BlueTwelve Studio released the adventure video game Stray for the PlayStation 4, Playstation 5 and Windows in July 2022. It's a playful, third-person game whose story is told from the perspective of a cat, setting it apart from other science-fiction adventure games and earning it a positive critical reception.
While stories told from the perspective of cats might not be as common in the gaming world, there are plenty of feline tales for movie lovers to sink their claws into, including live-action reboots of classic comedies, cute cartoon kittens and even cats from outer space.
The Voices (2014)
Comedy-horror movie The Voices stars Ryan Reynolds as a serial killer spurred by his evil pet cat might have slipped under the radar upon its release, but has since achieved cult status due to its unconventional themes, dark comedy and gory visuals.
Although this sounds nothing like Stray (essentially, the biggest link between the two cats is the color of their fur) it is similar due to its unique concept with a small orange cat at the helm.
Cats & Dogs (2001)
The actual protagonist in Cats & Dogs is actually a dog, but cats still play a focal role in this canine verses feline spy-comedy, in which they evilly plot to make all humans allergic to dogs.
The cats in the film might not share many personality traits with the stray and their quests certainly do not align, but it is the general merging of typical feline behaviors with a high-tech aesthetic that makes this film worthy of mention.
A Streetcat Named Bob (2016)
The British biographical drama based on a true story, A Streetcat Named Bob, is about a busker and his cat is reminiscent of the stray and the robot musician he finds sheet music for, but other than that, the cats are on completely different paths. That's not to say that their quests are not similar.
The stray in the game is on a mission to return to the surface, whereas the stray in the film accompanies his human companion as he recovers from addiction. While one journey is literal and the other metaphorical, both make for inspiring stories for cat lovers to enjoy.
Oliver & Company (1988)
Oliver & Company is a comforting Disney cartoon featuring a feline protagonist, based loosely on the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Oliver is similar to the cat in Stray as he too is homeless and joins a gang of dogs in order to survive on the streets of 1980s New York.
Although their quests are different, these fish-out-of-water situations that the cats find themselves in are not so different. The film is intended for younger audiences, but still handles some darker, more serious themes, in some ways reflecting the tone of the game.
Garfield: The Movie (2004)
The live action reboot of Garfield sees the lasagna loving tabby embark on his own adventure to find Odie and bring him home after causing him to run away. There is a moment in the film where Garfield is even mistaken for a stray, though the cats could not be more different in terms of temperament.
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Despite this and the different motivations and settings, the film is lighthearted yet is still full of adventure and excitement, just as the videogame is.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is a heartwarming adventure film that follows two pet dogs and a cat as they make their way back to their family after escaping from a holiday farm. The pampered Sassy is streets away from the stray, but they share a similar quest and experiences.
As the stray falls and becomes separated from the other cats at the start of the game, so too does Sassy when she is lost after falling down a waterfall. Such events contribute an air of danger to the family friendly classic and aligns more with the tense moments in the videogame.
The Disney classic The Aristocats is similar to Stray in that it is an adventure film depicting its feline protagonists' journey home after being abandoned by their owner's butler. Although these cats at least have each other, they too are forced to navigate unfamiliar environments with a street wise guide, like the cat in the game.
From the outside, their stories seem words apart, but upon closer examination, it is clear to see their similarities. Despite being aimed at younger audiences, the cartoon is playful and nostalgic, making it an enjoyable watch for fans of the game.
The Adventures of Milo and Otis (1991)
This Japanese film The Adventures of Milo and Otis follows a tabby called Milo whose curious natures sees him wind up getting lost. His best friend, a pug called Otis, sets off on a quest to find him but is always two steps behind until they finally reunite.
The adventures that transpire for Milo are not a million miles away from those experienced by the stray, as he encounters various threats such as bears, a thieving raccoon, mobbing seagulls and a snake, which is reminiscent of the stray's interactions with the Zurks
That Darn Cat (1997)
That Darn Cat, the 1997 film starring Christina Ricci in its lead role, is a remake of the 1965 original, which is itself an adaptation of the book Undercover Cat by Mildred Gordon. In it, a cat plays a focal role in solving a kidnapping mystery.
Stray is a game full of its own ancient mysteries that must be untangled in order to escape the forgotten underground city. In this sense, the film is not so dissimilar from the game despite the differences in genre and plot, making it a must-see for Stray fans.
The Cat From Outer Space (1978)
Disney's The Cat From Outer Space is yet another tale about a cat (or rather, a feline presenting alien) trying to find its way home, with its science-fiction based narrative and aesthetic and comedic elements mirroring that of Stray.
Jake (the cat in the film) is a literal alien that has descended from space, but the Stray cat also crash-lands into an unfamiliar alien environment and strives to ascend back to the surface. This further solidifies the film as perfect viewing material for anyone who loves the game.