It looks like we’ll be celebrating more than just the holidays this weekend, as The Aristocats is also celebrating its 45th 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!
2. Scat Cat was originally going to be voiced by Louis Armstrong.
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.
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.
6. A famous singer left retirement to sing the opening song.
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.
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.
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.
While they were recording their parts for The Aristocats, the actors starred in the TV series Green Acres.
Which fact surprised you most? Let us know in the comments!