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Classic of the Week: The Cat from Outer Space (1978)


The Cat from Outer Space is a 1978 American science fiction comedy film directed by Norman Tokar and stars Ken Berry, Sandy Duncan, Harry Morgan, Ronnie Schell and Roddy McDowell.

An unidentified flying object makes an emergency landing on earth and is taken into custody by the U.S. government. The inhabitant of the UFO turns out to be a strange cat like alien named Zunar-J-5/9 Dori -4-7. Since the Mother Ship cannot send a rescue party before it leaves the solar system, the cat goes about investigating how to repair the ship himself. The cat’s collar amplifies telekinetic and telepathic abilities.

Being a Disney film, this one is stranger than most of their films before this one. It’s storyline is weird and if it didn’t have comedy mixed with science fiction, it wouldn’t as family friendly and probably rather scary. There are a few things that might give younger viewers a fright, like the space ship and some of the special effects. But overall, it is very “G” rated, since there is no violence or inappropriate language, only mild words.

At times this film seems a bit a silly, other times, it’s quite entertaining and only a tad bit funny. Parts are a little slow, which might not hold a younger child’s attention. Not all children will like this movie, like other Disney live action films, some older ones might though. For a sci-fi comedy, this isn’t as action packed as one might expect. For a family film, it’s a bit long too.

The acting isn’t just terrible, but some of the special effects are. This isn’t Disney’s best live action film, but it’s definitely not their worst either. It has its clever moments and rather dumb moments, but some kid’s movies are like that. Any older child that loves science or science fiction and animals will most likely enjoy this one. Younger children and adults might get bored with parts.

As a youngster, I loved this movie and I remember begging my parents for a cat. This may be not be a wonderful movie, but it’s not Mystery Science Theater 3000 awful, it’s only good, not great. Being a Disney film, one would expect for greatness, but this one is far from that. The majority of this movie takes place at night, so it’s dark and children afraid of the dark, may not like that. I too, wish it had more light. Is scary? Not really. Is it exciting? Somewhat. This is a love it or hate it film. 7+ 3.5/5

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