I grew up on these type of Disney films. During the late 60's, 70's, and much of the 80's they made a ton of these family films; stuff like Herbie the Love Bug, The Shaggy Dog, and The Parent Trap. Before the days of cable and videos, the Sunday Night Movie on ABC was a big deal, one of the few places you could catch up with all these Disney "classics". I've never seen The Cat from Outer Space, I'd heard of it, but never had any real interest in seeing it. Until my son picked it out on DVD as a Christmas present to me.
The film is a harmless way to waste 90 minutes. It's not good, but not bad either. The movie is about a UFO getting stuck on earth, the captain of the ship is an alien shaped exactly like an Earth-bound cat. The one feature that makes him unique is his magical collar, which gives him psychokinetic abilities and he's able speak by transporting his thoughts directly into people's brains. He leaves his spaceship in search for a part not yet invented by humans.
His best hope is Frank, a Government scientist working on the prospects of new transportation methods. The cat reveals himself to Frank, and the two quickly become an unlikely friends. He names the cat Jake and is soon using him to pick up his fellow scientist Elizabeth, played by the perky Sandy Duncan, who is a cat lover. With the help of Frank's alcoholic neighbor, the trio do their best to get Jake's ship up and running. In their way stands an Army General, played by Harry Morgan of M.A.S.H. fame, who's in charge finding out who's behind the stranded spaceship.
The group use Jake's collar to rig horse races, football games and mobster run pool games, all done in good fun, to raise money to buy the supplies they need to build the part. There are some fun flying sequences, including Frank and Jake on a bike, years before E.T.. The film ends happy and predictable.
It was refreshing to watch a family film with none of the gross slapstick jokes that prevail today's movies. No doubt if they remade it, the cat would be CG'd, sass-talk everyone in sight, and fart his way through every situation. If you have young ones at home, or are a major cat lover, this is a fun little movie. Otherwise keep on moving, there's nothing of real substance here.