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Parents' Guide to

That Darn Cat (1997)

By Michael Scheinfeld, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Obviously designed for cynical modern teens.

Movie PG 1997 89 minutes
That Darn Cat (1997) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 1 parent review

age 8+

DC Strikes Again

I loved this movie when I was a kid. Patti is 16 and thinks her hometown is boring, NOTHING happens there, everyone and everything is beneath her except her cat DC. In the end she learns that not everyone is what they appear on the surface and even her small town has something to offer. A woman is kidnapped. There's a car chase and an explosion. No real violence. The world Hell is used.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

The good news about this remake of THAT DARN CAT is that it's almost 30 minutes shorter than the original. Christina Ricci is very likable, and Doug E. Doug steps nicely into the shoes of the fumbling FBI agent. The bad news is that this updated version tries too hard to distance itself from the squeaky-clean, idealized Disney universe of the past, setting the story in a cozy, sanitized suburb and then ridiculing it. The premise is cute, but the frenetic and strident execution lacks charm. Slightly darker and more sinister than the 1965 Disney classic, this version is watchable but obviously designed to appeal to cynical modern teens.

The comedy is fairly unsubtle and the story mostly played for cheap laughs involving the local yokels, which tend to take the focus away from Patti and Zeke's investigation. The kidnapping plot, which was treated humorously but convincingly in the original, is just a big joke here. Still, unlike many contemporary family movies, this one's not mean-spirited and makes for perfectly pleasant viewing for kids who won't watch "old" movies -- even though the original is far more entertaining.

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