One of the most memorable Disney films from my childhood is The Aristocats. As a child, I watched this movie over and over again until I could sing every word of all the songs! Nothing tops a film with a beautiful score, an adorable kitten named Toulouse, and one of the best villains in Disney history: Edgar Balthazar!!!!!
In honor of this timeless Disney classic, here are 10 facts you may not know about The Aristocats!
10. Madame is not the only character whose name is a French word. Once you get past Thomas O’Malley and Duchess (and Cleo, although she has no official name), Scat Cat’s full name is actually Scatman Crothers! I guarantee that if you watch The Aristocats with your kids and tell them this, they will love you for weeks on end.
9. Thomas O’Malley was modeled after one of Walt Disney’s cats during his early years in animation.
8. Edgar Balthazar is based on two villains from other Disney films: Professor Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective, and Fagin from Oliver & Company. So basically he’s a cat/rat/dog! His real name is also based on two of the seven dwarfs in Snow White.
7. The Aristocats was originally going to be a movie about a family of Siamese cats, and Thomas O’Malley was going to be their butler. This idea never came to fruition because Walt Disney died before he could do it.
6. All four kittens in The Aristocats are voiced by women! Just like in One Hundred and One Dalmatians, where all of the puppies were voiced by men (and Scar from The Lion King ).
5. Madame was originally supposed to have been male, but then Walt Disney got a memo from his wife that said “Everyone knows that a cat who has to go to the bathroom yells at his butler for not getting the door in time!”
4. When Thomas O’Malley is singing about how he wants to find Duchess, there are some lines in the song where it sounds like he says “I want that pussy.” Then again, I might be hearing things. Either way, when the movie was released on VHS (back when you had to fast-forward lines of dialogue if you wanted to get rid of them), Disney had James Earl Jones record new vocals over the parts where it sounded like Thomas said “pussy” so they wouldn’t offend anyone!
3. Madame was originally white with black spots and green eyes. However, her animators thought she looked boring, so they changed her to black with white spots and blue eyes. I think it’s safe to say that this change definitely worked in the film’s favor!
2. As much as he doesn’t like dogs, Scat Cat actually gets along pretty well with Duchess’ dog Berlioz in the film. However, when it came time to release The Aristocats on DVD, Disney made sure to cut out all of the scenes where Berlioz interacts with characters other than Duchess because they didn’t want anyone thinking that Scat Cat liked any dogs anywhere!!! This censorship is extremely ironic considering that if you look carefully during “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat,” you’ll that Toulouse is playing with a dog that looks suspiciously like Pluto!
1. In the film’s original story, Duchess was going to have puppies with Thomas O’Malley!!!! I bet Edgar Balthazar would’ve been furious had that been the case! So then again, maybe Disney made the right choice…
There you have it! Ten facts about The Aristocats. I love this movie so much and will always cherish my VHS copy of it. It definitely deserves a spot among all-time great Disney classics.
See y’all soon!!!