A trailer has finally dropped for movie adaptation of Cats, and... honestly, we're not quite sure what to say. When the venture was announced, we were sceptical, but happy to reserve judgement – after all, progressions in VFX and mo-cap have unlocked exciting new doors in movies. In a world where a plastic spork can become a legitimate main character (Toy Story 4) and singing warthogs seem perfectly believable (The Lion King), surely rendering a plausible take on this feline fiesta shouldn't pose too much of a problem?
Well it seems not. Judging by what we've seen so far, Tom Hooper's reimagining of the phenomenally popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is all kinds of wrong. One thing's for sure, this 'demented dream ballet' isn't likely to enter our ranking of the best 3D movies any time soon.
Take a look at the full trailer below, then read on for what we think are the four most bonkers CGI decisions.
01. The cats look like humans covered in fur
First up, let's decide what you're going for here. Realistic creatures conveying human emotions? That works – just look at the Lion King remake. Humans that give the impression of cats through stylised costumes and body movements? Another strong approach – go ahead.
But no. The film-makers here have opted for something between the two: super-realistic CGI cat fur (achieved using 'digital fur technology' nonetheless) paired with entirely human faces and human proportions, but (understandably) no accurate anatomical details.
Whoever decided this eerie hybrid of human and feline could be anything other than a one-way ticket to uncanny valley was sorely mistaken. We'll see you in our nightmares, Mr Mistoffelees.
02. No one can decide what size the cats are
By all means bend the rules of nature and ask the audience to suspend their disbelief, but if you're going to do that you at least need to be consistent. In the Cats stage show, the cats are human sized. Here, the technology is there to shrink them down to the scale of a natural cat. However, across the course of this two-and-a-half minute trailer the feline characters are variously the size of a piece of cutlery, roughly real-cat-sized, and entirely human-sized. It's all a bit distracting.
03. Only some cats wear clothes
How clothes work in this nightmarish alternate world is incredibly hard to fathom. Many of the cats, as you would expect of a cat, are naked but for the aforementioned realistic fur. However, others wear clothes, ranging from jackets to top hats. Judi Dench's gender-swapped Old Deuteronomy, already a fairly fluffy breed, sports a fur coat in the same colour as her fur. Where does this fur come from? Another cat? Let's not dwell on the logistics there too much.
04. Lady cats have cleavage
The last of our gripes is perhaps the most upsetting of all: there are a number of shots that suggest these kitties – the females in particular – are meant to be sexy. While the addition of animal ears or tails might float some people's boats, even Hefner would surely have been thrown by a furry Taylor Swift wearing heels. And absolutely no one wants to see a cat with cleavage.