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Twitter: @thelindsayellis
Guest voices:
Steve Taylor -
Hank Green -
Maggie Mae Fish -
Dan Olson -
Jenny Nicholson -
Oliver Thorn -
Kat Blaque -
Hershberg, Marc. “How A Dog Film Killed an Animated Version of 'Cats'.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 27 Jan. 2020,
Hulk, Film Crit. “Film Crit Hulk Smash: HULK VS. TOM HOOPER AND ART OF CINEMATIC AFFECTATION.” Birth.Movies.Death., 9 Jan. 2013,
JACOBS, ALEXANDRA. STILL HERE: the Madcap, Nervy, Singular Life of Elaine Stritch. PICADOR, 2020.
Kale, Sirin. “'I've Seen It 703 Times!': Cats Superfans on the Show's Magical Appeal - and the New Movie.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 25 July 2019,
Pincus-Roth, Zachary. “Why Exactly Did so Many People like 'Cats' in the First Place?” The Washington Post, WP Company, 22 Dec. 2019,
Sims, David. “A Serious Conversation With the Man Who Made 'Cats'.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 26 Dec. 2019,
Snetiker, Marc. “The Conflicted Theater Fan's Guide to 'Cats'.”, 2019,
Webber, Andrew Lloyd. Unmasked. Harper Collins UK, 2019.
Wells, Pete. “As Not Seen on TV.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 Nov. 2012,
Rich, Frank. “THEATER: LLOYD WEBBER'S 'CATS'.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 8 Oct. 1982,
Hutcheon, Linda. Source: Daedalus, Vol. 133, No. 2, On Happiness (Spring, 2004), pp. 108-111
Published by: The MIT Press on behalf of American Academy of Arts & Sciences



  • “I’m losin’ to a bird!” walked so “Hal, it’s about cats” could run

    carreycarreyAylar önce
    • No love to "why does it hurt so much?"?

      Edu Melero VerdúEdu Melero Verdú2 gün önce
    • @Howtostudies Io Io I b

      Michele SoriceMichele Sorice8 gün önce
    • Also "I'm losing to a rug!" from Aladdin 2

      Matthew SawczynMatthew Sawczyn18 gün önce
    • "I'm losing to a bird!" was used so largely, it has embedded itself in my mind as a genuine exclamation of frustration. I say it odten whenever something goes wrong.

      Jeffrey ChinnJeffrey Chinn27 gün önce
    • “Bobby Beeeeeeee...” TURN DOWN FOR WHAT!!!!!!!!!

      Pusher Love ManPusher Love Man28 gün önce
  • Slightly weird, but I almost feel like this... has encouraged me to think about what Hamilton would be like if directed by Tom Hooper. Huh. ... Thanks!

    Krystaline GregoryKrystaline Gregory17 dakika önce
  • "The commodification of our need to see trash being eviscerated by the critic intelligentsia has becone an ever evolving industry." Super cathartic sentence!

    Pat MaloneyPat Maloney42 dakika önce
  • okay youtube, i've watched this so leave me alone.

    Marcelinus ImanuelMarcelinus Imanuel59 dakika önce
  • This was such a well put together and well thought video. Thank you.

    Mark JohnstoneMark Johnstone3 saatler önce
  • the plot of cats is the kind of thing i would have come up with on the playground aged 10. Its a talent show for magical cats... I-

    Katie MercerKatie Mercer4 saatler önce
  • I still have no idea what a ‘jellicle cat’ is.

    DuuuadDuuuad7 saatler önce
  • Everybody asks why is cats not how are cats.

    Aliyah E HassanAliyah E Hassan12 saatler önce
  • I love you.

