The Three Lives of Thomasina

 
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Product Description

Studio: Buena Vista Home Video Release Date: 02/07/2006

A beloved tabby cat becomes the catalyst for healing and hope between a young girl and her widowed father in Disney's 1964 classic, based on the enchanting fable by Paul Gallico. Set in the Scottish highlands in 1912, the story focuses on Andrew MacDhui (Patrick McGoohan) a veterinarian who, after the death of his wife, has closed his heart to goodness and empathy-- toward his animal patients and his only child. Left essentially an orphan, Mary (Karen Dotrice) finds love from her cat, Thomasina, until a tragedy injures the cat and her father orders it to be killed. A tenderhearted maiden (Susan Hampshire) finds Thomasina, detects a heartbeat, and nurses the feline back to health. Her healing powers eventually move beyond the animal kingdom into the lives of MacDhui and Mary. The stellar cast includes standout performances by Dotrice and Matthew Garber (who plays Mary's loyal chum)--better known as the duo, Jane and Michael Banks, in Mary Poppins. Best watched with kids and Kleenex. (Ages 5 and older) --Lynn Gibson

Customer Reviews:

  • The Three Lives of Thomasina
    This is one of my favorite movies from childhood. It's told by the cat, Thomasina. There are some sad moments but the ending is happy. Nothing scary.
    It's definitely a classic in my book!...more info
  • Love Hayley but caution to parents on disturbing content
    I saw this movie when it came out in 64. I was eight at the time. I've always adored Hayley Mills in her movies and I love cats... especially the orange tabby's which were always my favorite. I had one just like Thomasina at the time and always have throughout my life. I try to collect as many of Hayley's movies as I can... except this one.

    With that said, the beginning of this movie really upset me as a child and still upsets me to this day when something reminds me of it. My parents and I were caught off guard. We did not expect to see something like this on a Disney film. As much as I have always adored Hayley and cats, I have never been able to watch this movie a second time.

    I simply could not endure watching this cat being ordered to be put to sleep by the adults at the beginning of this movie as if it was a casually disposable product instead of a living creature and beloved pet of the child. They not only order the cat to be put to sleep, they go through the actual process of putting the cat down and treating it as discarded trash. This affected me deeply at the age of 8 and still bothers me to this day when I think about this movie. The fact that the cat recovered from the botched job didn't make the horrific scene any more palatable.

    It didn't matter to me whether everything came out ok in the end or not. I just couldn't go through that ordeal again. Nor did I find any pleasure in the other mishaps the cat character was subjected to in the storyline. As a child and an adult I found this movie to be very disturbing.

    I was never affected by any other movie as a child. I was not a sensitive child or adult. I was raised watching horror and space movies since I was 3. I was a fearless child and a fearless adult. Disembodied heads on monster movies didn't bother me a bit even when I was a preschooler. So for any movie to affect me in this way, it had to be profoundly upsetting about something that meant a lot to me... and my cat had been that important to me since I had been 3.

    So if you have a child who is very attached to cats as I was, I strongly caution you to think twice before showing this movie to your child.

    I'm sharing this because I want parents to really think about this before allowing their children to see it. Even if your child has never been upset about any prior movie, if your child is devoted to a pet cat, I really don't recommend this movie.

    In some ways, the movie "Old Yeller" is very similarly upsetting when the boy's dog has to be shot.

