The “Cats” Movie that Never Was

Posted: July 3, 2014 in Movies

 

Back in the early 1990’s Steven Spielberg was working on an animated musical version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats.  It was to be directed by Simon Wells (The Prince of Egypt, Balto) and Phil Nibbelink (Puss in Boot, An American Tale: Fievel Goes West).  Unfortunately Amblimation shut its doors in 1997 and Cats was abandoned.

Recently, Luc Desmarchelier, who worked at one time in the visual department for the film, has released some stunning concept art.  It is so good, that Cats qualifies as one of the greatest films never made.   Also included is some concept art done by Hans Bacher, the film’s production designer.  Bacher’s black and white illustrations are particularly impressive considering they were done using only Tipp-Ex white correction fluid on black cardboard, with black markers used to touch-up some rough areas.   It was an attempt to generate the feel and look of a Frans Masereel woodcut.

Most of the story was to be set in London shortly after The Blitz, giving everything a danse macabre and blast-out feel.  The visual concept attempted to combine detailed miniature models with traditional animation to create a unique 3-D feel.

For more see my blog.

The Desmarchelier concept art:

The River

Picadilly Circus

Picadilly Circus

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

The Junkyard

The Junkyard

Cats Underpass

Cats Dock 

Black Friars

Alley 

Alley

Sunset 

Roofs and Streets

The Bacher concept art:

Concept drawing for miniature set 

Minatures 

Miniatures

Miniature Set

 

Miniature set

Concept art for miniature set 

Miniature set

Concept art for miniature set

Miniature set

Concept art for miniatures never built

Concept art for miniatures never built

Concept art for miniatures never built

Sources:

http://ushuaiasblog.blogspot.com/search/label/Cats.

http://io9.com/stunning-concept-art-for-spielbergs-animated-cats-movie-1599739506

https://one1more2time3.wordpress.com/tag/cats/

Some of Fran Masereel’s famous woodcut art.  

 

 

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