Kids will laugh at anything, right? Not this tawdry remake of Hanna-Barbera’s cartoon series about a streetwise tom and his posse of alley cats. The original ran for 30 episodes in the early ’60s and was never that funny, but fans loved its jazzy theme tune and Top Cat’s Sergeant Bilko-esque swagger enough to give it cult status. Unfortunately, this feline frenzy – a Mexican production, dubbed into English – is a miserable indulgence. The wafer-thin plot revolves around an entrepreneur’s plan to turn New York into a futuristic dictatorship by replacing police officers – including TC’s old nemesis Officer Dibble – with robots.
To be fair, the filmmakers at least had the foresight to keep the original theme tune intact, and the traditional animation techniques do add authenticity, even if the 3D effect gives the characters a cardboard cut-out appearance. A pity, then, that the key elements – storyline, dialogue, comedy value – are so woefully ineffectual. An air of boredom permeated the screening I attended and laughs were universally non-existent.