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Friday, Dec 21, 2001

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Cats and Dogs

WARNER BROS International's ``Cats And Dogs" will make you wish that your pets could talk to you now and then to know what they think. And this is no soft gentle story about pets, please! It's all about a secret, ancient rivalry between cats and dogs with the balance tilting towards the dogs perhaps much to the dismay of cat lovers. And that's not all - both the cats and dogs are high tech and their war is technology driven and could give man a run for the strategies they work on.

You have the cutest and the oddest bunch of canines that represent a crack team of dog agents with a loyal puppy Lou thrown in for that learning experience and for that final edge between mankind and slavery. Finally of course they all relearn some lessons on love and loyalty from the youngest member the pup.

When a rogue feline, Mr. Tinkles, a snow-white cat with a pink nose, initiates a plan to strategically disable the world's dog population and leave humans defenceless against his tyranny, these agents do their best to fight.

The entire film is about how plans and counter plans are worked out and foiled and the extent to which the diabolical Tinkles goes to rule over the dogs. Cat lovers are not going to find this very amusing though. The director Larry Gutreman will have to contend with that. It's a new kind of comedy that utilises a convergence of technologies _ live action, puppetry, and animation. There is also a live action cast that includes Jeff Goldblum, Elizabeth Perkins and Alexander Pollack, who make up the Brody family. Because professor Brody is involved in finding a cure for people who are allergic to dogs, the Brody home and yard are designated ground zero in Mr. Tinkles's battle plan.

Giving voices to the dogs are Alec Baldwin, Tobey Maguire, Micheal Clarke Duncan, Joe Pantoliani, and Susan Sarandon. For the cats Sean Hayes and Jon Lovitz provide the voices _ with terrific results.

CHITRA MAHESH

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