Did you know Top Cat had an origin story? Do you care? You certainly won't after seeing this bland, unimaginative, cheaply-made animated "comedy" about a cat who cons people...
et's actually talk about Top Cat for a minute. He was an alley-cat who conned his way through life. Literally, the opening intro to Top Cat was him scamming his way into a fancy restaurant and stealing a working man's lunch. That right there is a pretty terrible role model for children. Not only that, it's funny that Top Cat has now become the mascot for a bank in England. Sure, he might have some cultural impact - but does he really deserve an origin story? The short answer is no. Not at all.
here was a moderately successful 3D-animated comedy made in 2012 that had the voice of Rob Schneider and Danny Trejo in its English language version, but was a much bigger hit in Latin countries. Why anyone thought that it needed a second one is just crazy, but here we are. This time around, the story centres on how Top Cat came to be Top Cat. The city of New York is being terrorised by a talking alligator / crime boss, whom the gang - that's Top Cat, Benny, Choo-Choo, Spook and Brain - stumble across when they're trying to scam a high-end restaurant. Never mind the fact that they're actually seen hustling money out of a maitre'd, there's another criminal that's much worse than them.
hat follows is a bland, painfully unfunny exercise in pointlessness. It really can't be stressed just how unnecessary this film is. What makes it so needless is that it's purposefully aiming itself away from younger kids as a few of the jokes are off-colour and definitely trying to be more edgy. One particular scene sees Top Cat cursing at the top of his lungs - it's bleeped, don't worry - and then we see Benny looking embarrassed afterwards. Another scene sees the small Chief of Police crack a joke about his mother-in-law before he turns to the camera and winks, complete with a fake crowd applause. That's the level of edginess we're dealing with here. It's not even edgy, it's the exact opposite - bland, unoriginal, unfunny. Normally, when the script is so horrendously lacking, you can always rely on interesting animation. Not here. The characters look so cheaply made and animated that you'd almost suspect Top Cat Begins was originally designed for a television show where it could be made on a restricted budget and churned out with a minimal fuss. You could forgive any of this if it was funny or smart, but it's none of those things.
here really isn't anything redeeming about Top Cat Begins. The introduction of a new character - who's so forgettable, I can't even remember his name - just reeks of desperation on a level of The Simpsons' Poochy The Dog. As a distraction for children, there's far better films in cinemas that are worth your time and money. Angry Birds, for example, is still in cinemas and a far better film compared to this. Go see that.
op Cat Begins, however, deserves to stay where the film finishes - in a bin down a dark alleyway. Easily the worst animated film of the year.