446s What You Need To Know To Make Sense Of 'Cats' | Pop Culture Decoded images and subtitles

This is 2019's "Cats,"a modern interpretation of the classic musicalthat uses something called "digital fur technology."But stranger than the new high-tech costumes is the story:A group of what are called "Jellicle" catsare taking part in an "American Idol"-stylesinging competition.The prize? Dying and being sent to heaven,after which they will be reborn.Confused?Here's everything you need to knowto make sense of "Cats."While the musical "Cats" premiered in 1981,the story actually goes back even further,to a 1939 book of poems by T.S. Eliotcalled "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.""Old Possum" was a nickname given to Eliotby fellow poet and friend Ezra Pound.Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber later adapted the poemsinto songs and, eventually, the musical.Fun fact: The original working title of the showwas called "Practical Cats."Each poem introduced a different cat's character.There are 33 in the show.There's Jennyanydots, played by Rebel Wilson,a lazy cat who "sits and sits and sits"in the poem "The Old Gumbie Cat"but who is actually very busyand active at night;Bombalurina, played by Taylor Swift,one of the many characters mentionedin the first poem of the book,"The Naming of Cats,"who is very flirty with the others;and Rum Tum Tugger, played by Jason Derulo,described in a poem of the same name asa "Curious Cat" who is very self-centered.But some of the characters come from other Eliot poems,and others were created specifically for the Broadway show.While there is a poem about Jellicle cats,the term dates back even further.But what exactly are Jellicle cats?Eliot first wrote the phrase in an unpublished poemto his godson for his birthday."To all Pollicle dogs and Jellicle Cats."The second mention of Jelliclesis in an Eliot poem called "Five Finger Exercises"from 1933.Here we even get a hint of the death aspect of the plotwith the reference to dust.But more on that later.Pollicle is a nonsense wordthat's a combination of "poor little,"and Jellicle is a mix of the words "dear little."What exactly a Jellicle cat isis further explained in the poem "The Song of the Jellicles"from the 1939 book.Let's break that down.The poem describes them as "black and white"and "rather small."As we can see from the new trailer,the cats are indeed small.Smaller, in fact, than what a real cat would be,at least based on their proportions.The stage musical was set in a junkyardwith oversized props,so the actors appeared small by comparison.The color is a different story.As you can see from any stage or film production,the cats are all sorts of different colors and breeds.There's at least one black and white cat, however,Mr. Mistoffelees, who's a tuxedo catthat knows how to do magic tricks,according to another Eliot poem.Jellicle cats are "pleasant to hear when they caterwaul."They also "know how to dance a gavotte and a jig"and have "terpsichorean powers."Terpsichore is a Greek muse of song and dance,so all of this backs up the fact that these Jellicle catsare great performers and are perfect for a musical.In the musical, each cat has their own songand a story to tell,which is why the show can feel slightly disjointed.Their stories don't connect or necessarily make any sense,but they're great to listen to.So, now that we've establishedthat they can both sing and dance,why exactly are they singing and dancing at all?The poem mentions that they're waitingfor the "Jellicle Moon," an annual occurrencewhen the moon is very brightand the "Jellicle Ball" takes place.This is a big event for Jellicle cats.It's when they all come together to performfor the oldest cat and leader of the tribe, Old Deuteronomy.In the musical, Deuteronomy is a male cat,but the new film has made the character female,played by Judi Dench.Deuteronomy has lived "many lives in succession."Cats have nine lives, remember.Deuteronomy also has had many wives, as many as 99,according to the poem.This character, for some reason,also wears a separate, shaggy coat over their own fur.In the musical, Deuteronomy is the judge and jury,listening to each cat sing their songand deciding which of them will be allowed to dieand ascend into the Jellicle cat heaven,a place called the "Heaviside Layer."In the "Cats" universe, this is their version of heaven.In the real world, the Heaviside layer is actuallya part of the Earth's ionosphere.In an unpublished piece, Eliot mentionsthat cats go to the Heaviside Layer when they die.The singing competition is essentiallythem making their case to be sacrificed,which may seem a little grim.But we shouldn't think of this as deathand then nothingness.The chosen cat is then rebornand becomes a new, much better cat.Because, once again, cats have nine lives.Spoiler alert for the ending:In the musical, the cat that's chosen to dieis Grizabella.Grizabella is the cat that disgustsall of the other cats in the show.She's described as being mangy and unkempt.She left the Jellicle tribe years agobut now wants them to let her back in.This character, while one of the more important to the plot,did not actually come from the 1939 book of poems.She was inspired by another of Eliot's unpublished workscalled "Grizabella the Glamour Cat".She also sings one of the most memorable songsfrom the musical, aptly titled "Memory."♪ Memory ♪In the 2019 film, Jennifer Hudson plays Grizabella.The popular song's lyrics were inspired by another poemin Eliot's book called "Rhapsody on a Windy Night."While Grizabella could be considered the protagonist,there's also a villain in the show,a cat by the name of Macavity.Macavity is a literary allusion to the characterProfessor Moriarty, the villain in "Sherlock Holmes,"of which Eliot was a huge fan.In the poem "Macavity: The Mystery Cat,"Eliot describes the character as a "master criminal"and "the Napoleon of Crime."He's also "not there," as the poem repeats,which supports the "cavity" part of his name.His role in the plot is to scare the other cats,and at one point he even kidnaps Old Deuteronomy.Deuteronomy is returned laterthanks to the magic of Mr. Mistoffelees.In the movie, Macavity is played by Idris Elba,who, for some reason, also wears a cat-sized Fedora.[laughing]There have been multiple stage productionsand one 1998 film prior to the 2019 movie.The new version is directed by Tom Hooperand has a cast full of A-listers,as we've mentioned before,including Ian McKellen and James Corden.And unlike previous adaptations,the 2019 film doesn't use any makeup for the cast.Everything is created using a new CGI techniquethey describe as "digital fur technology."This new style, while mocked online,seems to fit right in with a storythat has been strange from the very beginning.

