“The Aristocats” was released in 1970 to massive commercial success, and holds the distinction of being the final Disney animated film put into production by Walt Disney Productions’s co-founder Roy O. Disney. While the film doesn’t have the same overwhelming pop culture relevance as other films from the era like “The Jungle Book” or “Robin Hood,” it’s still very popular with young audiences. The Disney Company has a program called “Disney Musicals in Schools,” which is a free program provided to a select number of public elementary schools across the U.S.
The schools receive free performance rights and an accessible step-by-step guide to put on a 30-minute performance of the show. The goal is to help youth in underfunded communities foster a love of performance and musicals in school districts that otherwise wouldn’t be able to. The shows currently available for schools to pick from are “Aladdin,” “Frozen,” “The Jungle Book,” “Winnie the Pooh,” “The Lion King,” and yes, “The Aristocats.”
Before COVID-19 first hit in 2020, I was co-directing a production of “The Aristocats” with my elementary school students, and let me tell you — the music of “The Aristocats” has never gone out of style. These kiddos had their choice of show and went with one that debuted when their grandparents were their age because they sincerely love it. The jazzy and upbeat music paired with the fact they got to be cats of all attitudes was a huge draw, and the rehearsals were so infectious, the whole school could be heard humming the tunes all throughout the day.
Not for nothing, the music that accompanies the two geese waddling has been a trending sound on TikTok all year, which has inspired plenty of new viewers to check out the film on Disney+.