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The 'Cats' movie was so bad it drove Andrew Lloyd Webber to get a dog

The famous composer was so "emotionally damaged" by the 2019 Hollywood version of his legendary musical that he needed some canine therapy.
Getty Images, Alamy

The movie version of "Cats" was so bad it made Andrew Lloyd Webber go to the dogs.

The famous British composer shared with Variety that he was so "emotionally damaged" by the 2019 Hollywood bomb of his iconic Broadway musical that he went and bought a dog for therapeutic reasons.

The movie became fodder for endless internet jokes when it famously tanked so hard that even two of its own stars, James Corden and Rebel Wilson, mocked the film during last year's Oscars ceremony.

Lloyd Webber, 73, was ruminating on the quality of the cinematic versions of his musicals over the years, including "Jesus Christ Superstar," "The Phantom of the Opera," and "Evita," when he took a moment to dunk on "Cats."

"‘Cats’ was off-the-scale all wrong,” Lloyd Webber told Variety. “There wasn’t really any understanding of why the music ticked at all. I saw it and I just thought, ‘Oh, God, no.’ It was the first time in my 70-odd years on this planet that I went out and bought a dog. So the one good thing to come out of it is my little Havanese puppy.”

The movie had promise on paper with a big-name cast that also included Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift and Ian McKellen, but audiences relegated it to the litter box.

The silver lining is that Lloyd Webber's dog is now a cherished presence in the British composer's life to the point that he plans to take him to Broadway the next time he visits New York City.

“I wrote off and said I needed him with me at all times because I’m emotionally damaged and I must have this therapy dog,” he said. “The airline wrote back and said, ‘Can you prove that you really need him?’

"And I said ‘Yes, just see what Hollywood did to my musical 'Cats.'’ Then the approval came back with a note saying, ‘No doctor’s report required.’”

For the record, the Hollywood adaption of one of his musicals that Lloyd Webber liked the most was "Evita," the 1996 movie starring Madonna as former Argentine first lady Eva Perón.

“To this day, I don’t think anybody else could have done it better,” he said.