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Twitter Is Completely Roasting The New Cats Trailer

The latest Cats trailer seems to be just as much of a trainwreck as the first, and Twitter can't look away.

Universal has released the second teaser for its upcoming musical film, and despite having months to parse out where that first trailer — or perhaps the entire movie — went wrong, it looks like the studio has failed to find a way to course-correct. Twitter users have returned to puzzle over the Broadway adaptaion's odd storyline and the "digital fur technology" that has the Twitterverse plummeting into the Uncanny Valley.

With a story based on a set of poems by T.S. Eliot, the big-screen adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical follows a tribe of cats who call themselves the Jellicle, as they prepare for the Jellicle Ball. At the annual event, one among them will be selected by the tribe's furry leader, Old Deuteronomy, to ascend to a place called the Heaviside Lair where the chosen one will be reborn. 

Since its 1981 stage premiere in the West End at the New London Theatre in England, the zany musical has managed to develop both a cult and critical following —  but not even its all-star cast could save the film version's trailers from a social media dogpiling. The slightly different material featured in the second spot made no difference; generally, Twitter is still equally confused, and... well, repulsed by what it saw. 

One user summed up the general reception pretty succinctly, tweeting, "I have several questions regarding #CatsMovie... they're cats why do they have HUMAN FEATURES... Are they human sized or cat sized? Because if they're cat sized then why did a cat wear a human's shoe in the new trailer? JUST CAUSE YOU CAN MAKE THIS MOVIE DOESN'T MEAN YOU SHOULD." 

Another was even more blunt, writing, "Anyone else think the Cats trailer is freaking awful?! I mean this is a stage show that's been going since 1981..... and they have turned it into a bloody computer generated mutant!!! It looks so false and over the top when it should just be like the stage show!"

Sharing a picture of his actual cat, writer and popular memer Jesse McLaren offered a bit of deadpan humor: "Anyone have a home for this little guy? His name is Louie," he wrote. "I've had him for 10 years, but after watching the new Cats trailer I don't trust any of these f***ing things in my home.

Some are being a little kinder to the second look at Cats

Despite being on the receiving end of yet another round of hilarious backlash, there seems to be one area in which the new trailer has gone completely right for some: Taylor Swift. 

The new spot features a bit more of a streamlined focus on certain... um, cat-people, and Taylor Swift's character — the flirtatious Bombalurina — has significantly more screen time, as does Judi Dench's gender-swapped Old Deuteronomy. Where the original trailer served as more of a headshot reel, putting a name to the cat-face of just about every major star in the celebrity-packed flick, the second spends more time explaining why exactly all of these CGI cat-monsters (we're sorry, we can't help it) are here, dancing around. 

Swift in particular has several close-ups that offer a better look at her cat's design. Her glittery "catnip" scene from the first trailer returns, alongside new footage of the pop songstress dancing in front of a hanging crescent moon, and on a bar where she shimmies and shakes while flanked by backup dancers. As such, at least one subset of Twitter has responded positively to the new spot: T-Swift fans. 

"Seeing @taylorswift13 in full fur as a singing theatrical cat will never get old for me," one user tweeted, while another wrote, "I can't believe Taylor Swift was paid to be a cat... write a song and sing it... as a cat. I genuinely cannot think of a situation more perfectly made for her."

A significant chunk of the second trailer is also dedicated to spotlighting how stars Jason DeRulo, Dench, James Cordon, Rebel Wilson, and Francesca Hayward look and move during dance sequences while digitally furred-up. There's a lot going on visually in these sequences, from the sets to the lighting to the background performers, and we're of the opinion that this makes it difficult to focus on any one thing. That might be intentional, but even if not, it does come in useful during moments in which the animation makes the actors' movements seem... well, glitchy and unnatural.

The glitchiness only makes matters worse when the entirety of the film's character design aesthetic seems specifically calibrated to give nightmares to anyone who isn't, specifically, a huge fan of the theatrical production. But just as Swift's fans have come out in support of her appearance, many of the play's super-fans have also been more vocal in their defense of it. After one user tweeted "Still very weird," for instance, another replied, "Have u watched the original play? It's supposed to be weird! It wouldn't be Cats if it wasn't."  Opined another: "People are being very dramatic. It's hardly scary. As a huge fan of the stage show... it's exactly what I was expecting."

Expressing the general consensus of the spot's defenders was David Neary, assistant editor at Cineaste Magazine. "Some of the face mappings still look wonky as all hell, but like otherwise that's a cute dumb little trailer for Cats," he wrote. "Not sure what everyone's going nuts about."

It looks like this cat-fight won't be settled until we how the film performs at the box office. Cats opens in theaters on December 20, 2019, against a small, unheralded film titled Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. We're sure it'll do fine.