    J BecerraJ Becerra14 saatler önce
  • In terms of Oscar bait movie adaptations, I agree that they should end, but I personally don't think film adaptations as a medium transfer, say if it just gets released to Netflix and such, and actually FOCUSES on being a movie like Tim Burton's adaptation of Sweeney Todd(which Sondheim himself said is a Good medium transfer of the source material that stays true to the author's original intent, while applying the necessary changes that can support the intent further in ways the stage couldn't), should die out all together. No matter how recognizable it stars direct from Broadway or film are, or how much it might bank on the recognition of the creator's later work, I still think the In The Heights movie will be a GREAT adaptation from the care and true passion Lin and the crew are pouring into the movie, straight down to how much people from the real Washington Heights are participating in this film, which is shot in location of that same place. It doesn't seem like it's banking on who it has under it's belt, so I say it's most likely going to be a fair adaptation, even for it's own sake, but one that's not expecting to make a stationary amount of money. They just personally want to put itself out there, so I'm definitely seeing it on screen, when they finally finish editing the score for the movie. West Side Story 2020 is a BIT not expected, but then again Stephen Spielberg and Tony Kushner have emphasized that they want to take on the show, and the show itself, from a different angle than the Robert Wise film, with emphasis on Also, they don't have a cast of Hollywood recognizables, at least a few Broadway recognizables in Mike Faist(Conner in Dear Evan Hansen, as well as original ensemble member of Newsies the musical) playing Riff and Brian Darcy James(known commercially as Shrek in Shrek the musical) as Officer Krupke, and "who knows", maybe their gender bent Doc(named Valentina) MIGHT mean more than just a Rita Moreno cameo. Hadestown may have a barren staging, and a stylistic scope in it's theatrical visual storytelling, but the simple and relatively half-Disney ish conventional story presentation of a Greek Myth(with socially agreeable political undertones that can only stay relevant in the wake of a political time period coincidentally identical to the one it was first conceived as(Anais Mitchell first developed the concept and concept album to reflect the Bush administration in 2010) and completely musicalized script CAN be worked and make for a decent 1 1/2 hour film as long as, again, they acknowledge how to display the story in a different medium while keeping true to the intent of the story AS a story. Not as it's theatrical presentation of the story, but as what can be worked with what the libretto and score have to offer, and to go beyond as a movie on it's own. In fact, if they make it an animated film, MAYBE, perhaps they could take ALOT of inspiration from all those animatics based on the cast albums to create a cohesive animated style for the film. (I'm sure the "Papers" number would make a much more fast passed more visually abstract scene by it's score if animated, than with just a bunch of workers dancing on the turn table and Orpheus running and fast walking back and fourth from them, before they finally just up and punch the sucker up in the gut and such on stage(Note: I have not seen the Broadway show, might be considering seeing the tour, and am only going off of the London Bootlegs lying around, but if it's much more technical than that in the Broadway show, feel free to let me know).) Just because a STAGE adaptation works a certain way doesn't automatically mean it will fail with a different, but well worked and creative, approach, so perhaps Hamilton will have to acknowledge it's most strongest points from the parts it COULD do without, ignoring the purist fanbase, in order to translate it's take on Alexander Hamilton to work as a movie on it's own. Those are just a few arguments to my statement that adaptation for adaptation's sake is not always lazy and bad, when what matters is the merit of how and why these adaptations are being made. I too am sick of big Hollywood movies trying to resurrect and market the ghosts of a different medium's popularity for Oscar bait, or Disney remaking a majority of their original properties into live action or "live action(Lion King 2019)" for (but really at) nostalgia's sake, and as someone who's not that deep into film(with only a true interests in abstract films like early Tim Burton, Studio Gibbli, Wes Anderson, or The Coen Brothers, to name a few. Films that actually dive deep in their mediums opportunities in subtle storytelling, imaginative visuals and soundscapes, and political if not controversial conversations of the environment or mindsets the films take place in), I truly DO NOT CARE what big name actor is playing said role(s), if it has NOTHING to do or offer for the portrayal of said roles. Wether or not they actually DID get Taylor Swift to play Eponine, or bring back Ken Page(also best known as Oogie Boogie in the Nightmare Before Christmas) to reprise his Broadway and 1998 stage role as Old Deuteronomy for this wreck, if the reason for getting a big name to star in a movie is relying on their popularity cred and nothing more, regardless of how passionate they may profess themselves for the camera of how they feel about the property matter, than it's all diddly squat in regards to how it all truly benefits the medium transfer AS a medium transfer. All that matters in the end, after all, is when the cameras start rolling that the true worth of having these big names really starts to show itself. Sometimes it works out great, like with Anne Hathaway's acting AND vocal portrayal of Fantine, and sometimes it doesn't like with Gerard Buttler's Erik, but it's ALWAYS a gamble that, regardless of how the Focus Groups may think, always results in a inconclusive result of success or failure. STILL though, I believe a good medium transfer from stage to screen can happen and workout, if they treat the possibilities of the source material in a different medium as a blank canvas, focussing on what atmosphere is supposed to be conveyed on stage and work on a cinematic approach to that same atmosphere to make only the necessary story elements work as a whole and as a STORY or concept. I'll groan about the NEXT unnecessary Disney live action remake that doesn't take the story to a new and affective approach(like The Jungle Book remake, as opposed to Tim Burton's take on Dumbo), or if Tom Hopper or Rob Marshal are asked to do ANOTHER bones cut dry adaptation of a source material that could benefit more from a more outside approach than just translating it's bare essentials(STILL wishing that DISNEY did a 2D animated film adaptation of Into The Woods, I mean the score and orchestrations just SCREAM both early 30s and 90s Disney environments at the same time, with a (hear me out)Eisner sense of darkness) for the sake of Oscar's, but I will still be hoping that cinematic translations of good shows and stories from the musical theatre are still attempted as time goes on. For my own taste, I would STILL be on Board is Barry Levinson is still going to direct that proposed City of Angels film adaptation(especially as it itself can contain an almost Who Framed Roger Rabbit like feel of cinematography), and am still curious of what form Trey Parker and Matt Stone will tackle THIER screen adaptation of The Book Of Mormon(make it live action and mocking of the Disney live action remakes, or an animated style as with South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, or maybe both in a creative sense that focuses on conveying the humor and messages of the story), maybe perhaps and for Netflix animated adaptation of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken's first theatrical collaboration together God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, or an animated Anyone Can Whistle(with an active rewriting of Arthur Laurents's book), or even what Dave Malloy(Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812) would love to do as a film adaptation of Ghost Quartet, and so on and so fourth. The stream of film adaptations, and film adaptations alone(regardless of Hollywood involvement, bad marketing, or Oscar bait), of musicals may die someday and be rebirth again, but I feel we should see how In The Heights and Spielberg and Kushner's West Side Story fair critically and financially before we decide that it will die "for good". This kind of cash in production of musical films can go to movie hell obscurity and stay there, but it should be so new and not commercialized forms of musical adaptations can be made to work for themselves. That's my take on this reviews conclusion anyway. What do you think?

