LIL BUB & FRIENDZ – TFF ’13 Movie Review
The adorable Lil Bub & Friendz offers a peek behind the cat video curtain to see just how these precocious cats came to be such a huge sensation. The film follows Lil Bub and her owner Mike Bridavsky as they navigate the waters of internet stardom. Along the way we also check in with the likes of Grumpy Cat, Nyan Cat, and even Scumbag Steve.
It’s interesting to see just how these memes are not only real people, but how they go about their everyday lives in this medium. While the film focuses on Mike most (also a co-producer of the film), it was the Nyan Cat segment that really peaked my interest. That’s where the film offers the most insight in to how this is a money making venture. There’s the Nyan Cat plush toys, stickers, clothing, and limited editions for them all as well. At the pop up art show, the other meme makers are there as they’re all represented by an official Meme Manager (yes, that’s really his job title).
Peppered in with the meme makers, the brief snippets with a psychology talks a bit about the science on why we like these cat videos so much. They mention that we like animals resembling human babies – big eyes, small noses, etc. However, I actually wish this was delved in to a bit more. While cute cat videos make for a fun watch, I would have liked to seen more insight in to why cat videos have become such a phenomenon. Or even more insight in to the people they choose to feature as super Cat Enthusiasts.
Grant, one Cat Enthusiast that compares the virality of cat videos to the human fascination over serial killers, would have benefitted from a more scientific viewpoint. He was definitely an interesting character though, and his moment of meeting Lil Bub was a highlight.
All of the cat lovers and some meme makers converge on the Minneapolis First Annual Cat Video Film Festival and it’s truly a spectacle. Honestly, the level of fanaticism surprised me and I’m a regular at San Diego Comic-Con. It’s pretty crazy to think that cats are the celebrities of today. They go on tours, they have huge followings, and when the big ones put something online, it instantly goes viral.
This phenomenon is so new, it’ll be sad and interesting to see what happens when the “celebucat” goes to the big kitty litter box in the sky. The film hints at it when one of the cats faces a serious health condition, but thankfully they turn it around and the documentary doesn’t have to deal with such heavy material.