    It may not seem like a big deal to an adult, but to a child, things like this can be horrific and cause unnecessary distress to a child who loves their pets so devotedly. 45 years later, I still remember how much this movie bothered me. You can choose to disregard my cautions if you like, but if you knew what a strong child I was and even stronger as an adult and retired engineering executive... you might think twice about this. If this movie can have such a profound effect on someone who has been fearless their entire life... think of how it might affect a sensitive child. You might never know about it. This is the first time in 45 years I have mentioned it to anyone. It's just my personal opinion but I thought someone should mention this issue.
    ...more info
  • 3 lives of Thomasina
    This is a fantastic movie I remember from my childhood. Movie arrived in excellent conditione and will be watched many times over...more info
  • the 3 lives of thomasina
    i had watched this show when i was just a little girl and now i am over 50 and it is just like i remembered it.it is really a good family movie.i would recomend this movie to anybody that is an animal lover!!!...more info
  • Pleasant Memories
    A flashback to the past when life was full of simple pleasures and humor. A great movie for cat lovers....more info
  • The Three Lives of Thomasina
    My all time favorite movie! This movie is perfect for all ages!...more info
  • The best live action Disney movie EVER!!!
    I am so excited that this movie is finally coming out on DVD! "Thomasina" is one of Disney's lesser-known films, but it's definitely one of the best. It's a very touching story about a young girl's relationship with her widowed father and her beloved cat. I will be first in line to purchase this DVD on the day it is released!...more info
  • Paul Gallico's enduring classic turned into a Disney classic
    Paul Gallico's charming little story "Thomasina" is turned into an equally lovely little Disney film from 1964 directed by Don Chaffey ("Greyfriars Bobby"). Veterinarian Andrew MacDhui (Patrick McGoohan) is a widower who is raising his young daughter Mary (Karen Dotrice) in Scotland in 1912. Andrew has no empathy for the townsfolk who love their pets and when Mary's beloved cat Thomasina is injured he quickly decides the animal should be killed. Mary is distraught and Andrew simply cannot understand why the logic of the situation is not clear to the girl. Mary and her friends prepare an elaborate funeral for Thomasina, at which point Lori MacGregor (Susan Hampshire) shows up. The children think she is a witch, but in truth she lives in the woods and nurses injured animals back to health using love and common sense. Lori recognizes the cat is not dead and takes it home to help it recover, during which time Thomasina goes to Cat Heaven in a marvelously fanciful sequence. Andrew has a bad reputation with the locals because he killed his daughter's cat and they start taking their pets to Lori. Andrew finally goes to see her and is not so busy being impressed by her healing skills that he fails to fall in love with her. But then Mary sees Thomasina walking outside her house and chases after her in a driving storm and ends up catching pneumonia. The doctors hold out no hope to the frantic Andrew, and Lori tells him that only he can help Mary recover using the power of love.

    Lots of Disney movies have a cold-hearted adult transformed into a human being, and "The Three Lives of Thomasina" is one of the best of this type of film, even better than "Pollyanna. " This is mainly because it has the virtue of a first-rate cast, from McGoohan, Hampshire and Dotrice as the three principles to Finlay Currie and Laurence Naismith standing out in the supporting cast. Elspeth March supplies the voice of Thomasina, who gets to comment on the action from time to time, and Matthew Garber, who went on with Dotrice to play the kids in "Mary Poppins," also has a small role. But at the heart of this film is Paul Gallico's endearing fable. I think this is just a nice little film and I am not even a cat person....more info

  • I've always loved Thomasina
    I saw this in the theater when I was very little. My dad teased me later when I told him it made me "get a tear in my eye." It still does.

    I watched it today with my 5-year-old neighbor girl. She said she "loved it." I bought the movie for my son when he was a preschooler. (He particularly loved the scenes with Jodie--the little boy--and the beautiful "witch.") My son 12, and his friend, 10, also watched much of the movie today. There are plenty of scenes that made them laugh. Some parts drag a bit (the father and the vicar had several scenes dull to a child, but important in developing the plot).

    I was looking for a DVD version because I know that my video has a few scenes slightly edited. The Disney channel version some years back was a little more complete.

