THE CAT FROM OUTER SPACE

title: THE CAT FROM OUTER SPACE
year: 1978
cast: Ken Berry
rating: ***

Domestic cats seem like they're from outer space to begin with; with their haughty mannerisms alone they're merely looking down on we mortal humans. So having a cat be from a more intellegent highly developed planet isn't much of a stretch. The tabby cat hero in this averagely entertaining live-action seventies Disney film merely has to act like a cat, and with the aid of a collar full of lights that glow when it's allowing humans to fly or horses to win races, it's totally believeable that this creature is better than us. For the most part the cat, Jake (voiced by Ronnie Schell), is better than the film itself, which isn't too bad but kind of meanders along at times; the first half set-up as the cat adapts to Earth, helps his friends bet horses and win a pool match against mobsters fares better than the last part outwitting government agents. Ken Berry does a decent job replacing the usual Disney staple Dean Jones (Berry is to Jones what Buddy Ebson is to Eddie Albert). It's interesting seeing both M*A*S*H colonels McClean Stevenson and Harry Morgan in a film together. And Jake's spaceship, which looks like the head of an space alien grasshopper, is kinda cool lookin'... at least from the outside.

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