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Mark Kausler’s It’s The Cat


Today we are very proud to add a new title to the CartoonBrewFilms library. Mark Kausler‘s engaging and heartfelt homage to 1930s Hollywood-style cartoons, It’s The Cat (2004).

Mark is not only one of the best animators in the business (Beauty & The Beast, Roger Rabbit, The Lion King, etc.), but one of its greatest historians. With this film he combined two great passions to create one remarkably entertaining film. We asked Mark himself to introduce the film. Here’s what he has to say:

You are invited to see and hear a miracle! A little film that took 15 years to complete, which was given up for dead quite a few times, but eventually decided to exist: It’s The Cat!

I love listening to dance band records of the 1920s, and when I heard the Harry Reser’s Syncopators’ 1927 recording, “The Cat,â€? it triggered a vision. A vision of a cat, not just any cat, but a feline spirit, wild, raucous, mischievous, yet sweet. The music literally wrote the story, not a note or a beat of the original recording was altered. Scenes sometimes had to be started, then torn up and re-done because they didn’t quite “syncâ€? right. Sometimes I would re-do a scene because the concept wasn’t funny enough, or the layout was wrong. I wound up doing all the drawings because there was no money to pay anyone else, and I was the only animator who really understood this cartoon. It’s doubly hard to do all the drawings in a scene yourself, then when the test is shot, step OUTSIDE yourself and become a tough director.

Greg Ford was the “Cat�’s angel, taking on the difficult task of inking and painting the cartoon. Greg worked hard to be invisible along with Kim Miskoe, color director, Rose Eng and “Igor�, two of the last cel inkers in the USA, artists both, and so many others. So step into my little world, the world of 1920s pop, and the free interpretation of it as seen by my “third eye.� It’s a dance band “fantasia,� made with nothing but love!

Mark and his producer Greg Ford have provided an extra incentive for viewers: anybody who purchases It’s the Cat through April 30 will automatically be entered into a drawing to win an original production cel from the film. We’ll keep you posted on that. In the meantime, take a look at It’s The Cat, a work of pure cartoon joy.

  • alisha

    i loooooooveeee well catagorized cartoonsss.

  • “Pure cartoon joy” is almost an understatement, if possible. There’s purer than pure—and this is it. “Perfectly realized vision” is another word that comes to mind… dig that fence plank rotating to the beat in midair.
    Rumor has it that The Cat is a highly successful ninth life following on Krazy, Roving Thomas, Felix, Julius, Henry, Waffles, Beans, and Butch. And they’re all proud of him.

  • THANK YOU for sharing this! I have wanted to see this for many years now, and it’s great to have a copy on my computer now. Kausler is fantastic!

  • I’ve wanted to see “It’s the Cat” ever since I first heard about it—
    May Cartoon Brew Films live a long and vigorous life!

  • Mark’s Cat is my new favorite cartoon character!

  • I would love to buy this film. It truly looks like everything it claims to be.

    Once again, a flourishing addition to Cartoon Brew films.

  • This is some of the best animation I’ve seen in a LONG time! I shall be purchasing this.

  • The film is great on the big screen. On the small screen, it’s nice to watch over and over; the animation is a lot of fun. Very interesting timing, it’s a very personal piece. Nice show making it available at CartoonBrew Films.

  • Matina

    “The music literally wrote the story…”

    Wow! When I read that, my eyes “literally” popped out of my head! :)

  • Vincent Waller

    A joy, happy to make the purchase.

  • GREAT CARTOON! Well worth every penny!

    I was lucky enough to see this cartoon in pencil test form a few years ago at ASIFA, and I have been waiting for the chance to see it finished ever since.

    Excellent job Mr. Kausler. How long until the next one? Not another 15 years I hope….

  • How cool was that. This cartoon looked like it was done in the early 1940’s. Would like to see more from Mark.

  • I saw this cartoon at the San Diego Comic-Con last year and loved it. It’s up there with the best from the 30s and 40s.

  • I wouldn’t consider it a “pure cartoon joy” – I’m not entirely sure I can appreciate that statement – but I did enjoy this film a great deal. The musical ties the piece together very well, not surprising given the inspiration behind it. Certainly worth the purchase.