    I don't think it's so terrible for a child to experience a little human emotion. Yes, the movie has some tear-jerking potential, but it has a happy ending. The 5-year-old didn't shed a tear today. I was just a bit less stoic. I am sentimental about orange tabby cats & have always had at least one . . ....more info

  • enduring classic: full of heart, magic and tenderness
    magical reminder of how innocence, empathy and love for living creatures enhances the lives of both children and adults -- how much they have to teach us about ourselves and the world. One of my favorite films!...more info
  • Paul Gallico's endearing fable turned into a Disney classic
    Paul Gallico's charming little story "Thomasina" is turned into an equally lovely little Disney film from 1964 directed by Don Chaffey ("Greyfriars Bobby"). Veterinarian Andrew MacDhui (Patrick McGoohan) is a widower who is raising his young daughter Mary (Karen Dotrice) in Scotland in 1912. Andrew has no empathy for the townsfolk who love their pets and when Mary's beloved cat Thomasina is injured he quickly decides the animal should be killed. Mary is distraught and Andrew simply cannot understand why the logic of the situation is not clear to the girl. Mary and her friends prepare an elaborate funeral for Thomasina, at which point Lori MacGregor (Susan Hampshire) shows up. The children think she is a witch, but in truth she lives in the woods and nurses injured animals back to health using love and common sense. Lori recognizes the cat is not dead and takes it home to help it recover, during which time Thomasina goes to Cat Heaven in a marvelously fanciful sequence. Andrew has a bad reputation with the locals because he killed his daughter's cat and they start taking their pets to Lori. Andrew finally goes to see her and is not so busy being impressed by her healing skills that he fails to fall in love with her. But then Mary sees Thomasina walking outside her house and chases after her in a driving storm and ends up catching pneumonia. The doctors hold out no hope to the frantic Andrew, and Lori tells him that only he can help Mary recover using the power of love.

    Lots of Disney movies have a cold-hearted adult transformed into a human being, and "The Three Lives of Thomasina" is one of the best of this type of film, even better than "Pollyanna. " This is mainly because it has the virtue of a first-rate cast, from McGoohan, Hampshire and Dotrice as the three principles to Finlay Currie and Laurence Naismith standing out in the supporting cast. Elspeth March supplies the voice of Thomasina, who gets to comment on the action from time to time, and Matthew Garber, who went on with Dotrice to play the kids in "Mary Poppins," also has a small role. But at the heart of this film is Paul Gallico's endearing fable. I think this is just a nice little film and I am not even a cat person....more info

  • Love this movie
    The two child leads Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber are as fresh, unaffected, and appealing as they were in "Mary Poppins." I saw this movie as a child and never forgot it. I've seen it several times since and still adore this movie about a girl's love for her cat Thomasina. (By the way, the cat is a good actor also!) Patrick McGoohan and Susan Hampshire are the appealing adult leads. Charming and disarming. Disney hits another home run with this bittersweet tale of love and loss....more info
  • The Three Lives of Thomasina
    I watched this movie with all of my children. Now they are grown and wish to watch it with my grandchildren. It's a wonderful story, wonderully written and so enjoyable. Please try to get this video as soon as possible. I will buy it and many people I know will buy it....more info
  • Three Lives -- One Cat for all
    No one seems to get the point of this movie. I saw it recently, and then about five years ago, plus a few times before that. But I noticed that they used at least two noticeably different cats in this production.

    No problem. At least no one painted one cat to look like the other!

    This movie was about grief and loss and getting on with one's life in spite of it. The veterinarian (Patrick McGoohan) who has been trained to be scientific, lost his wife five years prior to the happenings in this film. When his daughter (Karen Dotrice) believes her father responsible for the death of her beloved Thomasina, she withdraws and almost dies of pneumonia, save for the fact that her beloved red tabby came back from cat heaven.

    I love this movie now and I did when I was a kid, but it reveals different dimensions to me now. I noticed how it addresses the apparent power of gossip to overcome good deeds. Patrick McGoohan's character saved the life of a blind man's guide dog when his daughter's Thomasina needed help, and after that, a campaign of gossip against him by Mary's friends caused some clients to turn away from his veterinary service.

