Zyra.at //// Zyra's front page //// Common mistakes in movies //// Movie Companies //// Cats //// Site Index

CATS; often faked-up or badly dubbed in movies

If you understand cats, you'll know what I mean. When you're watching a movie, and a cat appears, it's usually accompanied by a dubbed caterwauling sound effect entirely inappropriate to the situation which the cat is in!

This type of thing is common, especially in cheap horror movies which have a lot of the "make you jump" stunts which the film-makers presumably consider are an adequate substitute for suspense, pathos, drama, and situational horror which audiences can relate to.

To illustrate this, imagine you're watching a horror movie in which a character who you've grown to like is exploring a haunted house. The scene is dark and spooky with mysterious shadows and strange objects, and the orchestral music plays in a tense style in a minor key with scary quirks. You're feeling sympathy with the character as they explore the sinister surroundings, and you wonder if something horrific might be revealed at any moment. Then, a curtain is drawn back, and there a CAT! But instead of the cat looking surprised and a bit timid to be suddenly unveiled by a stranger in their house, the cat takes an unexpected and uncharacteristic flying leap over the person's shoulder, and we hear a cat-yowling sound which has been dubbed over from someone else treading on the tail of a cat! Completely out of context, and about as believable as a tortoise going for your throat.

As well as excuses to make you jump, other cat scenarios are seen in movies where visually there's a cat, and so someone in the Foley department just felt they must add a stock-footage effect labelled "Cat Meow" or something like that. Typically, there'll be a cat walking past quite calmly, while a very loud MEOW sound is dubbed over, probably from another cat which someone has upset and recorded. Yet, no cat would make that sound in the scenario being seen.

This all may be to do with a common misunderstanding, as in truth, cats don't meow that much. It's almost as if they don't speak unless they've got something to say.

Also see cats, movie mistakes, misconceptions, etc.

A similar criticism has been levelled at instances of rats in movies shown while a rat-squeaking sound is played. Rats do not make that audible squeaking sound unless they are upset, and the body-language of the rats is the movie scenes does not fit.

Also see swooshing spacecraft