That Darn Cat
That Darn Cat is a remake of the 1965 version of That Darn Cat. The film centers around Patti, a rebellious teenager, and her cat D.C. (short for Darn Cat) who lives in Edgefield, South Carolina. Edgefield is a small town where everyone knows each other and the town can be especially dull most of the time. Patti longs for some excitement in her life and she gets it when one evening D.C. comes home from an outing, wearing a wrist watch around his neck. The next morning, Patti sees that same watch in a picture in the newspaper on the wrist of a woman who had recently been kidnapped. Patti receives her long awaited excitement, as she and a FBI agent follow D.C. around the city, looking for clues to the whereabouts of the kidnapped woman.
- Starring: Christine Ricci and Doug E. Doug
- Director(s): Bob Spiers
- Producer(s): TDC Productions
- Screenwriter(s): Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski
- Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures
- Release Date: Wednesday, February 14, 1996
- Rating: Acceptable
Featured Animal Action
In one scene, D.C. is seen walking on the roof-top of the school, as he goes to meet Patti. He then exits down the fire escape, looks into a classroom window and runs towards Patti, standing in front of the school building. This scene was shot in cuts. For the portion of the cat walking down the fire escape and looking into the classroom, trainer #1 released the cat while trainer #2 cued him to walk out of the frame and stop. When the cat runs towards Patti, trainer #1 released the cat while trainer #2 cued the cat with a buzzer. As Patti's mother is driving down the street, D.C., in Patti's lap with paws placed on the door, hangs his head out the window as they drive past a few shops. Upon seeing and smelling fresh fish being unloaded, D.C. jumps out of the window and towards the fish. This scene was shot in cuts. When the cat jumps out of the window the vehicle was secured on a trailer. Trainer #1 was in the back seat as trainer #2, waiting outside the vehicle, cued the cat to jump where he was waiting to catch him. Later, while still in town, Patti sees D.C. sitting in the street and picks him up and walks through town with him. After putting him down, D.C. is seen walking across a tree branch to a window sill and sits on the sill to watch a bird in it's cage. The bird squawks as D.C. takes his paw and reaches out to the cage to play. This scene was shot in several different cuts. After the actor puts the cat down, the trainer cued the cat with a buzzer to come. For the portion of the cat walking across the tree branch, a special platform made out of foam plastic was built under the tree branch so the cat could securely walk to the window sill. Trainer #1 released the cat while trainer #2 cued the cat with a buzzer to walk along the branch. As a safety precaution, additional trainers were strategically positioned under the tree. There is a scene where D.C. sees a ham in a butcher shop window and goes in to get a nibble. The scene was shot in cuts. For the A to B shot from the door to the window, trainer #1 released the cat while trainer #2 cued him to his mark with a buzzer and clicker. Cat food was placed on top of the ham. Trainer #1 cued the cat with a buzzer to the ham where he then licked and chewed at the cat food, simulating eating the ham. In another scene D. C. is sitting and then lying on the stove. When the clock chimes eight, he suddenly gets up and jumps off of the stove and makes his way towards the window and jumps out for his nightly prowl. D.C. runs down the sidewalk through a yard and onto a box, where he jumps up to the top of a fence and onto a tree limb. From the ground below, a rat pokes his head out of a trash can and watches D.C.'s descent. D.C. slowly makes his way across the tree branch towards Smokey, the neighbor's dog, and his bowl of kibbles. A tree branch breaks and Smokey runs towards the sound. Meanwhile, D.C. jumps down and starts to devour the bowl of kibbles until he is spotted by Smokey. D.C. makes a quick retreat towards a loose board in the fence. After successfully making it through the hole, the board flips backwards, hitting Smokey in the nose as he approaches the hole. This scene was shot in several cuts. When Smokey is supposedly hit with the board, the trainer very slowly brought the board up to the dogs chin, lightly touching him underneath the chin. This action was filmed from various angles. Later the same action was filmed without the dog present and the board was flipped up at a faster pace. During post production both shots were spliced together making it look as if the dog was hit with the board. The sounds were also inserted during post production. D.C. is then seen looking at his girlfriend through a glass door, but when he hears someone approaching he runs down a fire escape. He is then seen walking up to a gas station where he approaches a vending machine. With his paw, D.C. presses the milk button and a few droplets of milk