So… how about that Cats trailer? It’s, like, really weird, right? The long-running Broadway smash, coming to us from composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and poet T. S. Eliot, features one of the greatest pieces of musical theatre ever composed (“Memory”) amidst a downright incomprehensible narrative involving a group of cats attempting to prove they are worthy of ascending to Heaven by singing, among other tunes, an aggressive rock number with lyrics like “Rum Tum Tugger is a curious cat.”
It was always weird, is what I’m saying. But the film version, featuring an all-star cast of Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, James Corden, Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo, Judi Dench, Idris Elba, and Rebel Wilson doubles down on the strangeness of it all with eye-poppingly garish CGI “fur technology” rendering each actor into some kind of PS2 cutscene abomination. With, you know, cats!
Surely, this must be the weirdest Hollywood movie musical ever made, right? Well — maybe not. For there is a history of strange musicals that have made it to the big screen. Movies that say “no thank you” to the traditional pleasures of a Singin’ in the Rain or a La La Land in favor of an idiosyncratic, unique, singular vision that can only be described as “bonkers.” Buckle your seatbelts and get your ears ready for some tunes: These are the weirdest movie musicals ever made, in honor of those damn Jellicle Cats.