The Cat from Outer Space (1978)

Norman Tokar only directed one non-Disney film — Where the Red Fern Grows — and also made plenty of episodes of Leave It to Beaver. But he’s best known for his run of films at Walt’s place, including The Apple Dumpling Gang and Candleshoe.

A UFO has made an emergency landing, which leads to the U.S. government taking it to what we can only assume is Area 51. It’s pilor, Zunar-J-5/9 Doric-4-7, escapes because he looks like an ordinary Earth cat. The major difference between this cat and mine is that the majority of my feline friends like to throw up hairballs at all hours while Zunar-J-5/9 Doric-4-7 has a special collar that gives him telekinetic and telepathic abilities.

Franklin “Frank” Wilson (Ken Berry) soon takes the cat in and names him Jake. He’s the key to getting the cat back home, even if no one in the Energy Research Laboratory believes in him. He also has a girlfriend named Elizabeth “Liz” Bartlett (Sandy Duncan) who loves her kitten Lucybelle so much that she brings her along on dates.

This is the kind of movie where an alien cat raises the money for gold by betting on sports and playing against pool sharks. I guess that’s what happens when you crash land on our mudball and come up against bad guys like Roddy McDowall.

Ironically, this film pairs McLean Stevenson with the man who replaced him on M*A*S*H*, Harry Morgan. Plus, Dr. Wenger is an actor who knows all about animals who can do magical things. That’s Alan Young, who was Wilbur on Mister Ed.

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