    Michael William YbarraMichael William Ybarra15 saatler önce
  • Oh my took a second viewing to notice it was Jenny Nicholson, Kat Blaque, PhilosophyTube, and other youtubers doing the voiceover.

    Serena JSerena J16 saatler önce
  • The musical animatics work because they’re basically just animation. As you said, animated musicals are able to capture that same fantastical element of stage musicals, so it’s literally just watching the bones of an animated musical. And yeah, highly recommend just about all of them. Support TRvision animators (animaticors?)

    Super Mutant Sam and MasSuper Mutant Sam and Mas17 saatler önce
  • Wait who made the animatic shown at the end? I couldn't find a credit anywhere.

    smoothblinksmoothblink23 saatler önce
  • "A bad movie will succeed more than an average movie" -me

    - enjoy this picture of a sexy squidward- enjoy this picture of a sexy squidwardGün önce
  • I was obsessed with cats as a kid. I watched that broadway recording over and over and over. That thing about “lonely 12 year olds”...don’t talk so loud, Lindsay.

    CaleCaleGün önce
  • Funny that Cats movie became nightmare fuel

    emancoyemancoyGün önce
  • I don't know if this info is important, but I subbed at 25:50 lul

    GrayjayGrayjayGün önce
  • Forgot to mention Sweet Charity

    CoolnesskiCoolnesskiGün önce
  • I'm going to go with that is not really Judy Dench but Tracy Ulman's parody of her.

    Adamant ForgeAdamant Forge2 gün önce
  • Every time there's new horror. This time it was seeing that Rum Tum Tugger is apparently brought to profound arousal by Victoria's... extended toeless foot?

