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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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Augustine of Canterbury: In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September 3 )—only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless. 
<p>Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester. </p><p>Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors </p><p>Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the “Apostle of England.”</p> American Catholic Blog When we go through pain it is easy to feel abandoned or forgotten, but suffering doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us, He does. Even Jesus suffered, and He was completely without sin.

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