Hanna-Barbera’s cartoon series Top Cat has been adapted into the 3D Mexican film known as ‘Top Cat: The Movie’, also known in Spanish as ‘Don Gato y su Pandilla’.
In the film, iconic character Top Cat and his gang are challenged by a new police chief, Strickland, who uses technology to single-handedly control New York City.
The film is a fine attempt in terms of the writing. However, the animation is not up to the mark. One would rather visit the cartoon series on his/her television, rather than pay for a movie. Kids, who are used to the DreamWorks and Pixar-like animation, may find it difficult taking to this film. Still, the English dialogues and voiceovers are quite good. Those wanting a piece of nostalgia could catch up with this film and get entertained.
Top Cat and his gang go on about their usual antics at New York City. Their latest target is the Maharaja of Pookajee, who is known for his generous nature and his habit of giving away rubies to loved ones. Top Cat wants to get hold of one of those dazzling rubies to impress the female cat, Trixie.
Meanwhile, Officer Dibble, who has been expecting a promotion all this while, gets news that the retiring Chief has given away his position to his despicable son-in-law Strickland.
Strickland starts out his term as the Police Chief in the most dictatorial manner. He replaces the current staff of police officers with robots and also gets secret cameras installed all over the city. He demotes Officer Dibble and gets the female cat Trixie onto his side. Strickland wants to get funding from the Mayor to get more robots built but is prevented by Top Cat from doing so.
To avenge this, he frames Top Cat in an orphanage burglary and gets his arrested. He also turns Top Cat’s gang against him. So, Top Cat, betrayed and all-alone, gets sentenced to ‘DOG’ jail, wherein further trials and tribulations await him. The film is about how Strickland is brought to the cleaners!
The story of the film is well written and makes for an entertaining one-and-half hours. The voiceovers too are brilliantly done, featuring stalwarts such as Jason Harris, Chris Edgerly and Bill Lobley. The animation left a lot to be desired, but one should understand that it’s a Mexican film made on a measly budget. If we expect the world to support Indian animation, however good/bad it may be, it is only fair that we assess a foreign film across all quarters.
The film is not particularly appealing, visually, but it’s just the same as how the original cartoon series looked on television decades ago. So, the only respite for the ‘animation’ buffs is that you get to watch the vintage cartoon on the big screen. That’s that!
The 3D version, however, should be avoided.
It’s a decent film. Those who were ardent fans of the ‘Top Cat’ cartoon will find the film highly enjoyable as well. Best option would be a DVD rental. Those wanting the ‘big screen’ effect may watch it at the hall.