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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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John of Capistrano: It has been said the Christian saints are the world’s greatest optimists. Not blind to the existence and consequences of evil, they base their confidence on the power of Christ’s redemption. The power of conversion through Christ extends not only to sinful people but also to calamitous events. 
<p>Imagine being born in the 14th century. One-third of the population and nearly 40 percent of the clergy were wiped out by the bubonic plague. The Western Schism split the Church with two or three claimants to the Holy See at one time. England and France were at war. The city-states of Italy were constantly in conflict. No wonder that gloom dominated the spirit of the culture and the times. </p><p>John Capistrano was born in 1386. His education was thorough. His talents and success were great. When he was 26 he was made governor of Perugia. Imprisoned after a battle against the Malatestas, he resolved to change his way of life completely. At the age of 30 he entered the Franciscan novitiate and was ordained a priest four years later. </p><p>His preaching attracted great throngs at a time of religious apathy and confusion. He and 12 Franciscan brethren were received in the countries of central Europe as angels of God. They were instrumental in reviving a dying faith and devotion. </p><p>The Franciscan Order itself was in turmoil over the interpretation and observance of the Rule of St. Francis. Through John’s tireless efforts and his expertise in law, the heretical Fraticelli were suppressed and the "Spirituals" were freed from interference in their stricter observance. </p><p>He helped bring about a reunion with the Greek and Armenian Churches, unfortunately only a brief arrangement. </p><p>When the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453, he was commissioned to preach a crusade for the defense of Europe. Gaining little response in Bavaria and Austria, he decided to concentrate his efforts in Hungary. He led the army to Belgrade. Under the great General John Hunyadi, they gained an overwhelming victory, and the siege of Belgrade was lifted. Worn out by his superhuman efforts, Capistrano was an easy prey to an infection after the battle. He died October 23, 1456.</p> American Catholic Blog When we are linked by the power of prayer, we as it were, hold each other’s hand as we walk side by side along a slippery path; and thus by the bounteous disposition of charity, it comes about that the harder each one leans on the other, the more firmly we are riveted together in brotherly love. —St. Gregory the Great

 
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