Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever is a 2014 made-for-television Christmas film that stars the Internet celebrity Grumpy Cat. The movie first aired on the Lifetime on 29 November 2014 and stars Megan Charpentier as a young girl that adopts Grumpy Cat, only to discover that the two can communicate with one another.
Grumpy Cat (voiced by Aubrey Plaza) is a lonely cat living in a pet shop located in a mall that is slated to be closed. She's bitter at being constantly passed over by other animals in the store, but is surprised to find that she can communicate with Chrystal (Megan Charpentier), an equally lonely 12-year-old girl that is equally shocked that Grumpy Cat can talk. The two are initially at odds with one another, but slowly become friends, especially after a high-priced dog (voiced by Stephen Stanton) is dognapped from the pet shop.
- Grumpy Cat as herself
- Aubrey Plaza as the voice of Grumpy Cat
- Megan Charpentier as Chrystal
- Daniel Roebuck as George
- Russell Peters as Santa
- Stephen Stanton as JoJo the dog (voice)
- Chris Williams as Lance the hamster (voice)
The film was created to showcase Grumpy Cat (real name Tardar Sauce), the subject of an Internet meme which first appeared in 2012. By the end of 2013, the company which manages Grumpy Cat's image was valued at around $1 million. It is managed by Ben Lashes, who is credited as an Executive Producer on Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever. Tim Hill, one of the writers, had previously directed Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties and Alvin and the Chipmunks.
When Plaza was cast to perform as the cat's voice, she was unfamiliar with it, but learned about the cat before being involved on the project. The film was shot in entirety before Plaza recording her lines as Grumpy Cat and Plaza re-drafting around 90% of her lines; she explained: "Once I realized that the cat's mouth wasn't going to move, I just kind of went for it, and thought, 'Well, if it's just going to cut to the cat and I can say my line, then I can just comment on other things, too.' The movie kind of has a Mystery Science Theater 3000 vibe to it, so it's like you're getting Grumpy's commentary throughout the whole thing, but then Grumpy is also starring in the story."
The film was first broadcast at 8pm EST on November 29, 2014, on the Lifetime channel in the United States. A hashtag on Twitter representing the film, #WorstChristmasEver, trended during the first half of the movie.
The film received mixed reviews. The AV Club and Entertainment Weekly both panned the film, and the AV Club called it "the largest turd in [Lifetime's] crap crown of original programming...so unforgiving, so psychologically trying, that the process alone leaves the viewer straining to hear the dialogue over the sound of the soul being crushed wholesale, bone and sinew wrenched apart at the joint." The Guardian, MySA, and St. Louis Post Dispatch were more positive in their reviews, and the St. Louis Post Dispatch commented that although the film was "terrible" they still enjoyed it overall.
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