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Parents' Guide to

Top Cat Begins

By Tom Cassidy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Cartoon cat origin story is mean-spirited, joyless, violent.

Movie PG 2017 89 minutes
Top Cat Begins Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 4+

Based on 1 parent review

age 4+

Ripoff of Bob’s Burgers

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

This miserable movie is irredeemably bad. Directed by Andrés Couturier, Top Cat Beginshates women, men, cats, dogs, children, unhoused people, the LGBTQ+ community, orphans, nuns, the police, and pretty much everything else it features. It's rare to find a truly joyless children's movie but Top Cat Begins proves it's possible. Couturier and his screenwriters have no idea of tone. Explicit movie references include Reservoir Dogs, Psycho, and The Exorcist, three films most children have never seen, and for good reason. These references aren't clever asides for a knowing adult audience. It's the entire intro to Reservoir Dogs, complete with the whole of Little Green Bag. As for The Exorcist reference, a character appears possessed, twists his head round 180 degrees and spits goo in the face of another. What could any of this possibly mean to children watching?

The movie is even arrogant enough to take a shot at a previous movie version of the cartoon. In one of the countless violent scenes, Top Cat is slammed into a trash can, which the movie's makers have stuffed full of DVD copies of 2011's Top Cat: The Movie. This weirdly cynical joke majorly backfires. It's true, that version was another dismal offering. But Top Cat Begins needs its own trash can right next to it. Thanks to streaming sites, there's never been more choice of what to watch as a family -- choose anything but this.

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