First 'Cats' Reactions Are In, and It Sounds So Weird

The first batch of reactions to Cats the movie are in, and they are not reassuring skeptics about this movie. The computer-animated musical has raised a lot of eyebrows, and it sounds like there may be good reason. On Tuesday morning, the odd movie practically took over Twitter.

The world premiere of Cats was at the Lincoln Center in New York City on Monday night. The cast and crew were in attendance, along with other celebrities and, of course, film critics. The professional reviewers gave their spoiler-free initial reactions on Tuesday morning, and fans were more perplexed by the movie than ever.

"The CATS movie is the strangest, most bewildering, queerest, magical, and spectacular cinematic experience I have ever had. I am not sure what just happened but I know that it was something worth experiencing," wrote Alan Henry of Broadway World.

"Somehow was unaware that Ray Winstone played Growltiger in CATS and let me tell you I hooted and hollered," wrote David Sims of The Atlantic.

"It brings me no pleasure to report that CATS is way too horny for its own good," tweeted Variety's chief TV critic Caroline D. Framke.

Framke was one of the viewers to offer some bizzare highlights of the movie out of context. For example, she joked that she "left [her] body for good" when Sir Ian McKellan's character "scream-meowed 'YAMYAMYAM'" in the film. Framke also noted that director Tom Hooper told the audience "that CATS is relevant because it's about 'the perils of tribalism,'" which struck many as an odd read of the story.

"My god. It's like watching a carwreck before our eyes in slow motion," a reader responded. "You know it'll happen, you know it'll be dreadful and yet you cannot look away!"

All jokes aside, there were plenty of heartfelt, appreciative responses to Cats on Tuesday, even among the small number of people who saw the premiere. Many were from fans who had a history with the material in stage form, including theater aficionados and people who were attending Broadway shows in the early 1980s, when the play made its debut.


Cats is based on a poetry collection by T.S. Eliot titled Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. It was adapted to a sung-through musical by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber in the late 1970s, and premiered in London's West End in 1981. To this day, it is one of the most popular shows in the theater world.

Cats the movie premieres in theaters everywhere on Friday, Dec. 20.