In a well-timed twist, given this morning’s Oscar nominations, Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Rob Legato has come out in defense of the special effects used in the film Cats.
The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical met with scathing reviews and disastrous box office when it opened in cinemas last month. Among the many criticisms leveled at the film, viewers attacked the visual effects, which often looked unfinished and distracting. Legato, who won Oscars for the visual effects in Titanic, Hugo and The Jungle Book takes issue with that criticism.
Related: See the bizarre CGI mistake that forced a new version of ‘Cats’ to be rushed to theaters
“Personally I don’t think [the film’s problems] were anything to do with the visual effects,” Legato told Variety. “The work that they did, that the artists created, was extraordinary. It’s the aesthetic. Do you like the aesthetic? Do you buy the scene? What happened was that the visual effects worked perfectly well in my opinion, but no one wanted to see that – or they didn’t like the aesthetic. And so the singing and dancing and the costumes and all that stuff – as beautifully pulled off as it is – doesn’t excite the audience.”
Legato also notes that visual effects technology constantly advances, but cannot cover up a “flawed” approach to a project.
Cats actually underwent the unusual move of having prints of the film pulled from theatres and replaced with an “updated” version, which corrected several glaring effects problems several weeks after release. In earlier release versions, audiences reported spotting a wedding ring on actress Judi Dench, who plays a cat in the film.
in other words we did a good paint job, your choice of colors sucked.
Cats is one of the worst musicals ever written and staged. A turd is a turd, no matter how good the costumes are.
I think it’s stupid. Cats was a hit in the theater for so long what changed? Simply that what you saw in a theater was now transferred to film. I guess aesthetic tastes change. Or the “live action” crowd just doesn’t get Cats.
One problem was not the special effect per se but that they were used at all.
The other problem is casting. Hollywood went with names and not talent. Yes not unusual.
Betty Buckley wasn’t available ??
Sister Bertha Bedderthanyu
This disaster is just as awful as Lucille Ball’s last theatrical bomb, Mame. Lets hope Lin Miranda listens to reason and keeps Hamilton on the stage, where it belongs. As for Cats many wondered back then how was it able to keep going because it was awful even as a stage play.
Who chooses to go to such a horrible movie when there are much better ones? The idea is outdated, annoying and fake.. Sorry for the actors and the studio, but this was not a surprise for anyone else I think?!
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