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The Three Lives of Thomasina (1963)

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Susan Hampshire, Karen Dotrice, more...
Director: Don Chaffey
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Studio: Walt Disney Video
Genre: Drama, Foreign, British Drama, Fantasy, UK
Running Time: 97 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Based on a whimsical novel by Paul Gallico, Disney's Three Lives of Thomasina is an imaginative tale of a resourceful cat. Thomasina is the pet of Karen Dotrice, the daughter of taciturn Scottish veterinarian Patrick McGoohan. When Thomasina falls ill, McGoohan coldly diagnoses the cat as suffering from tetanus and declares that the pet must be put out of its misery. As Dotrice and her friends sadly prepare to bury the "dead" Thomasina, backwoods girl Susan Hampshire, who is said to be a witch, shows up and runs off with the kitty corpse. Using equal doses of intuition and love, Hampshire revives Thomasina, who of course wasn't dead at all. While in limbo, Thomasina ascends to Cat Heaven, where her case is heard by the Cat Goddess (this is a wonderful piece of special-effects wizardry, even if you don't like cats). Returned to life, Thomasina has no memory of her previous existence. Thus, the cat runs off in terror when Dotrice sees her again during a torrential downpour. Now it is Dotrice who becomes seriously ill, necessitating a collaboration between the cold, cut-and-dried ministrations of her father and the tender loving care of the "bewitched" Hampshire. As it turns out, Thomasina is the catalyst for both Dotrice's recovery and the film's happy ending. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Childhood favorite by Texan99 September 5, 2010 - 2:53 PM PDT
This film about a little girl who has transferred some of her desperate love for her late mother onto her beloved cat hit me very, very hard when I saw it as a child in 1964. Some reviewers have objected to the girl's inappropriate rejection of her blameless father, which I think only shows they don't grasp the shattering effect of death (a double death) on a child that young. For years after seeing this movie I fantasized about my own cat coming back to life (easier to imagine than one's mother), and I've never really shook off the ambition to become the nutty Wiccan animal-healer woman in the clearing in the woods, either. Pretty strong impression for a film I haven't watched in over 40 years. Adults think children don't need funerals and other means of processing grief, but they do.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.20)
5 Votes
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