After seeing the horrendous first trailer, some of us hoped that Cats would reconsider its decision to feature eerily realistic and yet incredibly uncanny cat-human hybrids.
This has not happened. The cats in the latest trailer are mostly buff, large-breasted, and endowed with human features and very feline fur. They look like something out of the worst acid trip of all time.
Overall, the new trailer is like Alice in Wonderland if it were redesigned by the corporate overlords in Sorry to Bother You. If their appearances weren't odd enough, there's the fact that—as The Cut smartly pointed out—the cats appear to be different sizes in almost every frame. They must've taken whatever pill Jefferson Airplane is talking about in "White Rabbit," because they're sometimes very large and sometimes very small.
Then there are the psychedelic colors, the swirling shots pieced together like the rough cut of a montage for a Tame Impala video, and the endlessly cheesy one-liners.
Honestly, the cats in Cats would have been so much easier to look at if someone had made the decision to use regular costumes instead of whatever CGI they're trying out.
On the other hand, Cats itself is a bizarre and strange musical that does feature humanoid cat-dancers. Iit's supposed to be disorienting and dreamlike, and it's predicated on the suspension of belief. Based on a series of poems by T. S. Eliot, it's an abstract and nonsensical show about a colony of wild cats that dance and sing their way through an unruly haze of cat parties, nostalgia, and magic, for God's sake.
But the musical is mostly noteworthy for its extraordinary dancing and its charming music; the rest is fluff. On the other hand, it seems that the movie will mostly rely on the star power of its very famous cast, which includes James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Rebel Wilson, Taylor Swift, Dame Judi Dench, and Jason Derulo, all of whom somehow agreed to having their faces and body shapes coated in CGI fur suits. Maybe the fact that these people are so famous and familiar is part of what makes the preview look so peculiar. It's as if our cultural avatars have been filtered through a bad photoshop job or ingested a couple of nasty chemicals from the MK-Ultra era; strangers would've been easier to bear.
On the other hand, maybe Cats is what we as a collective society deserve and need. After all, it's not like we live in a logical world. Today, in the era of social media, streaming, and endless TikTok loops, it takes something absolutely absurd to grab our attention for longer than a 24-hour news cycle, and by proxy, media is becoming more bizarre, more psychedelic, and more outlandishly self-referential. Maybe Cats' oddness is just a roundabout marketing scheme.
Regardless, the real world often seems as topsy-turvy and plotless as the Cats trailer. So, keep dancing away under the Jellicle moon, cat-humans; we'll be watching in blissful horror, and lapping up every frame.
Cats – Official Trailer | MTV Movies www.youtube.com