'off-the-scale all wrong'
Like many who saw it, Andrew Lloyd Webber wanted to wipe away the memory of the Cats movie as quickly as possible — which, in his case, involved the help of a dog.
The composer recalled to Variety his abject horror after watching the 2019 film adaptation of his musical of Cats. Directed by Tom Hooper, the movie was widely panned, in part because of its bizarre and unsettling visual effects.
"Cats was off-the-scale all wrong," Lloyd Webber told Variety. "There wasn't really any understanding of why the music ticked at all. I saw it and I just thought, 'Oh, God, no.'"
In fact, Lloyd Webber revealed that after seeing the film, "It was the first time in my 70-odd years on this planet that I went out and bought a dog. So the one good thing to come out of it is my little Havanese puppy." He even claimed he cites the Cats movie as a reason he needs a therapy dog when traveling.
"I wrote off and said I needed him with me at all times because I'm emotionally damaged and I must have this therapy dog," Lloyd Webber said. "The airline wrote back and said, 'Can you prove that you really need him?' And I said 'Yes, just see what Hollywood did to my musical Cats. Then the approval came back with a note saying, 'No doctor's report required.'"
This wasn't Lloyd Webber's first time joining in on the Cats pile-on. Last year, he argued "the problem" with Hooper's film was the fact that no one from the original show was involved, adding, in what critics might argue is a massive understatement, "The whole thing was ridiculous."