Among the numerous trailers of big-budget blockbusters that made their debut during the 2019 San Diego Comic Con last month, one preview tended to draw a low of vitriol from viewers, that of the cinematic adaptation of the long-running musical “Cats” from Universal Pictures. The near-universal complaint in the reactions was the “uncanny valley” caused by the filming technique where the cast, in the role of stylishly anthropomorphized cats, were “painted over” with CGI fur and feline features instead of make-up. While most of the film’s cast has kept quiet on the trailer reviews, Australian actress Rebel Wilson states she loves the viewers’ professed unease.
Entertainment Weekly tells us that Rebel Wilson is only getting a good laugh at the bad rep the first trailer for “Cats” is getting on social media. She took note of the massive response and the assertion of many online comments that the CGI-cat look on the cast was downright creepy. “I think people get confused because it’s essentially a dance movie in a lot of ways,” Rebel tells EW. “So it really is all our own bodies. And yes, they’re covered in fur. I think some people found it a bit creepy ’cause we’re people but we look a bit like cats dancing around.”
Rather than be concerned that the initial bad press for the trailer might ultimately sour moviegoers from watching the film, which screens in the Holiday season, Wilson is of the opinion that the intensity of the press buzz will only spur more curious viewers into checking “Cats” out upon premiere. “What you got in that trailer was just some small samples of it, but it’s going to be such a big movie,” she says. “And the cast is obviously incredible.”
Rebel Wilson’s character in “Cats” is the “Old Gumbie Cat” Jennyanydots, described in the musical song concerning her as a kitty that is dormant during the day but becomes active at night. The special effects that turns her into Jenny is one of the most critiqued visuals of the trailer, with social media calling out the CGI work highlighting a prominent bust on her cat-body. Wilson thinks nothing of the bile and is supportive of the SFX work for her character, silencing dissent with, “To me, it looked like how I thought it would look.” The Jennyanydots sequences in the preview see her falling off a ledge while sleeping, dancing a jig, and getting her paw-hand caught in a mousetrap.
Even with the question of viewer interest following the reception of the first trailer, Universal’s “Cats” musical film will have some heavy competition when it arrives in theaters on December 20. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is up on that general time period too.
Image courtesy of Cinema Blend