"There is nothing to say that kids these days won't feel exactly the same way about Top Cat as their very own parents once did..."

When Top Cat was first aired back in 1961, it seemed to capture a time - revolutionary as a children's programme that could almost bring the bright lights and street life of New York to kids across the world. Now, however, with 3D experiences and Pixar movies that have taken us from Paradise Falls to Mars; the dingy alleyways of Top Cat and co. now seem somewhat dated, yet this hasn't prevented Alberto Mar bringing the much-loved feline back to our screens for a whole new generation to experience.

Remaining loyal to the original cartoon, Top Cat - voiced distinctively and precisely by Jason Harris - is up to his old tricks, blagging his way through the streets of New York to supply enough food and money for himself and his gang to survive on. Having befriended local policeman Officer Dibble (Bill Lobley), Top Cat and his gang are always safe from persecution - that is until the dictatorship of Lou Strickland comes into play, as this monstrous imbecile is hired as the city's new police chief.

Strickland turns New York into some kind of social experiment, setting up CCTV cameras in every corner as he seeks to spy on every single pedestrian, creating a whole host of pedantic new rules to be abided by - and those who break the law will end up in the hands of his evil robots surveying the streets. Top Cat in the meantime is framed for a theft he hasn't committed and ends up in dog jail, where he must not only learn how to survive in such intimidating conditions, but return to the outside world and take Strickland down, to help make his neighbourhood exactly as it had been beforehand, and return to his hapless gang - who are struggling without their charming leader.

Inevitably, Top Cat is always going to be compared to its original series, which of course doesn't work in its favour. Yet one must acknowledge that this film is being targeted at an entirely new audience (and those suffering from nostalgia) and must therefore be criticised accordingly; and when doing so it's actually quite a decent attempt by Mar, deeming such initial apprehensions somewhat unjust.

Mar has cleverly modernised Top Cat without seeming traitorous to the original Hanna-Barbera production. The characters seem accurate and the voices are near-perfect. Mar also plays on the technological advances of the past 50 years - highlighted in a smart gag where we hear a phone ringing, and as Dibble picks up an old-fashioned public telephone, soon realises there is no-one on the other end and it had in fact been his mobile phone.

It actually comes across quite well seeing a traditional cartoon rich in heritage placed amidst contemporary surroundings, and in regards to the film's storyline, it's archetypical of the genre and certainly has enough in there for kids to enjoy. It's traditional in a sense that we have the good guys versus the bad guys, we have our desirable protagonist, our hated antagonist, and we also have a romantic sub-plot between our lead and Trixie (Melissa Disney) thrown in for good measure.

Yet where Top Cat excels, not only in this latest production but ever since its creation, is within its lead, Top Cat himself. Intelligent and witty, devious and charming, he is a character you can't help but love and there is nothing to say that kids these days won't feel exactly the same way about him as their very own parents once did. Although having said that, children in the early 60's had emotional ties to the character of Top Cat as he was based on the widely renowned character Sgt. Bilko - yet kids these days are lacking in such familiarity. 

On a more negative note however, the jokes are quite weak and there are only a few moments that really make you want to laugh out loud. That wouldn’t usually be much of a problem had it not been for the fact that an attempt at humour is quite conspicuously attempted throughout. The 3D also comes across as being completely unnecessary, adding nothing but a mere dimming of colour, to an otherwise quite vibrant mise-en-scène.

Top Cat is an enjoyable picture; rich in the charm it has always possessed and combining its surreal, overstated aspects with somewhat of a political edge, highlighting the dictatorial, intrusive aspects in a modern world led by social media and reality television. Yet despite this, it remains jovial and light-hearted, with certainly enough in there to not only entertain and engross a new, younger audience of fans, but keep the parents happy too.