The irony on loyalty lies in the fact that this family of cats is more loyal to their owner than her butler. Their loyalty rivals that of dogs; cats are not expected to be devoted to their owners.
The butler, Edgar (Roddy Maude-Roxby), finds out the cats will receive everything over him in Madame’s (Hermione Baddeley) will. He thinks he is receiving “stocks and bonds, [the] mansion…treasures, jewels”; however, she wants the cats to “inherit first”. Because of this unexpected turn of events, he decides “those cats have got to go”.
The only loyalty Edgar shows towards his mistress is when he thinks he will get something out of it. His loyalty to her money is more important than Madame and her cats.
After finding themselves lost, the cats are dedicated to going back to “Paris”. They need to make it back to their “human” because “she loves [them] very much” and they love her. People expect cats to not care about their owners, but this movie shows cats do hold a sense of loyalty to their masters.
Duchess (Eva Gabor) is worried about Madame and wants to get home as soon as possible. She does not want her owner to worry about them. Her loyalty towards Madame even prevents her from giving in to her desire and attraction to Thomas O’Malley (Phil Harris). Duchess says she could never leave Madame; they are more than “house-pets” and need to go home.
Then there is Scat Cat (Scatman Crothers) and his band. These cats play late into the night on their many instruments. Though you would expect the neighbors to be upset by the loud music, no one seems to complain. They even take to the streets with their instruments and no one seems to mind.
Irony represents the unexpected in a story. In this film, we expect cats to defy their owners and be terrible singers and musicians. However, Disney presents this film with devoted cats who have great musical abilities.
Class, gender, and roles are exemplified in this film.
Check-out the variety of tropes in The AristoCats!
Thank you for reading!