    However, the movie did present friends arguing in his favor, and he did visit with the "witch" woman, Lori (played by Susan Hampshire), to begin a healing process which ultimately led to the conclusion of the film:

    Andrew MacDhui (Patrick McGoohan0, his new missus (Susan Hampshire), their housekeeper, Mary MacDhui (Karen Dotrice) and Thomasina (played by herselves), seating around their dining table enjoying a family meal together....more info

  • FEY SCOTTISH TALE
    I remember watching this little gem on television in Concord, California around 1964! I loved this film as a child and just got my kids the video last night for a peek after some 37 (!) years. It's every bit as charming as Disney's earlier GREYFRIAR'S BOBBY (with Donald Crisp), and, thanks to a strong cast led by Patrick McGoohan and Susan Hampshire, infinitely more enjoyable! The film tells the story of a Scottish veterinarian Andrew MacDhui and daughter Mary, whose affection for a beautiful cat named Thomasina comes between them. When the cat is seriously injured, Mary's father "puts the cat to sleep" but Thomasina is disovered by Lori MacGregor, who nurses the cat back to health. Her love and understanding finally reunite father and daughter in the touching climax. Although the film wasn't a huge box-office success, it was considered one of the best foreign productions released by the Disney studio in the sixties....more info
  • A wonderful family video
    I adored this movie as a child! Now our five year old daughter is asking us to rent it so often, we're finally buying it! Just a lovely story of families, children, pets, and love!...more info
  • Execellent, The Excellent.
    I watched this movie just by chance on TV, It is superbly done, the story, kids, their actions, feelings, emotions.The Best. After many months passed & my family joined me, I wanted them to watch this movie, Started to search on internet to find full name of the movie. I am sure many will love this old classic, today. Give your kids & family nice gift. Unfortunately, this classic was some how forgotten & we don't see much movie like this one....more info
  • One of Disney's Greatest!
    I, like many people, enjoy most of if not all Disney movies. Thomasina is definetly one of the best Disney ever came out with. It rates right up there with Mary Poppins and Old Yeller. Unfortunately, this classic was some how forgotten through the years. If you give Thomasina a chance, I garuntee you and your kids will not be disappointed!...more info
  • One of my favorites that still makes me cry.
    There is so much intergrity in this story that could be called sentimental. The two kids were also in Mary Poppins. Patrick McGoohan was very gruff, but of course, shows his love for his daughter eventually. You'll love the cat, even if you're not a feline fan....more info
  • Wonderful, this movie is for all animal lovers
    I saw this movie as a child and my two children love it also. It is a classic story of the love between a father and daughter and the love animals bring into our lives....more info
  • A WONDERFUL children's movie the whole family will enjoy!
    This is the story of a little girl who loses her beloved cat, Thomasina, because her widowed veteranarian father refused to treat it, seeing "pets" as easily replacable. Enter the mysterious beautiful "witch" in the glen who takes in hurt animals and nurses them back to health, trusting in God and love to do the healing her hands cannot. This movie is not only a well done, entertaining story for all ages but it teaches a very valuable lesson we'd all do well to heed. I rated the movie itself a 5 but the scale does not go high enough to rate it's message. An excellent gift for children. God bless END...more info
  • Three Lives of Thomasina DVD Review
    It's one of the very first movies I ever remember seeing as a very little girl. And Thomasina looks just like my old cat, Ginger....more info
  • Wonderful "Three Lives of Thomasina"
    It was great to see this film again after so many years. I first saw it in the theatre when I was a young girl and it made a lasting impression on me. Watching this DVD makes it all seem brand new again! A perfect cast that includes Patrick McGoohan, one of my favorite actors. Don't miss out on screening this one!...more info
  • Very Quaint Movie
    This is one of Disney's classic live action films and time has been kind to it. Although several times through out the movie I realized that a movie like this one could not be made now a days because of the animal abuse issues, I think that the movie got across the point of kindness to your animal friends. Not a movie for small children because of the semi-graphic depictions of animal abuse. Better for 7+....more info
  • christmas gift
    This was a Christmas gift & I couldn't find it anywhere. I'll turn to Amazon first from now on....more info
  • The Three Lives of Thomasina
    This is a wonderful family movie. Its amazing to take a trip back in time when God and prayer was still accepted by the mainstream and it was OK to make a non-religious movie with God in it. This will definately be a part of our movie library for many years to come....more info
  • Thomasina
    Do you remember those old fashioned Disney movies that you watched as a child? I can remember getting my bath sitting on the couch with a blanket and pillow as my Mother handed out bowls of freshly popped corn to all of us eagerly waiting to see Tinker Bell fly over the TV announcing what the Disney movie was going to be for the week. I remember watching this as a child and crying over the loss of the beloved cat. To my surprise the cat came back to life and changed the little girls Father into a loving Dad and they all lived happily ever after. Disney fantasy? Perhaps, but this is one of those films that takes you back years and leaves you with a happy feeling in your stomach. I looked years for this film and was surprised, then again not surprised, that Amazon actually had it. I could'nt wait to show it to my now grown children but they enjoyed it just like I did. Even our 3 cats enjoyed watching their look alike on the screen.This is a must see movie and one worth watching over and over again....more info
  • Your kids will cry but it is a great movie
    I saw this when I was a kid on WWoD and bought it for my own girls now who are cat lovers. It plays a lot differently for you as an adult, but there are still some very good messages in the movie, as well as a storyline that is constantly entertaining. I wish Thomasina had a different voice, though--that old Scottish brogue doesn't fit her very well. ...more info
  • My first love
    When I was about 9 and first saw this on the Wonderful World of Disney I was utterly enchanted. It has hovered in my imagination for over 40 years, and now with a lovely DVD transfer I can check to see just how shameful and naive my childish infatuation was. And I can honorably report that Thomasina is almost as good as I remember!