    Alec FerrisAlec Ferris2 gün önce
  • ooooooooooo i get cats. It's like the B-52's. you aren't supposed to make sense of it, that's the point, it's not portraying anything but itself. It rightfully so can be just as ridiculous as cats having personalities. It can. It didn't exist before. That's why cats

    Eric GentzkeEric Gentzke2 gün önce
  • Could have sworn the first critic was kurzgesagt. It has to be, right?

    EchoOrangeEchoOrange2 gün önce
  • your did it

    Eric SlossEric Sloss2 gün önce
  • Do I care about cats? No. Have I ever seen a musical? No. Did I still watch the whole video? Yes.

    Puppy PunterPuppy Punter2 gün önce
  • Love your videos, Lindsay. This video opened the musical les miserables to me. Would you make a video about it and its variations?

    Dan ChetraruDan Chetraru2 gün önce
  • "It's going to be the end of of musical movies" Lin who is in post production of in the heights:Ha ha, Oh no!

    Turquoise SnowflakeTurquoise Snowflake2 gün önce
  • Shout outs to Kursgesagt guy and Hank Green

    SynthWoofSynthWoof2 gün önce
  • OOOOFFF... Just seeing the clips you showed was PAINFUL. I cant imagine having to watch, and edit it for this video essay. Love your work, and I think you're beautiful.

    Allen ReyesAllen Reyes2 gün önce
  • When you listed the names of the cat characters, I started getting a headache.

    SpawnRevenge92SpawnRevenge923 gün önce
  • i kinda like the way you say "catss".

    Kiel ChapmanKiel Chapman3 gün önce
  • Toxoplasmosis. That is why it a thing. It’s likely under diagnosed in the general population.

    TheTanabataCottageTheTanabataCottage3 gün önce
  • I think that this movie should have actually played out more like Noises Off where we see the shitshow going on backstage and Cats is just the framing device. I don't know how much that would improve the film, but it seems like it would transition to film would be smoother that way.

    David ClarkDavid Clark3 gün önce
  • i had a cats phase when i was a kid... i think i just liked the fact it had a very unusual narrative.

    vapid rabbitvapid rabbit3 gün önce
  • 17:35 - On my third rewatch, I've come to the conclusion that I just really, really want to climb around on the Theater Set like a big trash themed jungle gym.

    Maggie SchubertMaggie Schubert3 gün önce

    Osip VaynerOsip Vayner3 gün önce
  • Lmao is that Paul F Tompkin's "Macaviteeeehhyyy"

    xSpektrexSpektre3 gün önce
  • 10 years from now, some Tumblr post somewhere, "Cats the movie wasn't that bad..."

    Nova M.Nova M.3 gün önce
  • As a regular reader of Robbie Collin (a Scotsman), it is deeply weird to hear his words read out in an American accent.

    Alec FerrisAlec Ferris3 gün önce
  • 2:54 Is that kurzgesagt?

    exisferis666exisferis6664 gün önce
  • It's ironic that "Cats" and its much hyped "digital fur technology" crashed and burned, while "Dark Crystal Age of Resistance" achieved enormous success using good old fashioned puppetry. That being said, I do feel bad for what the VFX crew went through.

    MisterRandom2MisterRandom24 gün önce
  • Schumaker DESTROYS Cats with REALISM and LOGIC

    guystudiosguystudios4 gün önce
  • There's a parallel universe out there where everything was done with practical effects, and the result was infinitely better in every way

    Ronan ElliottRonan Elliott4 gün önce
  • wait. 2:57. KURGESACKT? I've probably spelled it wrong but you get the point

    Michele MorselliMichele Morselli4 gün önce
  • Tom Hooper = Oscar Hungry Asswipe Taylor Swift = Narcissist James Corden = Hack Rebel Wilson = See Above Francesca Hayward = Thrown into a tire fire Jennifer Hudson = Wasted VFX team = Thrown under the bus

    Mr. PinkMr. Pink4 gün önce
  • *Whoosh* Macavityyyyyy

    Maddie WeaverMaddie Weaver4 gün önce
  • Can you do a Video Essay on 1972 film 1776?

