There's a whole lot of meowing in "Miss Minoes," a bland, kid-friendly Dutch tale of a pussycat-turned-woman.

There’s a whole lot of meowing in “Miss Minoes,” a bland, kid-friendly Dutch tale of a pussycat-turned-woman. Haunting gabled rooftops and scampering up trees to escape dogs, she soon settles in with a hopelessly timid reporter, swapping news scoops gathered on the cat-vine for food and lodging. Though conceived in whimsy, “Minoes” generally lacks imagination; once the premise is established, familiar plot conventions reign. Music Box’s belated pickup of this 2001 production offers off-the-beaten-track holiday family fare, purr-fect for young cat lovers hungry for romance and unfazed by talking kitties.

Erstwhile wimpy newsman Tibbe (Theo Maasen) makes good, helped by his landlady’s little daughter (Sarah Bannier) and the intrepid Miss Minoes (Carice van Houten), who marshals armies of committed cats. They venture to expose the dastardly machinations of a deodorant factory owner/town benefactor (Pierre Bokma), whose villainy crescendoes with the near-crushing of adorable kittens in a garbage truck. Only van Houten (five years before her extraordinary perf in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book”) survives the unsubtle English dubbing, her cross-species conflict largely conveyed through body language as she swipes at dangling keys or crunches on sardines.

Miss Minoes

Netherlands

Production

A Music Box Films (in U.S.) release of a Bos Bros. Film-TV production. Produced by Burny Bos. Executive producer, Michiel de Rooij. Co-producer, Jan Roelfs. Directed by Vincent Bal. Screenplay by Tamara Bos, Burny Bos, Vincent Bal, based on a novel by Annie M. G. Schmidt.

Crew

Camera (color), Walther Vanden Ende; editor, Peter Alderliesten; music, Peter Vermeersch; production design, Vincent De Pater. Reviewed at the Cinema Village, New York, Dec. 24, 2011. MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 86 MIN.

With

Carice van Houten, Theo Maasen, Sarah Bannier, Pierre Bokma, Kees Hulst, Jack Wouterse.
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