Found-Again Friday: The Three Lives of Thomasina

Sorry for missing last week: I guess I’m about as good at keeping to my writing schedule while distracted as you people are at voting in blog polls.

Here we are, at the third of perhaps six live-action Disney movies that occupied my youth (I’m trying to decide whether to buy the fifth, and the sixth is The Misadventures of Merlin Jones, to which I am declaring the less well-known eternal No).

Why Found-Again? It’s probably hard to find an adult audience for this: Unlike The Moon-Spinners with its intrigue or Darby O’Gill with its grown-up problems, this is pretty definitely a child-focused movie. Thanks to my natural immaturity, however, I persevered.

The Premise: What if James Herriot had been a widower with no bedside manner whatsoever?

Widower/veterinarian/emotionally crippled person Andrew MacDhui * (the Secret Agent Man himself, Patrick McGoohan) has an already strained relationship with his young daughter when he kind of kills her cat. Fortunately, the titular feline Thomasina is more resilient than she looks, and she’s taken in by a woman rumored to be a witch (Susan Hampshire:  if you told me she was the prettiest woman on earth when this was filmed, I’d believe you).

I think the ideal audience for this movie was probably kids exactly like me: raised on James Herriot stories and not allowed to have a cat. (Fans of Egyptian myth will also enjoy Thomasina’s brief trip to kitty heaven.)

The Verdict: Can you doubt it? Right back down the rabbit hole for me. Sure, it’s Disney, but beneath that is a story about the problems we have relating to each other as humans and the role our relationships with animals can play in solving those. And if that’s too sappy for you, there’s a snooty cat in a bonnet.

On the other hand, I’m still not sure what to make of the plot point where it’s essential to save the life of a guide dog who wandered into traffic. I hope that village also has a good doctor.

Might go well with: Fish, the All Creatures Great and Small TV series.


*When I saw this movie at age 8, I loved learning how to spell this. It’s still fun to type, in fact. MacDhui MacDhui MacDhui.


Next time: Connor MacLeod + fun. Weird.


J. A.

It reads. It writes. It watches. It researches. It overdoes many of those things!

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