics, the movie is way too long to hold their complete attention. The kidnapping plot -- though treated humorously -- might frighten very young or sensitive kids. There is some scuffling and the appearance of guns, though no one is hurt. Otherwise, the movie is squeaky clean. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Despite being overlong and leisurely paced, That Darn Cat is an amusing and enjoyable romp that will appeal to both adults and kids. Hayley Mills was Disney's biggest child-star of the 1960s and it's easy to see why. Graduating to a teen role here after several movies playing a child, she's as bright, charming, and precocious as ever, while never taking herself too seriously. Dean Jones, who also starred in a string of Disney family films, demonstrates his deft touch as a light comedian as the bumbling Zeke. The supporting cast is stocked with familiar character actors who will bring a smile to the face of anyone who grew up in the '60s.
Director Robert Stevenson, also a longtime Disney associate, expertly mixes slapstick hijinks with mystery and suspense. The scenes in which the FBI try to tail D.C. through the neighborhood at night are very funny -- as the feline encounters angry dogs, runs through a drive-in movie theater, and makes the G-men look more like the Keystone Kops. The movie is definitely from an earlier, fantasized era when everyone was clean-cut, but it's good fun for the whole family.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.