The Aristocats: Special Edition [Blu-Ray] Wolfgang Reitherman

The Aristocats: Special Edition [Blu-Ray] Wolfgang Reitherman
From a culturally conscious perspective, it's sort of awesome that Disney decided to tackle class system malaise in 1970 by making a French-inspired animation film about the tearing down of the aristocracy by the working class with talking cats. It's more awesome that it managed to condescend and placate the bourgeoisie by implying that, a) they're greedy, animalistic and incapable of handling income maturely, and b) that the aristocracy would somehow find a way to share their wealth with them. With an impeccable high definition print provided on this Blu-Ray — inadvertently exacerbating the animation shortcuts taken by adopting the French style of animation — this story of a family of privileged cats having to rough it in the wild when the servant of a rich woman throws them to the curb (literally) after learning they were to inherit her fortune over him proves weak amidst the Disney lexicon. Call it Lady and the Tramp-lite, with the breathy mother cat discovering nascent romance and traditionally dirty desires — Disney films do often suggest that uptight upper-class women all secretly want a nasty romp with dirty, lower class trash — with an alley cat she exploits to find her way home. Sure, there are cute kittens and an abundance of hallucinogenic musical numbers about the awesomeness of being a cat, but the story is essentially that of rich woman (or cat) lifting up her tail to get what she wants from the help. Moreover, the bigger plot is about the terrors of working class rebellion, since it would make rich folks (like Walt Disney) have to share their wealth. By including the hippie musician cats and uneducated hillbilly dogs as friends of the rich felines, sure to benefit financially by supporting and protecting the upper class, The Aristocats implies that being passive and expressing servitude towards socially dictated leaders will prove beneficial in the long run. It's a vile concept that is nothing short of hilarious in a cartoon that features acid trip-inspired musical numbers and bitchy geese. Included with the special edition is an alternate opening with a deleted maid character and musical number that exacerbates the greed of the working class. There's also an amusing Disney TV special on the difference between a lion and a housecat. This is the best feature, since the terrible dance remix, "Oui Oui Marie," is little more than a vile attempt to modernize a film that says multitudes about the horrors of history unintentionally. (Buena Vista)