What You Need To Know To Make Sense Of 'Cats' | Pop Culture Decoded

You have likely seen or at least heard of the Andrew Llyod Webber musical “Cats,” but did you really understand what you were watching? The bizarre story, based on a book of poems by T. S. Eliot, revolves around a tribe of cats called Jellicles, which are competing in a singing competition so they can die and be reborn as a better version of themselves. A new theatrical interpretation of the classic musical features an A-List cast, including Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, James Corden, Ian McKellen, Idris Elba and Taylor Swift. We break down the plot and the characters to help explain why these cats are singing and dancing in the first place, and what it all means. ------------------------------------------------------ #Cats #Musical #Insider Insider is great journalism about what passionate people actually want to know. That’s everything from news to food, celebrity to science, politics to sports and all the rest. It’s smart. It’s fearless. It’s fun. We push the boundaries of digital storytelling. Our mission is to inform and inspire. Subscribe to our channel and visit us at: www.insider.com Insider on Facebook: www.facebook.com/insider/ Insider on Instagram: www.instagram.com/insider/ Insider on Twitter: twitter.com/thisisinsider Insider on Snapchat: www.snapchat.com/discover/Insider/4020934530 Insider on Amazon Prime: www.amazon.com/v/thisisinsider Insider on TikTok: www.tiktok.com/@insider Insider on Dailymotion: www.dailymotion.com/INSIDER What You Need To Know To Make Sense Of 'Cats' | Pop Culture Decoded
jennifer hudson, musical, film, judi dench, movie, james corden, pop culture, cats, idris elba, cats the musical, Insider, dancing, singing, andrew lloyd webber, t.s. eliot, jason derulo, theater, taylor swift, rebel wilson,
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< start="26.266" dur="1.294">Confused?>

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< start="107.02" dur="2.88">While there is a poem about Jellicle cats,>

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< start="141.33" dur="1.84">But more on that later.>

< start="143.17" dur="1.56">Pollicle is a nonsense word>

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< start="195.65" dur="3.22">Jellicle cats are "pleasant to hear when they caterwaul.">

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< start="236.63" dur="1.88">when the moon is very bright>

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< start="245.19" dur="3.71">for the oldest cat and leader of the tribe, Old Deuteronomy.>

