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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

By
Joseph McAleer
Source: Catholic News Service

Doctor Doolittle meets James Bond in "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" (Warner Bros.), a clever and funny 3-D spy adventure for the entire family. This follow-up to the 2001 comedy "Cats & Dogs" seamlessly blends live action, puppetry, and computer animation as—unbeknownst to their beloved human owners—the two species of the title must join forces to save the planet from one very bad kitty.

Said villain is Kitty Galore (voiced with relish by Bette Midler), a former agent for the cat spy organization MEOWS who has "gone rogue." Abandoned after an industrial accident rendered her hairless and looking like Eartha Kitt, Kitty seeks dominion over all pets to make the world her "personal scratching post." Her weapon of mass destruction is the "Call of the Wild"—apologies to Jack London—a screech that will render dogs insane and launch a global cat-astrophe.

But the top-secret intelligence organizations on both sides of the yard have been working overtime to thwart Kitty's plan. Here "Cats & Dogs" mines the 007 canon to hilarious effect. MEOWS' canine equivalent is DOG, within whose subterranean world headquarters, dubbed "where Petco meets Las Vegas," agents train, are fitted with collars containing laser beams, test jet packs and rocket cars, and, in their downtime, play poker (of course).

"We take 'Man's Best Friend' very seriously," intones Lou (voice of Neil Patrick Harris), a be-speckled beagle who is leader of the DOG pack.

DOG needs backup, and finds it in new recruit Diggs (voice of James Marsden), a police K-9 German shepherd whose best qualification is his hatred of cats. He and his partner and mentor Butch (voice of Nick Nolte) set out in search of a sassy pigeon called Seamus (voice of Katt Williams), who holds vital clues to Kitty's plan. But feline intelligence is also on the case, and special agent Catherine (voice of Christina Applegate) puts her nine lives on the line for the cause.

With the fate of the world at stake, MEOWS top cat Tab Lazenby (voice of Roger Moore, channeling his Bond past) proposes a peace pact with DOG to bring Kitty down. As "Cats & Dogs" barrels along to its explosive climax, the allies visit "Dog Alcatraz," where the notorious feline felon Mr. Tinkles (voice of Sean Hayes)—clad in a Hannibal Lecter straitjacket and echoing some of Lecter's most famous lines—plays mind games.

As directed by Brad Peyton ("Evelyn"), "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" has plenty of excitement, gizmos, and cute-as-a-button moments to charm and enthrall the youngsters, while their parents will enjoy the inside jokes and grown-up references. A few of these, including Catherine's interrogation by what looks like water-boarding, and a hippy house in San Francisco where groovy cats are "hopped up on cat nip," push the boundaries of family viewing, but remain within the lines of good taste.

The Catholic News Service classification is A-I—general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG—parental guidance suggested.

*****
Joseph McAleer is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.




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Joseph Calasanz: 
		<p>From Aragon, where he was born in 1556, to Rome, where he died 92 years later, fortune alternately smiled and frowned on the work of Joseph Calasanz. A priest with university training in canon law and theology, respected for his wisdom and administrative expertise, he put aside his career because he was deeply concerned with the need for education of poor children.</p>
		<p>When he was unable to get other institutes to undertake this apostolate at Rome, he and several companions personally provided a free school for deprived children. So overwhelming was the response that there was a constant need for larger facilities to house their effort. Soon Pope Clement VIII gave support to the school, and this aid continued under Pope Paul V. Other schools were opened; other men were attracted to the work and in 1621 the community (for so the teachers lived) was recognized as a religious community, the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools (Piarists or Scolopi). Not long after, Joseph was appointed superior for life.</p>
		<p>A combination of various prejudices and political ambition and maneuvering caused the institute much turmoil. Some did not favor educating the poor, for education would leave the poor dissatisfied with their lowly tasks for society! Others were shocked that some of the Piarists were sent for instruction to Galileo (a friend of Joseph) as superior, thus dividing the members into opposite camps. Repeatedly investigated by papal commissions, Joseph was demoted; when the struggle within the institute persisted, the Piarists were suppressed. Only after Joseph’s death were they formally recognized as a religious community.</p>
American Catholic Blog The Church’s motherhood is a spiritual reality that profoundly affects the lives of believers. In fact, the famous convert to Catholicism Cardinal John Henry Newman once said that it was through his reading and encounter with the Church of the Fathers that “I found my spiritual Mother.”

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