Cats Don't Dance is a 1997 American animated musical comedy film distributed by Warner Bros. under their Warner Bros. Family Entertainment label. It is the only fully animated feature produced by Turner Feature Animation, which was merged during the post-production of Cats Don't Dance into Warner Bros. Animation after the merger of Time Warner with Turner Broadcasting System in 1996. Turner Feature Animation had also produced the animated portions of Turner's The Pagemaster (1994). It is also the only Turner Feature Animation production to be co-produced by Warner Bros. Feature Animation.
The film was the directorial debut of former Disney animator Mark Dindal, and stars the voices of Scott Bakula, Jasmine Guy, Matthew Herried, Ashley Peldon, John Rhys-Davies, Kathy Najimy, Don Knotts, Hal Holbrook, Betty Lou Gerson (in her final film role), René Auberjonois, George Kennedy, and Dindal. Its musical numbers were written by Randy Newman and includes Gene Kelly's contributions as choreographer, before his death on February 2, 1996. The film was Kelly's final film project and is dedicated to his memory.
Similar to other Warner Bros. films at the time, the film did not perform well at the box office, grossing $3 million domestically due to lack of marketing and promotion. The film however did received generally positive reviews, with praise for its animation, humor, voice performances, and musical numbers.
- Michael Jackson were considered for the role of Danny.
- Nancy Giles were considered for the role of Sawyer.
- Bette Midler were considered for the role of Tillie Hippo.
- Sean Connery were considered for the role of Woolie the Mammoth
- Jennifer Saunders were considered for the role of Frances Albacore.
- Christopher Walken were considered for the role of Cranston Goat.
- Tim Conway were considered for the role of T.W. Turtle.
- Bette Midler, Sean Connery, Jennifer Saunders, Christopher Walken and Tim Conway were originally considered for the roles of Tillie Hippo, Woolie the Mammoth, Frances Albacore, Cranston Goat and T.W. Turtle, but were replaced by Kathy Najimy, John Rhys-Davies, Betty Lou Gerson, Hal Holbrook and Don Knotts.
- This film end credits was originally for in memory of Telly Savalas, Sorrell Booke, John Candy, Anita Morris, Dennis Stewart, Raul Julia, Noah Beery Jr., Günter Meisner, Michael V. Gazzo, Michael Hordern, Lana Turner, Eva Gabor, Phil Harris, Jeremy Brett, Mary Wickes, Lionel Stander, Dean Martin, George Burns, Jon Pertwee, Vito Scotti, Bibi Besch and Mark Lenard.
- Originally, Frances Albacore's name was Alice Alabcore.
- Originally, Cranston Goat's name was Marlon Goat.
- Originally, T.W. Turtle's name was Kevin Turtle.
- Luther Vandross and Diana Ross were originally going to sing the version of Our Time Has Come replaced by James Ingram & Carnie Wilson.
- RZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Johnny Cash, Shawn Colvin, Goo Goo Dolls, Missy Elliott, Harold Faltermeyer, George Harrison, Rick James, Elton John, R. Kelly, Chantal Kreviazuk, Patti LaBelle, Fleetwood Mac, Boyz II Men, Meshell Ndegeocello, Steve Perry, The Smashing Pumpkins, Little Richard and Samuel E. Wright were unused songs from Cats Don't Dance soundtrack.
- According to Animator Danny was originally for animators Georges Abolin, Dale Baer, Spike Brandt, Rune Brandt Bennicke, Geefwee Boedoe, Bolhem Bouchiba, Mike Cachuela, Tony Cervone, Darko Cesar, Patrick Delage, Sasha Dorogov, Rick Farmiloe, Stefan Fjeldmark, Stéphane Sainte-Foi, Chuck Gammage, Leon Joosen, Jorgen Klubien, Bud Luckey, Duncan Marjoribanks, Anthony Wayne Michaels, Nik Ranieri and Phil Young.
- According to Animator Darla Dimple and Max was originally for animators Dale Baer, Spike Brandt, Tony Cervone, Joe Ekers, Martin P. Hopkins, Shawn Keller, Doug Krohn, Holger Leihe, Bud Luckey, Jorgen Klubien, Joe Oh, Michael Show, and Phil Young.
- According to Animator L. B. Mammoth and Flanigan was originally for animators Doug Frankel, T. Daniel Hofstedt, Holger Leihe, Jorgen Klubien, Duncan Marjoribanks, Jean Morel, Theodore Ty, Jim Van der Keyl and Mark A. Williams.
- According to Animator Supporting Animal Characters was originally for animators Georges Abolin, Edip Agi, Tom Bancroft, Robert Bardy, Linda Bel, Rune Brandt Bennicke, Arnaud Berthier, Geefwee Boedoe, Mike Cachuela, Alessandro Carloni, Kenny Chung, Steve Cunningham, Donnacha Daly, Sylvain Deboissy, Eric Delbecq, Joe Ekers, Rick Farmiloe, Raffaella Filipponi, Will Finn, Stéphane Sainte-Foi, Chuck Gammage, Martin P. Hopkins, Ron Husband, Leon Joosen, Shawn Keller, Ken Keys, Jorgen Klubien, Mark Koetsier, Justin Kohn, Sergei Kouchnerov, Holger Leihe, Eric Lessard, Bud Luckey, Les Major, Craig R. Maras, Sean Mullen, Jean Morel, Joe Oh, David Moses Pimentel, Nik Ranieri, Erik C. Schmidt, Peter Sohn, Melissa Thompson, Theodore Ty, Jim Van der Keyl, Chris Wahl, Mark A. Williams and Kathy Zielinski.
- Early production art reveals that the film Lil' Ark Angel was going to be called Sea Goin' Gal and Darla wore a sailor suit as opposed to her angel costume.