    I watched this for the first time with my nine year old grandson, and he liked it as much as I. He's a sensitive and smart young man, a bit lonely and prone to solitude, as I was. And he was as enchanted as I remember being. Susan Hampsire is beautiful, oh yes, I never loved a movie star again as I loved her. Not only gorgeous but kind, generous, sweet and utterly sure of herself. Who wouldn't want to marry her? And Patrick McGoohan, whom I loved in Scarecrow (please don't be lying again about a release this fall, please!!!), was just as good here.

    But what sets this movie above the run of the mill Disney films, which were far better than nearly everything out there today, is the well-examined battle between science and religion. McGoohan, the man of science, gruff and brutally honest, revels in self-pity after the loss of his wife and has rejected God. Hampshire, the woodland sprite with an unending belief in goodness and in God, demonstrates conclusively that there are some things science cannot explain. This argument is still with us, (see "Expelled") with science currently managing to claim it offers a plausible explanation for everything, though those increasingly convoluted descriptions will probably eventually crumble as Ptolemy's did. But with so many good things packed into one film, great child actors, gorgeous scenery, small town prejudice and gossip, humor, charm, and love...what could be better?...more info
  • A story with heart
    Thomasina captures the view of a cat with perfection. She (the cat) is lost from her first family by an accident - a diagnosis of a fatal, contagious illness which results in her being "put down" by the father of the family - a hardened veterinarian who has shut himself off from the world. This also cuts him off from his daughter Mary, who loves the cat with a special attachment. Apparently, though, the shot doesn't take - Thomasina survives to live with a loving "witch" who nurses her back to health. The vet in time meets the so called witch who opens his heart, and ultimately reunites father and daughter. This touching tale is perfect for all members of the family, but remember the tissue box....more info
  • *Wonderful Movie For Everyone!*
    This is a great movie for any animal lover.It really shows how much people love their pets.A must see for all cat lovers.Wonderful and one to watch again and again....more info
  • Not only for children
    Beautifully filmed in Scotland, this film offers darker themes than most Disney productions. I wouldn't recommend it for children under 8 or so, but adults will enjoy it more than most children's movies. Patrick McGoohan and Susan Hampshire work well with the young stars of Mary Poppins. ...more info
  • an old favorite
    I have always loved this movie . When I was a little girl it was on once a year on the Wonderful World of Disney and each year I waited for it . Adorable kids beautiful scottish setting and a great story . I never quite got the dream sequence though the movie could have done without it . This is the kind of film I like kids to see it is moral , non violent and it has a happy ending...more info
  • Disney Classic
    This was first seen by my family as a "Sunday" evening program on Disney-The Wonderful World of Disney I think. It a terrific movie with a little bit of drama and a "feel" good end result. ...more info
  • Thomasinacertainly worth t
    Wonderful kid flick...certainly worth the money and more! It's nice to find a movie that is so appropriate for children...mine are 2 and 4 and they will watch it over and over again. ...more info
  • Thomasina is Wonderful!
