If you need a brief respite from the world these days, why not a visit to a world where there are no people at all and only singing and dancing cats? Like, oh I don’t know, the movie Cats? While such a movie may indeed provide a way to escape our bleak circumstances (by going to a place where the bleak circumstances may perhaps resulted in a dystopian future where only cats survive), not everyone loves the film — including Andrew Lloyd Webber, the composer of the original Cats musical based on the poems of T.S. Eliot.

Webber was particularly unenthused about one particular component of the film: The interpretation of Bustopher Jones by actor and late-night host James Corden. According to Cinema Blend, Webber recently held an online watchalong party for the Cats stage show in honor of his late cat Mika (RIP). When Bustopher appeared onscreen (again, in the stage version), Webber had this to say, making several obvious allusions to the Cats movie, directed by Tom Hooper, and its Bustopher, played by Corden:

Bustopher without interruption, as I wrote it. Do not be beguiled by other versions. Other versions with unfunny interpolations which I begged to be cut out. I did manage to get the worst of them removed. I cannot tell you how absolutely un-Eliot it all was in this song.

I can’t relate to creating a beloved Broadway musical, only to watch it turned into a bizarre cult film with teleporting cats, barge fights, and teeny tiny cat people dancing on train rails and what not. It’s probably not a great feeling. So Webber is more than welcome to his opinion. For even more Cats goodness, you can also listen to the Why Is Cats? podcast, in which comedians Cameron James and Ben Ellwood dig into the fascination around Cats. They recently had me on as a guest during its final episode, which also fears an appearance by none other than Skimbleshanks himself, Steven McRae.

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