This digitized live action family comedy about power-crazed cats and secret agent dogs pays hysterical homage to the best of Warner Brothers cartoons. And with salutes to the covert plots of “Mission Impossible,” “James Bond” and “Get Smart,” that studio gives us a fanciful farce about a power-mad pussycat that looks like Ernst Stavros Blofeld’s pampered feline and behaves like a deranged Frasier Crane. But it’s not easy wanting to take over the world while saddled with the moniker “Mr. Tinkles.” Like the Brain in “Pinky and the Brain” (yer darn right I watch it!), Mr. Tinkles has delusions of grandeur. He wants to rule the world. Trouble is, the housemaid keeps dressing him up in frou-frou outfits and pink bows, bringing secretive snickers from his minions.
If you think the old Bugs Bunny/Wile E. Coyote cartoons are too aggressive for your little ones, then you might want to resist taking them to “Cats and Dogs.” But I found the producers used great care and sensitivity with the action sequences. I think it is obvious that no animals are really hurt during the slapstick battle sequences.
The producers are also careful about the amount of dog poop gags. Unlike many of today’s comedies, including the wildly successful “Shrek,” its humor is not based on crudity.
It’s magic time in Hollywood. Warner Brothers continues to break ground in the digital world of computer graphics. The expressions, including dogs that wink and smile, are simply outstanding. There are a lot of visual gags as well as truly clever dialogue and situations. And although many singles may experience a tinge of embarrassment when purchasing tickets to this one, most parents will find themselves laughing as much, if not more, than their little ones.