    This is my all time favorite Disney movie and I always looked forward to Sunday nights when Thomasina was going to be the feature film on Disney. I just rescued a female orange tabby cat, and her name is Patsy, but I'm going to change it to Thomasina. Genetically, it is very rare for an pure orange tabby to be female--most are males. I'm thrilled to finally have my "Thomasina." ...more info
  • Best of the Best
    At last! This classic story of a motherless Scottish child's love for her pet and the battle of her heart-broken veterinarian father is now preserved for us on DVD. The performances of Susan Hampshire and Patrick McGoohan and magical young Karen Dotrice are unequalled in children's film to this day. Treat yourself to a wee trip to Scotland today and watch Thomasina. ...more info
  • The Three Lives of Tomasina
    The movie was easy to order and was received shortly there after, and was in excellent shape....more info
  • Cat lovers delight!
    I have loved this movie since I was a little girl. It wonderfully captures the loving bond between a cat and it's owner....more info
  • Heartwarming Family Entertainment
    This is another of my childhood favorites. I never thought I would be able to find it on DVD. This is definitely a film to add to your collection....more info
  • Still a favorite
    I remembered this movie from my childhood. So I ordered it for my grandchild (age 3). She absolutely loves "the cat movie" and asks to watch it over and over. Appropriate films seem to be difficult to find for a young child who does not care for animation....more info
  • Three Lives of Thomasina
    A great classic! I loved this one when I was a little girl, and now my little one is enjoying it too! It's one of her favorites too!!!...more info
  • A MUST SEE for cat lovers!
    I have always had cats and love cats! When I was a young girl, this movie touched my heart so much! I again find it a movie to share with young girls today to gain appreciation of the love of a cat and the sensitivity young girls are capable of....more info
  • Better than Pollyanna
    I don't remember ever seeing this movie as a child. We got it for our daughter who loves kittens (don't all little girls). The movie is a bit of mixed bag thematically, and doesn't seem to know what it believes in. However the love story is very sweet and the actors all do a great job of endearing their characters to you....more info
  • Cute Disney Feature
    My fondness for this film extends from having watched it when it first appeared in 1964. Being all of eight years old I was quite impressed by the story and particularly by the special effects. I am less impressed by the movie as an adult, but the movie remains cute and charming and I suspect children today will enjoy it.

    Mary McDhui (played by Karen Dotrice, better known to many as Jane Banks in the movie "Mary Poppins") is the daughter of Andrew McDhui (played by veteran actor Patrick McGoohan), a veterinarian. Mrs. McDhui recently passed away and her death has affected both of them.

    Mr. McDhui is quite unpopular as he has put down several animals for a variety of reasons. While his reasons are more accepted by our modern understanding of animal health and a better understanding of suffering, for the era portrayed in the film he seems more of a harsh, unfeeling and mean man rather than a healer of animals.

    The movie would have been quite boring had not Mary McDhui's cat Thomasina become ill after an accident. Mr. McDhui is attempting to help the seeing-eye dog of a man when Mary rushes in with her cat, apparently paralyzed with tetanus. Mr. McDhui is more focused on saving the dog than on Mary's cat, and in an instant the relationship of father and daughter change significantly.

