Cats in the Museum

image for Cats in the Museum

Short takes

Not suitable under 3; parental guidance to 6 (violence, scary scenes, themes)

classification logo

This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Cats in the Museum
  • a review of Cats in the Museum completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 20 June 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 3 Not suitable due to violence, themes and scary scenes.
Children aged 3–6 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, themes and scary scenes.
Children aged 7 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Cats in the Museum
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes and violence, some scenes may scare very young children
Length: 79 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Washed overboard from the ship that had been his home, Vincent (voice of Roman Kurtsyn) finds himself on a deserted island, in the remains of an old mansion, where he happily lives until the combined forces of a freak storm and a strange accident result in the destruction of the house and his near death. Saved from the sea by a mouse named Maurice (voice of Diomid Vinogradov), who allows him to hide inside a floating harpsichord, the pair soon become fast friends. The harpsichord is plucked from the ocean by a passing ship and delivered to the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg where the pair encounter an elite team of cats, honoured with the task of guarding the museum’s artistic treasures from every type of threat and danger. Vincent, desperate to belong to a family and find his place in the world, wants this new group to think highly of him but at the same time doesn’t want to ruin his friendship with Maurice whom the museum cats want to eat. Vincent walks a fine line between concealing his friend from the other cats and attempting to join them in protecting the many treasures. A task made even more difficult by the fact that mice, and Maurice is no exception, like nothing more than to taste magnificent artwork. With the imminent delivery of the Mona Lisa, Maurice is ecstatically looking forward to sampling something that no other mouse has sunk their teeth into. But between the shenanigans of a crazy ghost, the demands of being part of a protective squadron and the attention of a seductive feline called Cleopatra (voice of Polina Gagarina), Vincent struggles to get his priorities straight and must do the unexpected to help save the painting from a greater threat than he had ever imagined.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Separation from family; Animalistic nature; Betrayal; Sexist stereotypes and the danger of looking outward to find value that should come from within.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • A dog smashes into the side of a ship that is being dragged out to sea. The tide slams it back into an island, which causes a landslide and a house to break apart.
  • An army of rats attack a palace in Saint Petersburg. They are defeated by a gang of cats.
  • Maurice lands on a toy train that begins racing him down an incomplete track. When the track ends the train crashes to the floor below and Maurice is flung into the air where he lands in a suspended crate containing an ancient urn. The crate crashes down and Maurice is chased by the large urn that is now rolling uncontrollably towards him. He is nearly crushed against a wall but manages to outmanoeuvre just in time.
  • The urn releases an ancient ghost that terrifies Cleopatra and chases her away.
  • A gang of cats chases and tries to capture a ghost. The ghost slams himself into Vincent, possessing him. There is a bit of a struggle as the two inhabit the same body before the ghost flies away, dragging what looks like half of Vincent with him.
  • The ghost drops Vincent and he falls over a river.
  • When a painting is ruined, the gang of cats turn on each other and then turn on Vincent.
  • Maurice is almost hit by a police car. He clings to the front of a car until he flies off and lands on another.
  • A cat threatens to attack Maurice.
  • A ghost possesses a cat, knocking him into things before nearly crushing Maurice and knocking paint pots onto the cat’s head.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There are a number of instances where a menacing-looking dog barks, snarls and growls, while running to attack Vincent. Usually he will fly out the window and bounce away but this doesn’t always happen and when the dog first attacks, Vincent is quite frightened.
  • Maurice and Vincent are terrified when the house they are living in is destroyed while they are inside. They individually escape certain death as everything crashes and crumbles around them but then are nearly drowned while hiding in a harpsichord. They are terrified and one is repeating: “I don’t want to drown. I don’t want to drown”, while the instrument fills with water.
  • There is a crazy-looking, blue ghost that haunts the museum, getting into all kinds of mischief and frightening the cats who try to contain it. He possesses Vincent on a couple of occasions and flies away with him.
  • A gang of cats nearly eats Maurice. They have just described how another cat was fed to the dogs and they are menacing Vincent when Maurice arrives on the scene. The cats quickly capture Maurice, and one is dangling him above his wide-open mouth when Vincent shoves the cat aside to save his friend.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

  • Nothing further noted.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Famous paintings and artists are mentioned by name, such as The Mona Lisa and Rembrandt.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A character notes that Cleopatra and Vincent are a “romantic couple” and he indicates that they should be left alone.
  • Cleopatra purrs alluringly from behind a curtain as she calls for Vincent to join her. They are briefly shown curled up beside each other sleeping.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Cleopatra seductively struts towards Vincent. They are clearly attracted to each other and are later shown to have kittens together.
  • There are paintings in the museum that depict naked women, shown full frontal with a tiny bit of cloth covering their genitalia. Men are also depicted in paintings and statues, largely unclad. While not largely focussed on, they appear momentarily on screen or in the background.
  • A random couple kisses on the street.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • No coarse language was noted but the film does contain a little crude humour, such as when Vincent is possessed by a ghost that appears to be coming out of his buttocks.

In a nutshell

Cats in the Museum is an animated adventure with a dialogue and plot that adults and older children may struggle to sit through but that younger children are likely to enjoy.

The main message from this movie is that finding your place, your family and where you belong is important but that this shouldn’t be accomplished by risking your integrity or denying who you truly are.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Honesty
  • Responsibility
  • Determination
  • Courage
  • Optimism.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of believing in themselves and knowing their own value. There are subtle, stereotypical, undercurrents in a number of Cleopatra’s comments, where she makes generalisations about “boys being weird” when Vincent has to leave suddenly. She calls him “her hero”, implying a sense of helplessness, and demonstrates insecurity when he has to leave again, asking herself: “What is wrong with me?” Though subtle, these unfortunate messages, especially for any young girls taking them on board, would imply that she needs saving; that her value is found outside of herself; and that if someone had to rush away it is a reflection on her rather than the circumstances.