come out and he slurps it up. He then makes his rounds to the butcher shop and diner, looking in the windows. D.C. is later seen coming out of a trash can and running up some steps to a door where he goes in through a hole in the bottom. He sees a lady tied to a chair and jumps up into her lap. This is when the woman puts her watch around the cats neck in hopes of someone finding her. D.C. then goes back out of the door and hops onto a garbage truck for a free ride home. This scene was shot in several cuts. The trainer placed the cat on his mark and cued him with a buzzer. For the segment of D.C. visiting Snowball, his girlfriend, four trainers were used for this scene. A buzzer was used to cue the cats inside and out to their marks. When the cat is seen pressing the button to get some milk, this was a pre-trained behavior with a buzzer used to cue him. When Zeke and his men are staking out the cat, Zeke is inside Patti's house waiting for D.C. to go prowling about the town. After the clock strikes eight, D.C. just sits on the table flicking his tail around. Just when they are about to give up, he jumps on Zeke's head using it as a launch pad and jumps out the window. He starts to follow the same route he does every night with the exception that FBI agents are following him. When he gets to Smokey's yard he runs through the flap in the fence and enters the yard. He then climbs up the tree and walks on the branch and jumps down to the bowl. The agent following him, climbs the fence and falls on his descent. Smokey hears the commotion and attacks the agent, leaving the bowl of kibbles unprotected. Smokey makes one more attempt on the agent as he grabs his pants when the man climbs over the fence to escape. D.C. hurries and makes a quick escape out through the flap in the fence. The loose board smacks Smokey in the face and one of the agents in the head. This scene was shot in several cuts and from various angles. When the board supposedly hits the dog in the face, the same procedure as described earlier was used. Both the cat and dog were pre-trained for this scene. The trainer placed the dog on his mark and cued him with verbal and hand commands. D.C. makes another stop at Snowball's house. When the two see each other, Snowball becomes excited and hisses, surprising the agent below and he falls from his hiding place, discharging his gun into the air. D.C. jumps off the fire escape and onto the hood of a car below and makes his way to the gas station. At the station, D.C. is walking around one of the agents legs when he sees a rat. He immediately runs after the rat with the agent not far behind. The scene was shot in several cuts. For the segment at Snowball's house six trainers were used. Four trainers were inside using verbal and hand commands to cue Snowball, while outside, trainer #1 released D.C. with trainer #2 inside to cue him to paw towards the agent. When D.C. chases the rat and the portion of the rat running, three trainer were used. The rat was buzzed from A to B with a buzzer for short ten to fifteen feet runs. Two rats were alternately used for the scene. The cat and rat were not filmed at the same time. Two trainers cued the cat with a buzzer. When the cat jumps on top of the car, trainer #1 cued the cat with a buzzer to jump on the hood of the car and to stay. Trainer #2 cued the cat to jump off and run towards the door. Later, D.C. is seen running around a corner, through an alley, and up some steps, to the old woman's window where the bird sits. D.C. stretches towards the bird cage and jumps onto the top and swings back and forth. After teasing the bird, he jumps off the cage and back down the steps. This scene was shot in several cuts. Three trainers were used for this scene. Two trainers were off camera to cue the cat for simple A to B shots. A stuffed prop cat was used for the shot of the cat on top of the bird cage. A trainer hidden off camera maneuvered the cage back and forth. When the cat jumps down the steps, the trainers cued the cat with a buzzer for a short A to B shot. As D. C. is seen running down the alley, two trainers off camera used buzzers to cue the cat. Mr. Randall, Patti's father, sees D.C. in the street that same night and picks him up. He does not realize he is being watched by the FBI and when they approach him, D.C. jumps down and onto the hood of a car, escaping. He is later seen walking across the top of a stone fence, up a tree branch, and then entering a room. This scene was shot in cuts. Two trainers were used. Trainer #1 released the cat and cued him with a buzzer onto the hood while trainer #2, off camera, buzzed the cat out of the shot. There is a scene where Patti sees D.C. digging in the garden in the town square and where he finds a piece of cloth. She follows him to the kidnappers, where she and D.C. are caught as well. When D.C. is seen in the garden, trainer #1 placed the cat on his mark and cued him to stay. The cat was pre-trained to hold the cloth in his mouth. A piece of monofilament was