Top Cat Begins (also known in Spanish as Don Gato: El Inicio de la Pandilla, translated to Top Cat: The Start of the Gang) is an Indian-Mexican computer-animated comedy film, produced by Ánima Estudios and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures in Mexico. Based on the animated television series, Top Cat, made by Hanna-Barbera, this film will be a prequel to both the series and the movie, taking place before Top Cat met his gang.
The film premiered in Mexican theaters on October 30, 2015. The film was later released in the United Kingdom on May 27, 2016, distributed by Kaleidoscope Film Distribution and Warner Bros. UK. The film was also released on September 29, 2017 in the United States by Viva Pictures. The film has received generally negative reviews, with critics criticizing the cheap animation and writing, and was a box office bomb, grossing $4.6 million on an $8 million budget.
The film is an origin story, explaining how Top Cat met Benny and how he created his gang.
Raúl Anaya - Top Cat (Don Gato)
Mauricio Pérez - Benny (Benito)/Choo-Choo (Cucho)
Jesús Guzmán - Brain (Demóstenes)
Gerardo Alonso - Fancy-Fancy (Panza)
Mario Filio - Spook (Espanto)
Octavio Rojas - Officer Charlie Dibble (Oficial Carlitos Matute)
Jason Harris Katz - Top Cat/Choo-Choo/Brain
Chris Edgerly - Benny
Matthew Piazzi - Fancy-Fancy
Benjamin Diskin - Spook
Bill Lobley - Officer Charlie Dibble
Darin De Paul - Mr. Big
Diedrich Bader - Bad Dog / Waiter
Marieve Herington - Panther
Joey D'Auria - Rat
Lauri Fraser - Mrs. Ball
Charlie Adler - Granny Dibble
David Boat - Chief Thumbton
Patty Mattson - Furletta Duchat / Kid with Stuffed Kitty
David Shaughnessy - Maitre D / Suspicious Guy
Nick Shakoour - Goon #1
Steve Blum - Goon #2 / Muscle Dog
Grey DeLisle - Kittens
Diane Michelle - Lady Tourist
Rachael MacFarlane - Lady at Speaker
Pamela Chollet - Sales Lady Pie Shop
James Kevin Ward - Stage Manager / Driver
G.K. Bowes - Flight Attendant
Sariann Monaco - Waitress
Additional Voices (2016 English)
Additional Voices (2017)
Wendy E. Cutler
After the success of the first Top Cat film from 2011, the filmmakers at Ánima Estudios have began development of another film based on the Hanna-Barbera property, but with the idea of an origin story. The original Top Cat cartoon, which ran on ABC from 1961 to 1962, has already gained massive popularity in Latin America during the time of its run, mainly due to the show's well-performed dubbing and translation. The film was in development for 10 months. While expressing their 'confidence', getting the rights of a Hanna-Barbera property was difficult for the producers. The company's rights to develop a film based on Top Cat has been previously accomplished for the 2011 film, so Warner Bros., the current owner of all HB properties, have maintained the same 'confidence' of working with the Mexican animation studio. Producer Jose C. Garcia de Letona called the film "a work of persuasion and persistence" since he also stated that the company "knows and understands the character".
Director Andrés Couturier, who has also directed another film adaptation of a classic animation property, Kung Fu Magoo based on Mr. Magoo, has been attached to direct the animated prequel film since he has grew up watching the original Hanna-Barbera cartoon, stating that the character has "influenced" him. "Some people say that the Don Gato (Top Cat) [character] in this movie looks a lot like me, [and] I think I [do] look a lot like him because my whole childhood was very influenced by the character, so I worked with a character who was with you during all your childhood [which] is incredible," said Couturier.
Unlike the previous film, which was animated in 2D Adobe flash, the film was animated entirely in computer-generated imagery, according to producer Jose Garcia de Letona. Animation production is handled by Discreet Arts Productions in India.
The film's screenplay is written by James Krieg, (known for writing the Scooby-Doo television shows), Doug Langdale, and Jorge Ramírez-Suárez.
For the English version, Jason Harris Katz, the voice of Top Cat and other characters from the first film, has announced via his Twitter that he will reprise his role as the same character. It was also announced that voice actors Chris Edgerly, Bill Lobley, Hope Levy, and David Hoffman, have also joined the English cast.
The film's Mexican release trailer premiered on July 1, 2015, followed by second trailer, released on September 14, 2015.
The film was released on October 30, 2015 in Mexico, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures Mexico and confirmed to release in the rest of Latin America.
The film is followed by a United Kingdom release on May 27, 2016, distributed by Kaleidoscope Film Distribution and Warner Bros. Pictures UK. “We are very excited to be working with Ánima Estudios, [by] bringing this latest chapter of Top Cat to a worldwide audience., said Spencer Pollard, CEO of KFD. "As a leading global animation brand, we’re looking forward to T.C. and his friends hitting [the] screens everywhere in 2016.” The film's UK release and English-language trailer was released on March 8, 2016.
On its opening weekend in Mexico, the film debuted at #3 behind Goosebumps and Crimson Peak, earning $18,138,843 pesos ($1,092,066 USD), performing weaker than its predecessor.
On its opening weekend in the United Kingdom, the film was a major box-office bomb, debuting at #15, with X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through the Looking Glass leading, only earning £69,784 ($100,683 USD).
The film has received negative reviews, with critics criticizing the animation, directing, pacing, and writing, but praising the film's dubbing and attempt to revive the original show's characters. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 17%, based on 6 reviews, with an average rating of 3/10.
Carlos Del Río of Cine Premiere gave this film a 1 star rating, saying that the film has "[c]heated again. [The] Top Cat film fails to approach the spirit and humor of the TV series." Eddie Harrison, writing in The List, gave the film 3/5 stars, saying, "The feline favourite returns for a likeably familiar, knockabout animation. As with J. J. Abrams' first Star Trek movie, there's a reasonable amount of fun in seeing how the iconic characters originally met each other...director Andrés Couturier's film wisely scales things down as it attempts to get back to the comedic values of its source material."
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at Top Cat Begins. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Warner Bros. Entertainment Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.