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Meowwww! First trailer for Tom Hooper's musical Cats movie purrs online

By Josh Weiss & Joseph Baxter
Taylor Swift in Cats

Break out the catnip! It's time to celebrate the very first trailer for Tom Hooper's film adaptation of the feline-based Broadway musical hit, Cats. Arriving in theaters this winter, the movie is based on Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage play of the same name, which was inspired by T.S. Eliot's 1939 poem collection, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

Written by Hooper (The Danish Girl, Les Misérables, The King's Speech) and playwright/screenwriter Lee Hall (scribe of the acclaimed Elton John biopic Rocketman), Cats features a cast that's a litter of talent, including Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Rebel Wilson, Jason Derulo, Ray Winstone, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, and more.

Stop trying to chase that mysterious red dot for a second and watch the trailer below:

The Cats trailer might just make you wonder what the heck you just watched. Indeed, one glimpse at the striking imagery of its anthropomorphized feline characters in all their furry stark-naked splendor, singing and dancing to intricately-choreographed numbers, might just leave you wondering how or what to feel.

However (moving away from the weird), the trailer also showcases a good share of the film’s sublimely surreal urban backdrop, in which the cats dwell; a setting that seems to manifest as a character in its own right, lending the footage a neon-lit magical feel. This quality is something that’s especially prevalent in the scaled shots, showing the actual diminutive size of our humming humanized housecats, most of whom, despite being A-list actors, are generally unrecognizable.

In the way of plot, the story revolves around a tribe of junkyard cats known as the "Jellicles." Over the course of a single night, they must decide who among them will be chosen to ascend to the enigmatic "Heaviside Layer." Yeah, we know it can get confusing, which is why we have a nifty little explainer of the musical right here.

Cats lands on its feet in theaters everywhere Dec. 20. It will be Hooper's first musical feature since Les Misérables in 2012.