also used to assist in keeping the cloth in his mouth. When D. C. takes off down the alley, trainer #1 released the cat as trainer #2 cued him with a buzzer down the street and into the alley. Shortly thereafter, Zeke finds Patti and D.C. at the kidnappers tied up with the original kidnap victim. The scene was shot in several cuts. For the portion of D.C. tied up, a portion of the cats body is seen inside a burlap sack with his head sticking out and a blind fold over his eyes. The cat was pre-trained to lay still inside the cloth bag which was loosely tied at the neck area along with a loose piece of cloth pulled over the eyes. The blindfold was similar to a cloth stretch head-band worn by humans. When the cat jumps over the agents head and onto the pinball machine, the cat was buzzed from A to B and cued to stay. The cat is seen riding in the back window of the truck. For this shot a box was built up on the bench seat with a carpet surface. The cat was wearing a waist tie down as trainer #1, positioned behind the seat, was holding the tie down. During the chase scene, D.C. swats at Zeke's face before getting fed up and jumping out the truck window, when stopped. The truck was towed behind a process truck going about fifteen to twenty miles an hour. The trainer doubled for the actor for the portion of the cat swatting at the agent. He cued the cat to paw at his jacket or face. When the truck is stopped, the trainer behind the seat releases the quick release mechanism on the tie down. Trainer #2, waiting outside the truck, cued the cat with a buzzer to exit out the truck window. There is a scene where Smokey enters a cat show which causes complete chaos. This scene was shot in several cuts. When Smokey discovers the cat show, the dog is cued A to B and the cats seen in the background were trained cats, carried by their trainers. When Smokey runs under a mans legs, causing him to fall with a cat in him arms, the actor holding the cat was actually a stunt person, who fell on a mat with the cat held away from the fall. When the cats are seen running under Smokey's legs, the dog was cued to stand with the trainer off camera. The cat trainers released the cats from each side of the room and cued them with a buzzer to run under the dog to the opposite side of the room and into catch crates. There are several segments where Smokey is seen pulling table cloths and such off of the tables in pursuit of the cats. To accomplish this type of stunt, trainers looped a dust ruffle loosely around the dogs neck so that when he moved, the cloth would come away. When the cats run out of the hall, they are cued A to B with a buzzer with extra's following behind. All of the people involved in this scene with animals were trainers or stunt people instructed by animal trainers. Most of the objects seen knocked over or simply falling around the animals, were accomplished through special effects. They were tied with monofilament and triggered by the special effects technicians. There is a segment where a banner is seen falling and a cat is hanging on the banner, a prop cat was used for this scene. At no time was a real cat used for that shot. In the meantime, D.C., riding in a tow truck with Patti and Zeke, notices all the commotion. When Zeke stops the truck, D.C. immediately jumps out of the window onto the street. Trainer #2 was inside the pick-up behind the back seat. The cat was sitting on the special platform behind the front seat with a quick release tie down around his waist. Trainer #2 released the cat and trainer #1, outside the truck, cued the cat with a buzzer out the window and off camera. During the chase scene, the kidnappers are seen speeding past town hall, just as the cats are fleeing the cat show. All of the commotion causes the kidnappers to wreck their vehicle. For this scene, two cats are seen being carried by extras as the other cats are buzzed from A to B. to catch crates waiting for them. To accomplish the segment of the cats jumping from roof-top to roof-top, a building facade was built. One side of the facade was eight feet tall with a platform behind and the other side was six feet tall. For safety precautions, traction was added on a two foot wide walk area on top of the platform with a stunt pad below. In the ending scene, D.C. is seen with his girlfriend and several little kittens exiting an alley and walking across the street. Several trainers were used for this scene. D.C. is cued with a buzzer into the frame and then Snowball is cued into frame. Trainers at point A release the kittens while trainers at point B cued them with a buzzer to their next mark, with food as a reward. The area was fenced with an opening at each end. Other basic animal action involving the cat, is when he is seen lying or sitting on the stove at breakfast. In several scenes he is seen being carried or stroked by one of the actors or walking from A to B. There is also a scene where D. C. jumps out of the car window to join Patti on her excursion to the FBI. offices.