Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gay Purr-ee

I was flipping through channels and caught the majority of "Gay Purr-ee", an animated film that seems to be almost forgotten. I was vaguely aware of its existence, but never sought it out.

It's good: predictable and a little unintentionally disturbing, but a good way to kill an hour and some. It's surprising to see that there was a non-Disney American cartoon film made in the sixties (this time by UPA and Warner Brothers), even if it's very close to the Disney stereotype.

The plot hinges on a certain chain of scummy storytelling conventions: the kitty heroine who first thinks herself too good for her humble home, and too good and for the romantic attentions of the protagonist, only to be swindled and hurt in the big city, and realize the country boy was right for her after all. I didn't like the film enough to feel guilty about this, nor hate it enough to be really angry.

The style of the artwork and animation is fun, and makes it distinct from Disney at least on that level. Abstracted backgrounds and minimalistic art makes it fun to look at. The character animation is of course similar to the Warner Brother's shorts, and so not as distinct, but I still like it.

And yes, this is a musical. The song, "The Money Cat", which is used to seduce the Judy Garland-voiced Mewsette into following the villain Meowrice to alleged fame and sophistication, has been in my head all day. It's insanely catchy.

But furthermore, I love, love the animation on Meowirce's minions. I'd normally be bored with minions being literally faceless, interchangeable characters, but their antics are so entertaining that I love 'em. Their silhouetted designs are also charming, and probably the most distinct-looking characters in the film.

So no, I don't think it's a "forgotten gem", besides the novelty factor and a few great visuals, but "Gay Purr-ee" is pretty good.

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