Bette Talks To The Animals And They Talk Back

Manilla Bulletin
Midler, Applegate provide voices of kittens in ”˜Cats & Dogs 2’
August 4, 2010

Hollywood icon Bette Midler and Emmy-nominee Christina Applegate breathe life to the lead kittens in Warner Bros.’ new comedy adventure in 3D, “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.”

In the film, what’s going on is nothing less than the endless war between two species at odds since their earliest ancestors sought out the first caveman’s campfire. But now, one renegade cat agent—Kitty Galore—has upped the ante. Determined to not only break the bond between dogs and humans forever but also pit feline against feline, Kitty’s bid for global domination could jeopardize the future of all creatures, four- and two-legged alike.

Starring as the voice of Kitty Galore, the scariest, loopiest, fur-challenged feline to swipe a claw since the maniacal Mr. Tinkles earned a permanent time-out at Doggie Alcatraz, Midler says, “I’ve been asked if I believe people are going to like this movie because they think their animals talk to them. Well, I don’t know about anyone else but I had an animal that did talk to me. She was a Jack Russell terrier, a dear friend of mine, and she spoke in complete sentences.”

“I don’t think Kitty is misunderstood; she’s just evil,” Bette Midler states, confessing, “I like her a lot. She’s great. Villains are the most fun to play, they’re so over-the-top and usually the silliest. Here you have a wonderful combination of evil and absolute ridiculousness, which is irresistible.”

A former MEOWS agent, Kitty went rogue after losing all her fur in a depilatory vat that she fell into while trying to escape guard dogs at a cosmetics lab. Shunned by the human family who no longer recognized her, she landed on the street. Now a few hacks shy of a hairball, Kitty is one sour puss bent on avenging her losses on a grand scale.

Creating her cadence and vocal mannerisms was a process based both on looks and back-story, Midler explains. “You start with a sketch. In time, the sketch gets increasingly life-like and fleshed out until the creature is right there in front of you and sort of tells you what its voice should sound like. Kitty has gigantic eyes and very sharp, pointed little teeth. She seems refined so I tried to make her sound like a well-bred cat with a bad nature. She was obviously once a star and her stardom was snatched away from her so now she’s quite bitter and, as the title says, wants revenge.

“Having fun with it is key,” Midler continues. “Kitty gets whacked out sometimes and sputters because her mind is racing faster than she can talk.”

In the face of such sweeping peril, cats and dogs must join forces. Thus, dogs Butch (Nick Nolte) and Diggs (James Marsden) find their nascent partnership has grown to include MEOWS operative Catherine, who bravely puts all nine of her lives on the line with them, to bring Kitty down.

Describing the edgy alliance, Applegate says of her character, Catherine, “She’s a tough, smart, fearless cat, raised with the stereotypical distaste for dogs, but she’s willing to open up and take this chance. They’re working together for a common goal but are still a little bit at each other’s throats from the get-go.”

Applegate adds, “It’s absolutely absurd and fantastic, this whole secret high-tech world they have and yet it’s presented as perfectly normal. It’s as if all that other stuff they do–like purring and doing tricks, or tearing up the yard–is just designed to distract us from what’s really going on.”

Opening soon across the Philippines in Digital 3D and regular format, “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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