    Damus RavenwoodDamus Ravenwood4 gün önce
  • I thought I hated Cats (play and movie) Now, im crying over an old cat all alone in the moonlight Dx

    Jessy TallentJessy Tallent4 gün önce
  • Wow, the CATS PSAs just- that's a blast from the past. Ooof.

    Nora JulieNora Julie4 gün önce
  • Could your next vid be an analysis on the 1984 Dune movie. It’s topical, as there’s a remake in the works. It has some genuinely bad creative changes such as the mandatory “no homo” check and making all the characters white. I think you could do an amazing job with authorial input and given the fact that Frank Herbert died shortly after this movie, I think it’ll be a good lesson for the next Dune movie.

    Christopher PattersonChristopher Patterson4 gün önce
  • I think Cats might have been the first musical I ever saw. I say "might" because I remember next to nothing about seeing it apart from it being a school trip (for some reason), and that I had a seat at the end of the row and so one of the cats decided to dance right next to me, and I was mortified and dreading the fact that I knew the monsters I went to school with were going to bully me relentlessly for it. So I think I repressed as much as I could.

    AspieCrow RamblingsAspieCrow Ramblings5 gün önce
  • It's fucking butt ugly!!!

    No OneNo One5 gün önce
  • here's the animatic referenced! There are some great Hamilton animatics out there with purple themes, so it took me a couple searches to find it.

    lostarchipelagolostarchipelago5 gün önce
  • I had no idea this video was an hour until it was over, I was hooked on every word! Keep doing what you're doing ♥️

    Arabella HarrisonArabella Harrison5 gün önce
  • Why can't you make a full blown TRvision Poop already, Ellis dear!

    RemnantSeapunkRemnantSeapunk5 gün önce
  • Seeing Brad here makes me so happy for some reason

    Miguel Fernando BilanMiguel Fernando Bilan5 gün önce
  • the thing that creeped me out so much about the movie is the fat cat with a human face eats a bug with a human face while said bug is singing and dancing

    Pandut JonesPandut Jones5 gün önce
  • That clip of Mr.Elba dabbing reminded that he is in fact a DAD

    Kool RITE AidKool RITE Aid5 gün önce
  • Wait so there's a segment in that movie where little cockroach people get vored by big cat lady? ...Why is Cats?

    GardosuroGardosuro5 gün önce
  • Damn you Ellis, damn you!!! (fist shaking emoji) I don't care about cats, nor Cats, nor musicals yet I cannot stop watching... Why are you & Meehan???

    B-b-b-badB-b-b-bad5 gün önce
  • Those commercials at the end tho

    La Morena Como MielLa Morena Como Miel6 gün önce
  • If you have Humanoid Cats with Force lightening, you don't need a live action movie... silly people

    Christian WehnerChristian Wehner6 gün önce
  • I heard that not only was it terrible, the CGI was even horrendously done. Like nothing was good about it. Nothing at all.

    meg arbomeg arbo6 gün önce
  • I quite like Taylor Swift but every goddamn time I hear her say “if you can’t get TS Elliot get TS” I physically cringe

    Andrea HernaizAndrea Hernaiz6 gün önce
  • Hi comment mod, you're doing an amazing job - us viewers are blessed to have you work with Lindsay so she can pump out the content she is so good at making.

    Amber KimAmber Kim6 gün önce
  • so im just thinking hmm can this movie be that bad and around 4:40 i see a cat awkwardly crawl walking and i am speechless

    John Michael WarrickJohn Michael Warrick6 gün önce
  • Well I was going to use this quarantine to mine the depths of Netflix but here I am.

    C SparrowC Sparrow6 gün önce
  • jesus christ superstar is the best ever

    Cecil McflyCecil Mcfly6 gün önce
  • Wow, absolutely did not expect a Brad Leone reference in this video. Plus one thousand for that

    Russ FrankRuss Frank6 gün önce
  • I might check out Cats 98 when I find a source to stream it from.

    I. WyrdI. Wyrd6 gün önce
  • Thanks for the "Everything Wrong With Casablanca" reference. I hadn't seen that yet. Very good encapsulation of why I can't stand Cinema Sins. (It used to be kinda cool way back when. But that was a while ago now.)

    I. WyrdI. Wyrd6 gün önce
Why is Cats?