Andrew Lloyd Webber Was So Disturbed by 'Cats' He Bought… a Dog

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Photo credit: Cats
Photo credit: Cats

Trigger warning: The 2019 movie musical, Cats

In 2019, three and a half months before Covid-19 spread across the globe, another (albeit smaller) tragedy took place, concerning populations near and far. It was the release of Tom Hooper's CATS—a CGI fiasco that featured human hands on cats, a conversation about Jason Derulo's penis, and also James Corden. It was so terribly misguided that it was critically panned by almost every reviewer (except my dad, who loved it). For the show's creator, Andrew Lloyd Webber, the experience was so mortifying that it made him go out and purchase a dog.

In the most recent cover story from Variety, Webber gave his very candid opinion of the film, which is that it was "off-the-scale all wrong." Agreed.

He added, "I saw it and I just thought, ‘Oh, God, no.’ It was the first time in my 70-odd years on this planet that I went out and bought a dog. So the one good thing to come out of it is my little Havanese puppy.” Webber has since ridden the trauma of Cats all the way across the country. While traveling, he tried to get the dog approved as an emotional support animal to no avail... at first. He adds, "The airline wrote back and said, ‘Can you prove that you really need him?’ And I said ‘Yes, just see what Hollywood did to my musical Cats." The airline approved the request, no doctor's note needed.

The film was based, of course, off the stage show of the same name, which once held the record for the longest running musical on Broadway. This is especially impressive considering that the show is basically a whole bunch of cats introducing themselves for over two hours until one of them is put in a hot air balloon to die in the sky.

The movie musical featuring Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Judi Dench, Idris Elba, and Jennifer Hudson as live action cat people flopped at the holiday box office and became fodder for a whole bevy of memes. Webber's tone has changed considerably since the initial release of the film, when he spoke about being friends with Taylor Swift and how extraordinary the CGI aspect was. Now that time has passed, we'd like to officially welcome Webber (and his dog) into the safe circle of people permanently scarred by Judi Dench's cat person.

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