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Editing the Buttholes Out of ‘Cats’ Was a Total Nightmare for VFX Crew

A source gave us the scoop about the Universal bomb’s elusive “butthole cut”—and how an allegedly tyrannical Tom Hooper made the production “almost slavery” for its VFX crew.


It’s not often an interview begins with the words, “Tell me about the buttholes.” Ask any Cats fan, however, and they’ll regale you with tales of the $100 million-losing Hollywood disasterpiece’s elusive “Butthole Cut.”

The root of Cats’ muddied visual effects, it turns out, might have been more than just a time-crunched production. Director Tom Hooper, a source alleges, had no idea what an animated production entails—and he made life hell for the visual effects artists struggling until the bitter end to figure out what he wanted.

Cats was already halfway complete when the buttholes first showed themselves, a source who worked on the film’s visual effects recalled in a recent interview: “When we were looking at the playbacks, we were like, ‘What the hell? You guys see that?!’”

“We paused it,” the source said. “We went to call our supervisor, and we’re like, ‘There’s a **** **** in there! There’s buttholes!’ It wasn’t prominent but you saw it… And you [were] just like, ‘What the hell is that?... There’s a **** butthole in there.’ It wasn’t in your face—but at the same time, too, if you’re looking, you’ll see it.”

The rogue anuses, we should probably note, were not part of any concerted artistic vision. As the source put it, “There was nobody that said, ‘We want buttholes.’ It was one of those things that just happened and slipped through.” And indeed, one poor, unfortunate soul was subsequently hired to squeegee them out.

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