Dave and Sarah Chapman would confess to having two great loves in life. One is their two cats, Willow and Tara, while the other is movies. And, recently, the creative couple found a great way to combine their two favorite passions.
Dave and Sarah are a British couple who live in Nottinghamshire, England. In his spare time, Dave is a quizmaster down at his local bar. As part of this role, he has to think up a number of questions on a range of subjects.
And it’s at home where Dave often sets about creating his quizzes. There, he and Sarah have two cats to keep them company, and the couple both think the world of their pets. “Willow and Tara are four years old, and they are our loving companions,” the pair told Metro in 2016.
According to Dave and Sarah, the feeling is mutual, and the cats dote on them too. “They will follow us around the house. Tara rides on our shoulders whenever she gets the opportunity,” they revealed.
However, the two pusses also have a cheeky side. “They’re clever and mischievous, they’ll watch animal documentaries with us,” Dave and Sarah continued. “[They] break into rooms they’re not supposed to go into and, most importantly, take charge of our laps/chests whenever we’re sitting down.”
So, needless to say, Willow and Tara could be distracting when Dave was trying to prepare questions for his quizzes. But, one day, an awesome idea came to him when he was planning for his pub night: why not use his cats in the quiz somehow?
Dave decided it would be great to use his photogenic pets in a photo round. To be more specific, he wanted to get Willow and Tara involved in some film and TV questions. And he thought it might be funny if he dressed them up to recreate some famous screen moments.
The first iconic film scene that Dave and his cats acted out was from the Steven Spielberg classic ET. Determined to create a spectacular shot, Dave donned a bright red hoody and placed one of his cats in the basket on his bike. And, it’s safe to say, the results were nothing short of amazing.
Moreover, the locals at the pub loved the quirky new round. “It went down really well,” Sarah and Dave said. “And we had a lot of fun doing it, so we thought we’d share our creations on the internet!”
Therefore, film buffs Dave and Sarah began racking their brains for more iconic scenes that they could easily reenact, and soon the ideas came flooding. One of their most creative pictures saw a cat seemingly bursting from Dave’s bloodied T-shirt. Obviously, it was a brilliant homage to the sci-fi classic Alien.
In another photo, the couple tried to recreate the romantic spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp. However, Burmese cats aren’t known for their love of pasta, so Dave had to improvise. Instead of the animal clasping the string of spaghetti in her lips, he simply tied it to her collar.
Other films to receive the “Movie Cats” treatment include The Notebook, The Shining and Ghost. However, keen to show off his pets’ versatility, Dave decided to tackle the comedy genre as well. As a result, Willow and Tara have also starred in a Wayne’s World spoof.
Judging from Dave and Sarah’s Instagram accounts, the cats seemed like natural talents. Nevertheless, the couple admitted that their pets did need some coaxing. “The cats clearly think we’re weird,” they told Love Meow. “But they get loads of treats doing it, which tends to be their main focus.”
Dave and Sarah go to painstaking lengths to ensure their efforts are as realistic as possible. First, the couple organize elaborate, costumed photo-shoots with their pets. Then, they add any final touches using Photoshop before posting them to Instagram, where followers try to guess the film.
“We look at famous movie scenes and think, ‘How could we do this with our cats?’” Dave explained to Buzzfeed. “If it’s possible and seems silly enough, then we have a go. Our cats are fairly laidback, so they’re pretty happy as long as treats are involved.”
And their account has proved immensely popular. As of March 2017, more than 58,000 people had followed Dave, Sarah and the cats’ exploits on Instagram. Furthermore, each carefully crafted image can expect to receive thousands of likes and dozens of comments.
In fact, people loved the Instagram page so much that Dave and Sarah set up a spin-off account. Named “Casual Movie Cats,” the second Instagram page was intended to document any behind-the-scenes incidents and outtakes. And users found the extra material just as hilarious as the perfected reenactment photos.
Among the bloopers was one from the Life of Pi shoot, which showed the cat refusing to get into a boat. Another, meanwhile, showed Tara looking less than amused in a lumberjack shirt, her costume for the Wayne’s World images. One more saw a tuxedoed cat parading up and down a poker table when she was supposed to be acting out a scene from Casino Royale.
Fortunately, Dave and Sarah don’t mind people laughing at the expense of their pets. “It’s a good feeling knowing you’ve made a lot of people smile,” Sarah told BuzzFeed. And due to their success, the pair don’t show any signs of stopping just yet.
“It can be a challenge to get them to cooperate, but they get lots of treats, so that tends to win them over to our nonsense,” David and Sarah told The Dodo. “We’re going to keep making them. It’s a hilarious way to spend a Sunday!”