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Cool Cat Saves the Kids

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Cool Cat Saves the Kids
Cool Cat.jpg
OG Cool Cat.jpg
Cool Cat Kids Superhero.jpg
On the contrary, Barney the Dinosaur is Cooler than Cool Cat!
Genre: Kids
Directed By: Derek Savage
Produced By: Derek Savage
Written By: Derek Savage
Based On: Cool Cat series by Derek Savage
Starring: Vivica A. Fox
Erik Estrada
Derek Savage
Jason Johnson
Jessica Salazar
Connor Dean
Cynthia Rothrock (Kids Superhero version)
Distributed By: Cool Cat Productions (later titled Derek Savage Productions)
Release Date: February 1, 2015 (original)
June 2018 (Kids Superhero)
Runtime: 75 minutes (original)
88 minutes (Kids Superhero)
Country: United States
Language: English
Franchise: Cool Cat
Prequel: Cool Cat Finds a Gun
Sequel: Cool Cat: Kids Superhero

Cool Cat Saves the Kids is a 2015 American independent direct-to-video live-action anti-bullying film written and directed by Derek Savage, based on his children's book series Cool Cat and is the fourth film in the series, with this being the first feature-length one. It serves as a standalone sequel, and is comprised of three previous Cool Cat short films; Cool Cat Stops Bullying, Cool Cat in the Hollywood Christmas Parade, and Cool Cat Finds a Gun.

The film has become infamous for its rather low-quality due to its low budget, and is often grouped together along with other notoriously panned films such as The Room and Birdemic: Shock and Terror. Since its release, it has been grouped with some of the worst children's films of all time; however, it has also gained a cult following.

It was re-cut later in 2015 in response to a review by Adam Johnston (on his YouTube channel YourMovieSucksDOTorg [YMS]), and was re-released again in 2018 as Cool Cat: Kids Superhero with several alterations, specifically the addition of new scenes (including an alternate opening) and the correction of several mistakes from the original cut; however, the filler scenes remained, some of the recorded dialogue wasn't properly dubbed, all of the newly-shot scenes are pointless, and overall the bare minimum effort was put in to make the film more watchable.


A bright orange cat named Cool Cat is the "Coolest Cat in the World", and a blond-haired bully named Butch hates him for it. When Butch tries to bully Cool Cat and his friends, Cool Cat must stick up for himself and stop him, before it's too late.

