Cats (2019 Film)

Cats (2019 Film)

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Updated May 13, 2020 at 12:01PM EDT by Matt.

Added Jul 18, 2019 at 02:46PM EDT by Adam.

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Cats (2019 Film) is a musical fantasy adaptation of the stage musical Cats. The film is directed by Tom Hooper and features a star-studded cast that includes Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, Rebel Wilson, Idris Elba, Judi Dench, Ian McKellan and more. It is set to release December 20th, 2019.


On May 6th, 2016, The Guardian[1] reported that Tom Hooper was picked to direct a film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical Cats. On July 20th, 2018, Deadline[2] reported that Swift, McKellan, Hudson, and Corden had signed on to be a part of the cast. The film began shooting in December of 2018 and wrapped on April of 2019.[3] On July 17th, 2019, MovieClips released a teaser for the film, showing the cast and Hooper discussing the creative process of the film and how they enjoyed working on it (shown below).

Online Presence

After the trailer was released, fans began to comment upon how the film looked. Some felt the teaser looked bizarre. Vanity Fair wrote of the teaser, "This is absolute madness."[4] Others were more excited. Slate[5] wrote "Perhaps the most intriguing revelation is that the movie is using enormous, real sets scaled so that the human actors look cat-size, rather than relying on CGI to create the environments."

Digital Fur Technology

Digital Fur Technology is a phrase said by Tom Hooper, director of the upcoming musical film Cats, in a teaser trailer for the film while talking up the film's special effects. The phrase became parodied on Twitter after the teaser trailer was released by users who posted humorous images from other films and real life, attributing the photos to "digital fur technology."

After the trailer was released, fans quickly joked about the phrase "Digital Fur Technology." User @NotEricGrant tweeted that he "will think about the phrase 'Digital fur technology' spoken with absolute sincerity for the rest of my miserable life," gaining over 400 retweets and 2,500 likes (shown below, left). User @HClaytonWright made a similar tweet that gained over 120 retweets and 1,500 likes (shown below, right).

Eric Grant Follow @notericgrant I will think about the phrase "Digital fur technology" spoken with absolute sincerity for the rest of my miserable life #CatsMovie Harry Clayton-Wright Follow @HClaytonWright I can't stop thinking about the phrase "digital fur technology". Help me 2:49 PM-17 Jul 2019

Others began joking about the phrase by posting humorous pictures and captioning them "digital fur technology." For example, user @goodjobliz posted an image of Hermione from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, gaining over 400 retweets and 3,000 likes (shown below, left). Twitter user @manlikeflan posted a tweet showing the hip-hop trio Migos in furs, gaining over 200 retweets and 1,900 likes (shown below, right). These jokes were covered by Twitter Moments.

Hannah Woodhead Follow @goodjobliz Digital Fur Technology 3:58 PM 17 Jul 2019 - B.P. Flanagan Follow @manlikeflan 'We've used digital fur technology to create the most perfect covering of fur' 2:03 PM 17 Jul 2019


On July 18th, the first official trailer for Cats was released (shown below).

The trailer was instantly divisive on Twitter, as users mocked the CGI in effect to make the actors look like human-cat hybrids. For example, Twitter user @smthngdarkside posted a photoshopped cat with a human face, joking it was a still from the movie (shown below, left). User @TheBlakeBagu posted a Me Explaining to My Mom meme involving The Lion King about the trailer that gained over 2,600 retweets and 12,000 likes (shown below, right).

watch Legion on FX @smthngdarkside Follow Nobody: Cats trailer: 7:23 PM -18 Jul 2019 Blake Follow @TheBlakeBagu Cats (2019) The Lion King (2019) Explaining how it's Important that CGI animals Actually look like Animals 7:48 PM 18 Jul 2019

Others noted that the trailer was in the spirit of the original stage musical, which featured actors dressed in cat makeup. Twitter users @Rat_Flavored and @ObiJoeKenobi made this point (shown below). The trailer was covered by numerous outlets, including eBaum's World.[6]

RatFlavored Follow @Rat_flavored all these people are like "omg these celebrities looklike cats thats so weird they look like theyve been through a filter lol" they look weird? obviously they've never f------ seen cats before. #CatsMovie 7:26 PM -18 Jul 2019 Joe McParland Follow @ObiJoeKenobi I'm assuming the majority of hate for the "Cats" movie trailer, comes from folks who never seen or heard of the musical. Show opened in London in 1981...! The design isn't way off from the stage versions costume/makeup design! See the film first, then judge. #CatsTrailer 9:40 PM - 18 Jul 2019 from Yucaipa, CA

CGI Mistakes

On December 21st, 2019, Twitter account @DiscussingFilm[9] cited the Hollywood Reporter[12] in their tweet "Universal Pictures has notified thousands of theaters that they will receive an updated version of Tom Hooper’s ‘CATS’ with some improved visual effects" (shown below, left). The post gained over 1,600 likes and 260 retweets in two days. The next day, Twitter @jenelleriley[10] posted a still from the film in which the viewer can see Judi Dench's real hand (shown below, right). The image garnered over 106,000 likes and 15,600 retweets in a day.

DiscussingFilm @DiscussingFilm Universal Pictures has notified thousands of theaters that they will receive an updated version of Tom Hooper's 'CATS' with some improved visual effects. (Source: 5:38 PM · Dec 21, 2019 - Twitter for iPhone Jenelle Riley @jenelleriley This isn't a joke: CATS was rushed into theaters before being finished so a new version is being sent to theaters with updated effects. How do you know if you have the old version? Look for Judi Dench's human hand, wedding ring and all. 3:04 AM - Dec 22, 2019 · Twitter for iPhone

That same day, Twitter user @jenelleriley[11] shared a still in which you can see Rebel Wilson's real hand (shown below). The post received over 2,100 likes in a day.

Master Sugar Joe @sugarjoeproblms Replying to @jenelleriley For even more proof, this is a screenshot from the official trailer on Facebook. Note Rebel Wilson's real hand in a sleeve. 2:02 PM - Dec 22, 2019 · Twitter for iPhone


On the day of the film's release, the film had a mostly negative critical response, scoring a 32/100 on Metacritic[7] out of 46 critical reviews. The tenor of these reviews drew attention from internet users, who remarked on how overwhelmed by the film critics in publications and on Twitter seemed. Popular Twitter reviews include a tweet by @robbiereviews,[8] who wrote, "Glad to report that Cats is everything you’d hoped for and more: a mesmerisingly ugly fiasco that makes you feel like your brain is being eaten by a parasite. A viewing experience so stressful that it honestly brought on a migraine," gaining over 5,200 retweets and 45,000 likes (shown below, left). User @musicallaneous[9] tweeted screenshots of headlines of Cats reviews, gaining over 190 retweets and 620 likes (shown below, right).

Robbie Collin Follow @robbiereviews Glad to report that Cats is everything you'd hoped for and more: a mesmerisingly ugly fiasco that makes you feel like your brain is being eaten by a parasite. A viewing experience so stressful that it honestly brought on a migraine. 4:00 PM - 18 Dec 2019 5,285 Retweets 45,289 Likes 17 5.3K 609 45K

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