DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com Awards & Recommendations at Amazon.com.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Abe Levitow
Judy Garland, Robert Goulet, Red Buttons
Writing Credits:
Dorothy Jones, Chuck Jones

A farm cat moves to Paris in search of the high life while her wannabe lover from back home tries to reunite.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 85 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 8/29/2023

• 3 Animated Shorts
• 5 Songwriter Demo Records
• Trailer


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Gay Purr-ee [Blu-Ray] (1962)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 14, 2023)

Since Disney invented the full-length feature animated film, they dominated that format for decades. This doesn’t mean others didn’t offer their own entries, and 1962’s Gay Purr-ee brings an effort under the Warner Bros. banner.

Set in France circa 1895, felines Jaune Tom (voiced by Robert Goulet) and Mewsette (Judy Garland) live in the countryside. Mewsette aspires to a more cosmopolitan experience and she runs away to Paris.

Alas, when she arrives, Mewsette finds herself manipulated by con-kitty Meowrice (Paul Frees). Jaune Tom and his buddy Robespierre (Red Buttons) rush to Paris to rescue her.

Though Gay hit theaters prior to my birth, I suspect I saw it on TV as a kid. The film feels a bit too familiar for this 2023 Blu-ray to represent my initial screening of it.

Whether I never saw it or watched it 50 years ago, did I miss out on anything because I went so long between possible screenings? Um… maybe?

On one hand, Gay offers a project with surprising visual ambition, especially since production company UPA lacked the same resources one might find at Disney. Not that they didn’t enjoy talent, of course, but I suspect budgetary issues impacted Gay in a way that wouldn’t have been the case at the House of Mouse.

To match the movie’s 1890s setting, Gay often features settings/backgrounds that emulate that era’s Impressionists. These give the film an appealing aesthetic that makes it unusually attractive – even if I could live without the pedantic scene that “educates” the audience about all these artists.

Aspects of the animation come across as free-wheeling and daring as well. The movie demonstrates real inventiveness far beyond what one might expect from a project like this.

Gay also comes with more sophisticated gags and humor than one might expect. It uses unusual wordplay and connects with some clever bits.

However – and you knew “however” was coming - Gay loses points due to the dull and unspired story and participants. Of course, Disney essentially “borrowed” from Gay when they did their own French feline film via 1970’s Aristocats, but given that Gay shares more than a few elements with Disney flicks such as 1955’s Lady and the Tramp and 1961’s 101 Dalmatians, no one can call it especially original.

Whatever the case, Gay just lacks a particularly compelling narrative and set of characters. Mewsette, Jaune Tom and the rest feel wholly blah and don’t add anything memorable to the experience.

The narrative itself fails to find much spark either. It tells a fairly stock tale of Danger in the Big City that doesn’t manage to stand out in a positive way.

The voice actors offer competent performances but don’t rise above that level. We obviously get some real talent involved, but their work fails to add spark to their stock characters.

Gay reunites Garland with Wizard of Oz songwriters Harold Arlen and EY Harburg. They provide fairly pedestrian tunes that seem unlikely to stick with the viewer.

Ultimately, I do admire the visual scope and ambition of Gay Purr-ee, and I also appreciate that it sometimes attempted something more sophisticated. However, too much of the movie feels pedestrian for it to deliver more than an occasional pleasure.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C

Gay Purr-ee appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Expect a more than solid presentation.

Overall sharpness satisfied. Some optical zooms delivered a bit of softness, but the majority of the movie felt accurate and well-defined.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain felt light but appropriate, and print flaws remained absent. Inevitably, some marks and dust from the source popped up, but these felt modest and stemmed from the original product.

Colors appeared solid. The movie opted for a somewhat subdued semi-pastel feel that allowed it to give us lush hues, and these popped when the design choices demanded.

Blacks seemed dark and dense, while shadows came across as appropriate. The Blu-ray demonstrated a fine representation of the film.

Expect a decent but unexceptional DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack from Gay

Audio quality seemed more than adequate for a production from 1964, with music that showed pretty solid range and clarity. Speech came across as a little edgy at times, but the lines remained intelligible and largely natural.

Effects appeared acceptably accurate, even if they failed to boast a lot of range. Ultimately, the soundtrack worked fine for an animated feature from 1962.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we find three animated shorts. All with themes connected to Purr-ee, we get 1962’s Louvre Come Back to Me! (6:40), 1951’s French Rarebit (7:19) and 1949’s For Scent-imental Reasons (6:54).

Both Louvre and Reasons offer Pepé Le Pew tales, while Rarebit features Bugs. Rarebit becomes the best of the bunch, but that’s primarily because I never really liked Le Pew very much.

The disc also provides five songwriter demo records. All with music by Harold Arlen – sloppily billed as “Harold Arien” on the menu – and lyrics from EY Harburg for two of the five, these occupy a total of 12 minutes, 56 seconds.

I admit that these songs don’t do much for me. Still, I like the opportunity for fans to hear the tunes in their incipient state.

With a vibrant visual style, Gay Purr-ee boasts some real strengths. However, it suffers from less than enthralling story and character elements, problems that it only sporadically overcomes. The Blu-ray provides strong visuals, appropriate audio and a few bonus features. The movie deserves attention from animation buffs, but they shouldn’t expect consistency from it.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 3
2 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main