VHS Review (Posted on 03-06-2013)
Cats. Kittens. They're all over the internet—a source of warming the hearts and bringing a smile to those having a tiring day at work or school. However, I'm willing to bet many forgot the real story of kittens. No, it's not through scientific process of evolution, it's the fairy tale of the original Three Little Kittens
who have lost their mittens.
Now before I continue, I want to remind folks that there will be some reviews on children's videos. I don't often review them, nor am I targeting them for discussion. Rather, they're here to be reviewed as a nostalgic piece of entertainment—fun cartoons that I hold deep in my heart, becoming a wonderful favorite during my youth. With that said, this happens to be one of them.
It's winter, and the kittens Tom, Dick and Harriet are focused on playing in the snow than going to school. When the antagonist, Freezelda decides to hire a bounty hunter, named Hoodwink, her offer of paying Hoodwink pure gold makes her job of hunting mittens that much easier. The plot begins: Freezelda's urgent need of mittens intensifies as she needs to keep her hands warm, with her fingers able to freeze anything and/or anyone that comes with contact with, as cold hands make the heart warm. Old Man Winter reminds Freezelda not to make winter cold and cruel. Choose the Vimeo membership that’s right for you.
Any parent(s) watching this are going to view one of their biggest fears: their kid(s) skips school to go out and play. The kittens get lost in the Fearful Forest, and a sudden twist made the kittens think that the stranger Hoodwink is a nice guy, thanks to their awful curiosity. Mother Cat, worried, now teams up with a few folks to help find her kittens, but they unknowingly never go through the Forest. Like every fearless mother, Cat pushes on and searches the kittens herself, until things fall apart for her, and begins losing hope. 'Lo and behold: Old Man Winter rescues Mother Cat and realizes Freezelda's antics have crossed the line. After ripping Hoodwink and Freezelda's kidnapping, the kittens are safe and sound, while Freezelda wallows in frustration and fires Hoodwink. To quote Old Man Winter:
"A warm heart is nothing to be ashamed of."
Old Man Winter brings the cat family back home, safe and sound. Mother Cat wasn't angry, but she's more relieved her kittens are safe than concerned about their skipping school. Moral of the story: stay in school and never trust a stranger. Poor Mother Cat; she sure had quite an exhausting day that day, so it's no surprise she'd be smiling at the end in pure relief.
Yes, it's a very basic story. However, I'm wondering what happened to the other folks who helped Mother Cat! Although they did offer some help with the other residents, the worry and concern among these townspeople wasn't seen. Another fatal mistake: as the kittens were saved, Mother Cat calls in Harriet and Tom, but her lips move as "Where's Dick?!" was being said, looking like she adopted Tom's voice. I'm not sure if Tom was supposed to say that line, or Mother Cat, but that was rather unusual (though this seems like a common mistake in animation). Other than that, I thought the story was told well. No character gets killed in this film. Included in this short movie are the singing of Three Little Kittens
, which should bring back memories if you're familiar with the song. The ending could've been better. Maybe they could've had some of the townspeople happy and relieved that the cats are safe. In contrast, I thought it ended too quickly.
As mentioned earlier, this was one of my favorite cartoon movies as a kid. In fact, having watched this again I remember something: the moment Old Man Winter drops off the cat family at their house, and I hear the music playing soft violins and piano in the background, my heart would begin racing. As a kid that time, the moment I would hear that, I know the movie is about to end, as the kittens get all tucked up ready to sleep; I then begin crying. I cry harder the very second Mother Cat turns off the lights, and I'd suffocate in tears when I hear the soothing soundtrack of flutes playing during the credits. These were the words Mother Cat sang that made me emotional:
"♪ Okay little kittens, enough with the mittens. The time to sleep is night. ♫"
Yeah, I distinctly remembered those tears because, well, that's how much I loved this movie. Having watched it recently still made my heart tremble; those were the days indeed. Now I understand why the internet loves cats.
I'm sure this movie will make your sweet child smile. It's also adult friendly, so I'm sure you'll get a kick out of it, as did I. The characters—kittens and Mother Cat—are lovable and they grow on you. The music is fantastic, and I'd feel a whole lot better if there was an official soundtrack released for it. In addition, this was never re-released on DVD in some form or other, making this a very rare movie. Also, the tape itself only includes the film—no advertising whatsoever.
Because of the movie's adorable characters, I felt it had the potential of becoming a sequel for TV. We may be able to get a better feel for the characters had they pursued more adventures, and did much more (can do so had it been an episodic cartoon series). That being said, it's doubtful converting this into an animated series would rank up to classics like Sonic The Hedgehog
or Garfield & Friends
but it's worth a try, isn't it? If there are any animators and producers out there looking to jump into creating an animated series of some sort, I strongly recommend this. Like I said, the characters are lovable and you grow to care about them. Must plans be set to revive this wonderful classic, I will surely be the first in line to watch the first season(s). Help work on the animation? I wouldn't mind that either.
With excellent voice acting, especially from stars Lauren Bacall and Bryan Adams, this classic cartoon movie is sure to be one of the most memorable. Your child(ren) will enjoy the story. Along with great animation, a fun sing along and some therapeutic soundtracks, you will never go wrong with this. To those who remembered these classic cartoons as a child, this is an excellent trip down nostalgia lane. No reprints have been made to DVD nor any digitized movie download has been available to this day so get your hands on this while you can. Oh, and because this movie is taken place during winter, though not Christmas themed, it's an excellent feature to watch during the holidays.
In that case, at least you can't miss your favorite classics on DVD at the Warner Bros Online Shop! Get $5 off with orders of $50 or more:
© 2008-2017 written and reviewed personally by Kris Caballero.
In association with
Ronald A. Weinberg
With the voices of
Mother Cat........Susan Glover
Old Man Winter....Neil Shee
Mary Ann Capling
Bernie Denk, supervisor
Joan Churchill, supervisor
Animation Produced by
Crayon Animation, Inc.
William Litwack, director
Spectrum Animation Studio
Supervising Sound Editor
Sound Effects Pre-Mix
Barbara Parker, director
"Kitten Play Song"
"Three Little Kittens"
Lyrics by..........Peter Sander
Music by...........Milan Kymlicka
Copyright CINAR SONGS 1990
Produced in association with
The Global Television Network,
A member of
The Canwest Global System
A CINAR/France Animation Coproduction
Copyright CINAR Films IV and Company, Limited
France Animation S.A. MCMXC
All other trademarks
are the property of
Western Publishing Company, Inc.
Racine, Wisconsin 53404
Produced in U.S.A.