10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Aristocats

It looks like we’ll be celebrating more than just the holidays this weekend, as The Aristocats is also celebrating its 47th anniversary today. Since we’ve never really stopped wanting to be a cat after watching the film for the very first time all those years ago, we figured the perfect way to celebrate was to brush up on our trivia skills. Are you ready to test your knowledge? Keep on reading!

1. The Aristocats is based on real family of cats.
Baymaxs-Favorite-Hairy-Babies-The-Aristocats (1)
The film is based on a story by Tom McGowan and Tom Rowe, which centers around a real family of cats that inherited a fortune back in 1910.

2. Scat Cat was originally going to be voiced by Louis Armstrong.
Aristocats scat cat
Animators modeled Scat Cat (originally named Satchmo Cat) after Louis Armstrong because they wanted him to voice the character. Everything down to the gap in his teeth to the way he played the trumpet was based on the singer. When Armstrong was too sick to play the part, Scatman Crothers was offered the role.

3. There were supposed to be four kittens.
Aristocats kittens going through cat door
The original script featured a fourth kitten named Waterloo, but he was removed because the writers thought four kittens was too many.

4. The film was intended to be live action.
Aristocats was meant to be a two-part live-action installment of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color back in 1954. It was Walt himself who decided the story was better suited for animation.

5. Some of Napoleon and Lafayette’s barks were recycled.
A couple of the barks heard in the film were actually recycled from the Twilight Bark scene in 101 Dalmatians.

6. A famous singer left retirement to sing the opening song.
Thomas O'Malley and little kitty Marie are singing by the piano in the party scene from The Aristocats
Composers Richard and Robert Sherman convinced Maurice Chevalier to come out of retirement to sing the film’s title song “The Aristocats.” We’re glad they did, because that song is great.

7. It was the last film to be approved by Walt Disney.
Disney Magic_Aristocats_School
The Aristocats was the final film to be approved by Walt Disney, the first to be completed after his death, and the last to include the phrase, “A Walt Disney Production” at the end.

8. O’Malley was based on and voiced by Phil Harris.
Aristocats OMalley Intro
Phil Harris, who is famous for playing Baloo in The Jungle Book, was used as inspiration for Thomas O’Malley. In fact, the writers let the actor change some of his lines to better suit his personality. The first song he sings bears a strong resemblance to Baloo’s famous tune “The Bear Necessities.”

9. Eva Gabor (Duchess) and Pat Buttram (Napoleon) were co-stars on a famous TV show during filming.
Duchess from the Aristocats
While they were recording their parts for The Aristocats, the actors starred in the TV series Green Acres.

10. Edgar was supposed to have a partner-in-crime.
In one of the earlier scripts, Edgar had a partner-in-crime named Elvira. Elsa Lanchester (Katie Nanna in Mary Poppins) was cast in the role.

Which fact surprised you most? Let us know in the comments!

Posted 6 years Ago
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