Disney’s first animated feature after Walt’s death was a musical romp through Paris and the French countryside with a group of talking felines. The Aristocats kept the Disney tradition alive, mixing dangerous (but still kid-friendly) adventure with rousing tunes and doses of comic relief, topped off by the voice talents of Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway, Scatman Crothers and more.
High society feline Duchess lives with her three kittens-Berloiz, Toulouse and Marie-in the home of Madame Adelaide Bonfamille. When the wealthy human makes out her will, her dastardly butler Edgar discovers she has left her fortune to the cats...but Edgar gets the money if they're gone. The butler kidnaps (catnaps?) Duchess and her children, leaving them alone in the open country.
The lost and hungry cats are befriended by charming alley cat rogue Thomas O’Malley and his jazzman partner, Scat Cat. The group sets out to reclaim the cats’ lost home, aided along the way by slow-witted dogs Lafayette and Napoleon, goose sisters Abigail and Amelia Gabble (“Think goose!”) and adorable little mouse Roquefort.
With its jazzy score, peppy songs and wild colors, The Aristocats was clearly influenced by its freewheeling time period, distilling the psychedelia of the late 1960's down to junior-sized doses. The film was an energetic hit, carrying on the legacy of Disney animated magic into a new decade and a new era.