< start="248.9" dur="2.57">In the musical, Deuteronomy is a male cat,>

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< start="255.26" dur="2.94">Deuteronomy has lived "many lives in succession.">

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< start="266.38" dur="1.28">This character, for some reason,>

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< start="271.06" dur="2.895">In the musical, Deuteronomy is the judge and jury,>

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< start="280.47" dur="2.517">a place called the "Heaviside Layer.">

< start="282.987" dur="2.773">In the "Cats" universe, this is their version of heaven.>

< start="285.76" dur="2.265">In the real world, the Heaviside layer is actually>

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< start="289.87" dur="2.055">In an unpublished piece, Eliot mentions>

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< start="304.246" dur="1.944">The chosen cat is then reborn>

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< start="308.92" dur="3.41">Because, once again, cats have nine lives.>

< start="312.33" dur="2.08">Spoiler alert for the ending:>

< start="314.41" dur="2.083">In the musical, the cat that's chosen to die>

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< start="322.26" dur="3.49">She's described as being mangy and unkempt.>

< start="325.75" dur="2.12">She left the Jellicle tribe years ago>

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< start="330.21" dur="3.02">This character, while one of the more important to the plot,>

< start="333.23" dur="3.51">did not actually come from the 1939 book of poems.>

< start="336.74" dur="2.87">She was inspired by another of Eliot's unpublished works>

< start="339.61" dur="2.38">called "Grizabella the Glamour Cat".>

< start="341.99" dur="2.2">She also sings one of the most memorable songs>

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< start="347.665" dur="3.065">♪ Memory ♪>

< start="350.73" dur="3.51">In the 2019 film, Jennifer Hudson plays Grizabella.>

< start="354.24" dur="3.02">The popular song's lyrics were inspired by another poem>

< start="357.26" dur="2.83">in Eliot's book called "Rhapsody on a Windy Night.">

< start="360.09" dur="3.05">While Grizabella could be considered the protagonist,>

< start="363.14" dur="2.38">there's also a villain in the show,>

< start="365.52" dur="2.29">a cat by the name of Macavity.>

< start="367.81" dur="2.38">Macavity is a literary allusion to the character>

< start="370.19" dur="3.18">Professor Moriarty, the villain in "Sherlock Holmes,">

< start="373.37" dur="2.52">of which Eliot was a huge fan.>

< start="375.89" dur="2.51">In the poem "Macavity: The Mystery Cat,">

< start="378.4" dur="2.64">Eliot describes the character as a "master criminal">

< start="381.04" dur="2.6">and "the Napoleon of Crime.">

< start="383.64" dur="3.37">He's also "not there," as the poem repeats,>

< start="387.01" dur="2.7">which supports the "cavity" part of his name.>

< start="389.71" dur="2.96">His role in the plot is to scare the other cats,>

< start="392.67" dur="3.15">and at one point he even kidnaps Old Deuteronomy.>

< start="395.82" dur="1.89">Deuteronomy is returned later>

< start="397.71" dur="3.085">thanks to the magic of Mr. Mistoffelees.>

< start="400.795" dur="2.775">In the movie, Macavity is played by Idris Elba,>

< start="403.57" dur="3.355">who, for some reason, also wears a cat-sized Fedora.>

< start="406.925" dur="1.625">[laughing]>

< start="408.55" dur="1.85">There have been multiple stage productions>

< start="410.4" dur="3.9">and one 1998 film prior to the 2019 movie.>

< start="414.3" dur="2.44">The new version is directed by Tom Hooper>

< start="416.74" dur="2.016">and has a cast full of A-listers,>

< start="418.756" dur="1.5">as we've mentioned before,>

< start="420.256" dur="3.264">including Ian McKellen and James Corden.>

< start="423.52" dur="1.74">And unlike previous adaptations,>

< start="425.26" dur="3.62">the 2019 film doesn't use any makeup for the cast.>

< start="428.88" dur="2.71">Everything is created using a new CGI technique>

< start="431.59" dur="2.7">they describe as "digital fur technology.">

< start="434.29" dur="2.73">This new style, while mocked online,>

< start="437.02" dur="1.982">seems to fit right in with a story>

< start="439.002" dur="2.758">that has been strange from the very beginning.>