    Fortunately, we have already met local "witch" Lori MacGregor (played by beautiful Susan Hampshire). Lori is able to work miracles with animals not because she has the scientific skill of Mr. McDhui, but because she loves them and cares for them selflessly. Thus, she is a polar opposite, or complement, to Mr. McDhui. Her role in this movie will become clear shortly.

    Mary and her friends have already interacted with Lori. They have taken animals to her and she has healed them with her "magic." Lori comes upon the children when they are preparing to bury Thomasina, who is actually not dead but paralyzed. Lori frightens the children away and discovers the cat. Lori takes the cat to her hut in the woods and tends to the cat.

    Somewhere in this midst of Thomasina's paralysis is a wonderful scene with the cat in a dream-like state that I enjoy each time I see it. Thomasina learns that she must return to the world because there is more for her to do. But when Thomasina returns, she has lost all memory of her life with Mary.

    The players are all in place and the final acts are ready to begin, but you will have to watch the movie to see how it all comes out. Will Mary and her father reconcile? How far do the complementary talents of Lori and Mr. McDhui extend? Is it possible that they need each other? What of poor Thomasina? Just where will the pivotal character in our play end up, and will she return to life healthy?

    I have said in previous reviews that when Disney got a film right, the results were fun and enjoyable. Such is the case with this film. Disney chose a quaint story and executed filming well. This film marked Karen Dotrice's first appearance along with Matthew Garber's first appearance as Mary's friend Geordie. Soon the pair would star in their greatest role as the Banks children in "Mary Poppins." In this film both were fresh faces and brought a wonderful innocence to their roles. Patrick McGoohan is a great actor who excels in all his roles, and the relationship between him and Susan Hampshire was natural fun to watch evolve. Susan Hampshire was wonderful in her role and seemed much like a real country girl.

    This Disney movie classic belongs in all family home film libraries. Though there are a few intense moments in the movie that earn this film a PG rating, I believe this film is suitable for even the youngest members of the family with a little adult guidance and participation.

    Enjoy!
    ...more info
  • Odd but touching movie - amazing that it was aimed at kids
    Seeing action star/spy/"hard guy" Patrick McGoohan in a "Disney movie" was a novel experience, but then this didn't strike me as a typical Disney flick. For one thing, the predominant theme is death. McGoohan's wife is dead, the family cat is put to death, the daughter "kills and buries" her father (in her mind) - wow, pretty heavy stuff to lay on a young audience! McGoohan plays the part of a veterinarian in a small Scottish village, but when we're introduced to him, he's not exactly making friends with the locals. He immediately gets a reputation for heartlessness when he suggest to one woman that her very old dog is suffering and would be better off being put to sleep. (He throws in that he thinks she's being selfish, just in case he wasn't already cold-blooded enough!) The family crisis comes when he is in the middle of surgery on a blind man's dog. His daughter arrives with Thomasina, the family cat, who has contracted tetanus. He can't be bothered to even check her out, and instructs his assistant to put her down. Only the most stone-hearted will remain dry-eyed in the following trip to "cat heaven". But Thomasina's mission has only begun, and the remainder of the film is McGoohan's attempts to reconcile with his daughter and Thomasina's role in bringing them back together.

    There are so many things about this movie that put it out of the ordinary. If they dropped the *very* Disney-esque opening theme song and filmed it more at an adult eye-level (it is filmed very much from the physical point of view of a child), and added a Merchant/Ivory sepia tone, this would be regarded as a great adult movie or "Masterpiece Theater" (think "All Creatures Great and Small") material. The Scottish accents (including at one scene in Gaelic) must have been incomprehensible to children's audiences when it was released, and Thomasina's "funeral", including bagpipes, bier, and procession through town, is not the sort of thing I'd imagine kids found cheery.

    Totally unlike anything being made today, it isn't so much anachronistic as a reminder of how dumbed-down and emotionally sterile children's programming has become. It doesn't flog any specific message, but is definitely a movie that (if you can get a little one used to more frantic entertainment to sit through it) will make a deep and positive impression. Very highly recommended....more info