Top Cat: The Movie

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Top Cat: The Movie Movie Poster Image
Classic cartoon's update isn't funny; edgier than original.
  • PG
  • 2013
  • 90 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

This film is for entertainment purposes only.

Positive Messages

There are no overarching social messages, but the alley cats are a tight-knit group that value teamwork and friendship. They help each other regardless of background or status.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The cats are definitely rogue characters, but they care about and take care of one another.

Violence & Scariness

Loads of slapstick violence: dogs get hit by a car, rolled over by a bunch of crates, and encased in cement; two characters touch the electric fence; robots explode as they self-destruct; and cats are frequently pursued. There's also some gross-out humor, as when the cats make a disgusting soup with boot shavings.

Sexy Stuff

Top Cat falls in love with a female cat and rubs himself with fish to make himself more attractive to her. He actively pursues her, even when she tells him that she won't date anyone from the alley. During dog jail, the pooches smell each other's behinds. Top Cat calls Trixie "Mrs. Top Cat."

Language

A few insults such as "weirdo," "loser," "stupid," "annoying," "jerks," "nitwit," "pathetic," and a couple of "what the hecks."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Top Cat: The Movie is the film adaptation of the old '60s cartoon Top Cat. Like the original, the movie follows Top Cat and his gang of alley cats as they try to avoid capture by the police -- particularly the new police chief, Strickland. There's some persistent slapstick violence, like a dog getting encased in cement, a little old lady hitting a dog, and characters getting electrocuted on a fence. The language includes insults such as "weirdo," "loser," "stupid," "annoying," and "jerks," and there are more come-ons and flirting than usual for an animated movie.

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What's the story?

TOP CAT: THE MOVIE is based on Top Cat, the Hanna-Barbera prime-time animated show from the early 1960s. Like the original cartoon, the movie follows Top Cat (Jason Harris) and his band of alley cats as they try to avoid getting caught by their old nemesis, Officer Dibble (Bill Lobley), and his new, even crankier boss, Police Chief Strickland. Chief Strickland isn't happy with Dibble's success in subduing the alley cats, so he comes up with a scheme to get them once and for all. Meanwhile, Top Cat falls for a female cat, Trixie (Melissa Disney).

Is it any good?

There's really nothing compelling about this movie, and, if anything, Top Cat's obsession with Trixie is borderline creepy and completely unfunny. Even as a show, Top Cat was only on the air for one season, or 30 episodes; it's unclear why anyone felt the need to revive the old cartoon as a film except that younger audiences may have seen the series re-aired on Boomerang. Most kids won't get the cats-versus-cops plot, and they won't have the background knowledge to understand or care about most of the characters. Fans of the show should stick to the reruns and skip this underwhelming movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about movies based on old cartoons. Do they still work for younger audiences?

  • How does this movie compare to the original cartoon?

Movie details

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