The Aristocats Movie Poster Image

The Aristocats



Jazz and hijinks make this Disney cat tale meow.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1970
  • Running Time: 79 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

Friends and family can be found anywhere; having adventures in life helps make it fun. Sticking together is important.

Positive role models

Duchess learns about a whole jazzy community, falls in love, and remains a lovely kitty cat. O'Malley becomes more aware of others' needs. A Siamese cat called "Chinese cat" is a broad Asian stereotype typical of movies made at the time, complete with buck teeth and stupid grin. Greedy butler Edgar drugs and abandons the cats, but he gets his comeuppance.

Violence & scariness

Edgar spikes milk for the cats with sleeping pills. Kittens and their mom are kidnapped and abandoned in the country. A few prolonged chase scenes where it looks like animals and people could get harmed, especially when animals are chased with a pitchfork.

Sexy stuff

Lots of girl-cat eye-batting at O'Malley's flattery. More than a few giggly shots of Edgar the butler's underwear.


"Hush your mouth" uttered by a dog.


Off-screen licensed tie-ins as part of Disney's marketing empire.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A goose exits a restaurant falling down drunk after being "marinated" by a chef -- played for many laughs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that younger/more sensitive kids may be upset by the drugging and abandonment of a mom cat and her three kittens. For a brief moment the kittens can't find their mom. In some slapstick chase scenes it looks like animals or people could be injured, especially when Edgar the butler wields a pitch fork. Plus played for laughs are shots of Edgar the butler's underwear and a drunk goose weaving down the street.

What's the story?

Disney's animated THE ARISTOCATS takes an elegant cat named Duchess (voiced by Eva Gabor) and her three kittens out of their high-brow element when a cantankerous butler dumps them in the country after he hears the cats are to inherit his employer's fortune before him. On their way home, the cats encounter O'Malley the Alley Cat who gets them out of a number of scrapes and introduces the brood to his jazz-playing "hep cat" friends. And just like Lady and the Tramp, Duchess can't resist the charms of the scrappy O'Malley.

Is it any good?


The highlight of this jazz-infused adventure is the toe-tapping song "Everybody Wants to Be a Cat." There's little plot (cats journey home) and the characters are less memorable than other animated animal capers like Lady and the Tramp and 101 Dalmatians. Phil Harris, who plays Baloo from the original Disney Jungle Book, is fun as O'Malley, but he lacks some of the rapscallion antics that would make him stand out.

Kids will love the silly chase scenes with Edgar the butler and the country hounds, Napoleon and Lafayette, especially the one around the windmill. They're choreographed for lots of giggles -- complete with failing-suspenders gags. But once the big jazzy number and madcap running about are over the movie falls flat. In a DVD extra, one of the composers reveals a lullaby-like song that was left on the cutting room floor about the owner's love for her cats. That's the kind of sweetness that could have made this movie the cat's pajamas.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Edgar the butler. He doesn't seem really mean like Cruella De Vil, but he's still not nice to Madame's cats. How come?

  • Why does he go back to the country for his hat and umbrella?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 24, 1970
DVD/Streaming release date:February 5, 2008
Cast:Eva Gabor, Liz English, Phil Harris
Director:Wolfgang Reitherman
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Cats, dogs, and mice, Music and sing-along
Run time:79 minutes
MPAA rating:G

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Parent of an infant and 2 year old Written bymar0271 January 15, 2009

An old favorite

I loved this movie when I was a kis, and was anxious to show it to my little girl when she was old enough. She was a little over 2 when she first saw it, and she loves it. Unfortunately, as usual with Disney, in their effort to appeal to broad age ranges, there is the standard conflict in this Disney movie that scares some little ones. Almost every Disney movie has it, which we are frustrated by. My daughter is almost 3 and loves to watch the movie, but we have to fast forward past the abduction, abandonment, and the brief moment when the kittens can't find their mother. Except for thos moments, it's great for the little ones.
Adult Written byBostonMomof2 April 9, 2008

Nothing to scare sensitive toddlers

My daughter is pretty easily frightened by concepts of loss and malice, like Bambi's mother getting shot or the wicked stepmother trying to poison Snow White. She loves this movie and nothing about it upsets her.
Parent of a 2 year old Written byslm76 September 21, 2009
As far as Disney movies go, this one is pretty mild. The negative elements of the movie are too complicated for a toddler - which involve the drugging of kittens so they will go "night night" and can be relocated to the country-side because the man who does this wants to become first inline to inherit his employer's fortune since the kittens precede him in the employer's will. Once this story line is established at the outset of the movie, the majority of the movie is about the cats' funny and quirky adventures in trying to get back home. When they eventually do return home, a physical fight ensues between the animals and the butler and a pitch fork gets thrown at a cat, but besides that there isn't much violence. The evil character is a goofy butler, who is not that scary compared to other Disney antagonists. For small children, this is a cute, relatively harmless movie.