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Cats: Get a look behind the scenes of musical's feature film adaptation

Come one, come all to the magical, mystical Jellicle Ball. 

Universal Pictures invited viewers behind the scenes of its upcoming film Cats, a silver-screen take on the famous musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber based on T.S. Eliot's collection of poems Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, with a brand-new featurette. 

Dropped ahead of the release of the film's first trailer on Friday, July 19, the Cats clip shows its star-studded cast discussing what it was like to shoot the movie, work with Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech, Les Misérables), collaborate with other big-name celebrities, and learn the choreography to the grand dances and the lyrics to wonderfully eccentric songs. The video also teases how the actors were transformed into the oddly-named cats who make up the Jellicle tribe: not through full-body fur suits, but via cutting-edge technology that digitally adds fur onto their bodies in post-production.

Cats features an absolutely glittering cast: Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, James Corden as Bustopher Jones, Taylor Swift as Bombalurina, Jason Derulo as Rum Tum Tugger, Idris Elba as Macavity, Rebel Wilson as Jennyanydots, Ray Winstone as Growltiger, Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy, Ian McKellen as Gus the Theatre Cat, Robert Fairchild as Munkustrap, Laurie Davidson as Mr. Mistoffelees, Steven McRae as Skimbleshanks, and too many more to feasibly name here. 

Dench described her time on the Cats set as "a kind of Alice in Wonderland experience," and admitted that she never thought she'd get a chance to be a part of the story. The actress was all set to star in the 1981 stage version of Cats, but an achilles tendon injury forced her to back out of the project. "I thought that was my history with Cats," Dench said in the featurette. "But it turns out not to be."

With one of the most sterling rosters in recent memory and with a respected filmmaker standing at the helm, Cats should become a box office success and a hit with audiences. Another film adaptation of a beloved musical, Hooper's Les Misérables was both a money-maker and a crowd-pleaser — earning $441.8 million worldwide against a $61 million budget and satisfied general viewers even more than it did critics. There's very little reason to believe that Hooper would turn out a stinker with Cats, especially with so many seasoned actors and decorated musicians on board. 

Cats will pounce into theaters on December 20.