Cats Don't Dance (1997) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Danny, an ambitious singing and dancing cat, goes to Hollywood and overcomes several obstacles to fulfill his dream of becoming a movie star.

  • Danny, an ambitious singing and dancing cat, goes to Hollywood and overcomes several obstacles to fulfill his dream of becoming a movie star.

  • Danny is a cat leaving his small town home for the big time in Hollywood. He comes in hoping to sing and dance his way into stardom, not knowing that animals can only be extras, and if he forgets his place, child starlet Darla Dimple and her musclehead butler Max have ways of reminding him.

  • A young ambitious cat named Danny comes to Hollywood with a song in his heart, dancing moves in his feet, and the dream of becoming a movie star. When he gets there, he learns that he can get no part other than the stereotypical cat roles with "meow" being his sole line. With his friends, including a discouraged female dancer turned secretary named Sawyer, he sets out to change that situation. However, Darla Dimple, the child star, is also out to ensure that the gang will never get that chance and become a threat to her career.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Fresh off the bus from Kokomo, Indiana, a cat named Danny has one dream: to become a movie star in the glamorous world of Hollywood. However, unknown to Danny, is that animals have no leverage in show business, and fulfill minor and often thankless roles.

    Wandering into a talent agency, Danny is signed onto a role in child star Darla Dimple's next film, "Little Ark-Angel." At the filming, he meets a number of other animals, who try to temper his enthusiasm. One of them is Sawyer, a white cat whom Danny is paired with for the film's big production number. However, Danny is not content with his one-worded script ("Meow"), and tries to add some panache to his role. This ends up infuriating Darla Dimples, who calls on her Frankenstein-like butler named Max, who ends up frightening Danny into submission.

    After the filming has wrapped, a little penguin named Pudge, who was also in the big production number, tells Danny that he enjoyed his added song-and-dance. As the two head off the studio, the sound of a piano reaches their ears, and they follow it to a small trailer, where they are introduced to Woolie Mammoth. Woolie has a musical talent, but is only kept at Mammoth Studios for the purposes of appearing in their opening title sequence. While in the trailer, Danny notices a picture of Sawyer, whom Woolie explains also has musical talent, but hides it from most people behind a tough exterior.

    The next day, Danny and some other animals create a small song-and-dance routine while waiting for the film production to get underway. As Sawyer arrives, she begins to get with the beat, and the rhythm even reaches the ears of Darla, who is getting made-up nearby. Darla listens in, and hears Danny mention that he could maybe tell the studio head, L.B. Mammoth, about the talent they (as animals) have. Darla then decides to invite Danny to her mansion for tea.

    At her mansion, Darla 'tricks' Danny into believing that she wants to help him and the other animals. Promising use of the "Little Ark-Angel" movie set.

    The next day, as the animals are on the movie set, Darla and Max sabotage the stage, causing the water system to overflow, causing the animals to damage the set, just as L.B. Mammoth is holding a press conference for the new Darla Dimples picture. Infuriated by what has happened, the entire animal staff are kicked off the lot.

    With no jobs, many of the animal actors are now on the streets, and with his dream seemingly dashed, Danny gets on a bus to return to Kokomo, Indiana. However, several blocks into the trip, Danny has a second thought, and gets off.

    Finding Pudge the Penguin, they sneak into the studio's mailroom, and send invites to all the animal actors for the premiere of Darla's new film. During the production, Danny again plans to show the human public that animals are talented, and intends to take the stage once the film premiere is over.

    However, Darla's butler Max senses something, and finds Danny, chasing him to the roof of the theater. Things turn in Danny's favor, when Max gets entangled in a giant inflatable balloon resembling Darla, and is sent aloft.

    Danny races back to the theater, where several of the animals have appeared onstage. They then begin to sing and dance for the audience. During the production, Darla sneaks backstage, attempting to sabotage the performance, but in the end, all her tricks end up improving it, til' at the very end, the audience gives the animals a standing ovation!

    Once the musical number ends, Darla angrily rushes onto the stage, proclaiming that she is the star, and offhandedly admits that it was she who flooded the stage at the studios. Darla realizes she's in error, but it's too late.

    The film ends with L.B. Mammoth signing the animals back to the studio, and placing them in high-profile pictures as the lead actors.

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