Meow in Theaters

December 13, 2019
FROM LEFT: UNIVERSAL PICTURES; RYAN SLACK

Cats is one of the longest-running stage musicals ever. The show follows a group of felines on a special night: the Jellicle Ball.

Now, Cats has been made into a movie. Professional dancer Robbie Fairchild plays Munkustrap. His character guides Victoria, a newcomer to the group. “It’s my job to show her our world,” Fairchild told TIME for Kids.

Dance is an important part of the movie’s “storytelling process,” Fairchild says. That’s why the cast researched cats. “We did a lot of work learning how they move,” he says, “and how their bodies are different than ours.”

According to Fairchild, Cats is the first movie to mix footage of the actors’ faces with computer-animated bodies. “They’re using high-tech equipment and software,” he says.

Cats opens December 20.