Why It's Not Cooler Than Barney The Dinosaur

  1. Poor grasp of the original source material, despite both the film and the original source material being made by the same person.
    • For example, in the original Cool Cat books, the titular character's father was a cat, but for some reason, he is a human in this movie similar to the how the grandparents of the costumed characters are in the infamous Tomorrow’s Pioneers. Though to be fair, this is because filmmakers only had enough money for one cat costume.
  2. The plot is very inconsistent, confusing, almost non-existent, and has little-to-no continuity. Because of this, there are some scenes that feel very out-of-place, particularly the "gun safety" scene. This is because the movie is actually three different short films awkwardly stitched together.
    • It would have been better if they didn't add the scenes from the Hollywood short and instead make new scenes that would improve the inconsistency of the remaining plot.
  3. The characters are all unlikable, annoying, poorly written, one-dimensional, and overall act and speak more like caricatures than actual characters:
    • Cool Cat is a creepy, annoying, immature, idiotic, irresponsible, and a hypocritical protagonist. Despite his supposed role of teaching kids how to deal with bullies, he lacks the proper characterization needed to fulfill such a role, as he cries when Butch destroys his sandcastle and despite giving a lecture about looking both ways before crossing the street, he still runs across the street like a lunatic without looking both ways a few seconds later. In fact, he looks like a pedophile in a costume to an extent.
      • In one scene he receives a hateful email from Butch while going on the internet. Instead of ignoring it, deleting it or blocking Butch's email address, Cool Cat replies to it, which is one of the worst things you can do when confronted with a cyberbully. In fact, it only fuels Butch's anger towards it.
    • Maria has basically no personality and is only there to be Cool Cat's friend and to take advice from him.
    • Butch is a bland, unsympathetic, and one-dimensional antagonist. At one point, he says that he loves being the bully and constantly mentions that he is a bully in almost every scene he is in, even though it is painfully obvious that he is one. He is also a stereotypical bully with no character development or redemption whatsoever. The film also doesn't bother to give a reason or backstory as to why Butch is a bully (i.e. if he has low-self-esteem, was bullied himself in the past, or is having a rough life at home, which are common reasons as to why bullies act the way they do). Instead, he seems to just be a bully for the sake of the film having a villain.
      • In the infamous "gun safety" scene, Butch finds a gun and decides to bring it to school with him in order to extort kids out of their lunch money (in a children's film, by the way).
      • Butch is also portrayed as a fat slob in dirty clothes (and is the only character who is overweight), which is outright fat-shaming.
  4. The costume for Cool Cat, while not too bad in particular, looks unintentionally creepy during specific scenes or when viewed from certain angles. It also looks like a wolf or a fox rather than a feline most of the time. An especially notable issue is Cool Cat not having eyelids when he sleeps, despite him having eyelids when Butch kicks his sandcastle.
    • On the topic of the scene where Cool Cat is sleeping, it looks as if he is having a seizure since his eyes are wide open and he is tossing and turning in bed at the same time.
  5. Amateurish and shoddy camera work. There are times where you can clearly see the cameraman's shadow or reflection off the glass doors.
  6. Terrible editing, with it being proven by how there are several scenes where mistakes are left in.
    • For example, in the e-mail scene, Cool Cat visits the Best Buddies website (which is basic product placement, considering Derek wrote the book) and then immediately goes to check his e-mail, without a transition at all.
  7. False and Toxic Advertising : Ben Daka, the production manager of the movie, heavily advertises the Cool Cat character as "Cool Cat is Cooler than Barney the Dinosaur!", which is clearly false since Barney has a more proper characterization and he teaches better life lessons to kids. Cool Cat, on the other hand, does not have a proper characterization, does not properly teach kids how to deal with bullies, and is also a hypocrite. Also, Cool Cat is far from being cooler than Barney because of these reasons.
  8. Atrocious acting, especially from Jason Johnson as Cool Cat, Connor Dean as Butch, and even Derek Savage himself as Daddy Derek.
    • The overly enthusiastic acting from Savage, in particular, sounds like he is sarcastically mocking Cool Cat, especially when he says, "Wow! $100?! That's a lot of money!"
    • Erik Estrada's awkward delivery for some of his lines, particularly when he shouts "Did you see that? That kid kicked sand in Cool Cat's face!" after Butch kicks Cool Cat's sandcastle, as well as when he infamously informs Vivica A. Fox about the presence of Cool Cat ("There he is!"), is hilariously bad.
      • On a similar note, Estrada seemed a bit tipsy during filming, judging by his facial expression and line delivery, though Jason Johnson confirmed that this wasn't the case, indicating that Estrada knew how hokey the script was.
  9. Poor attempts at (intentional) comedy.
  10. The police officer is portrayed by a well-known former porn star named Steve Crest, a casting decision that is both baffling and inappropriate considering that this movie is targeted towards children. Porn stars will sometimes star in films rated NC-17, R or, very rarely, PG-13, so having a porn star appear in a film targeted towards children makes no sense.
    • Daddy Derek being married to Momma Cat also comes across as bestiality in a movie targeted towards children.
  11. Horrendous and laughable soundtrack, with the songs being very dreadful and repetitive stock music.
  12. As mention already, the filmmakers only had enough money for one catsuit, meaning that they had to use the same one for both Cool Cat and Momma Cat. This is especially obvious in the scene where Cool Cat and Momma Cat are "in the same room". In the aforementioned scene, when Cool Cat and Daddy Derek come back from Hollywood, in the middle, a column of tiles is noticeably shorter than the rest. This is because they were filming at two different times and putting those two scenes together.
  13. Laughable, cringe-inducing, and nonsensical dialogue, such as "I just punked her!", "He better not be a bully because I don't like bullies," "Look at me! I'm surfing the web!", "Oh no, it's the police! We're in trouble! Oh, my mama's gonna whoop me!", "Kids loves Cool Cat!" and "Boy, it'll be fat time for me!"
  14. The film also uses outdated slangs that almost no one in the film’s target audience would understand and been seldom used since the late 1970s' to the early 1980s', like the aforementioned "punked," as well as "groovy" and "exquisite".
  15. Bad dubbing of dialogue, as if most of the actors were too close to the microphone.
  16. They restate everything at the end of the movie, which was also when they sort of send the right message.
  17. Many scenes are pointless and do nothing to move the story forwards and therefore serve as filler to pad out the running time, notably the scene with the Hollywood parade as well as a scene where Cool Cat does nothing but name cars from various famous movies, not to mention they came from the afteromentioned Hollywood short.
    • One scene feels like it was patched in just to show off Savage's Van Halen-signed guitar.
  18. Some scenes are illogical.
    • In one scene, Cool Cat drives a car, despite being a child, something that not even his actor Jason Johnson agrees with.
    • When Cool Cat names cars from various famous movies, he refers to them as inaccurate names and also references cars that children wouldn't recognize; examples include him pointing out the "Back to the Future car" and the "Ghostbusters car" instead of referring to them as their proper names: the DeLorean and the ECTO-1, respectively.
    • At one point, Butch gets arrested just for stealing candy from babies and it’s supposedly bad enough to end up on a news report.
  19. While Cool Cat is supposed to be the hero, there are times throughout the film where he acts like a bully.
    • Rather than trying to take Butch under his wing to see if he can help him with any problems he might have (as he did to the boys who were Butch's "allies"), he constantly puts him down by telling him that he has no friends.
    • Rather than trying to help Butch change his ways, he and his friends mock him.
    • He and Maria do not show any sympathy or concern for Butch when the wind blows paint from a spray can into his eyes, and instead says that he deserves it, which is extremely mean-spirited.
  20. Misleading title: Despite the film saying that Cool Cat Saves the Kids, he doesn't even do that, as he either gives misleading messages or acts like some wimpy, sissy crybaby who doesn't take the right time to help teach kids good morals.
  21. Horrible sound direction.
  22. There are times where Cool Cat violently shakes either his hand, his leg, or both for no apparent reason, as if he is doing inappropriate gestures; Johnson said he wanted to add "cat-like mannerisms" to the character. Maria can also be seen pretending she did not notice during the first time he does this.
  23. Its re-release, Cool Cat: Kids Superhero, is worse, since it is basically just a re-skin of this movie but with even less relevant scenes and continuity, Momma Cat being voiced by Cynthia Rothrock (who clearly doesn't want to be there), and Maria is much meaner than in the original cut to the point where she makes Butch look more likable by comparison.
  24. The film contains a lot of downright harmful and wrong messages for children, such as:
    • "Bullies have no friends" (which is nonsensical since bullies are usually in packs and mostly tend to target people with few friends. Besides, some people just have trouble making friends due to shyness or other social issues. Also, while loneliness can be a factor in lashing out, the film presents it as the sole reason bullies act the way they do)
    • "It is okay to laugh at the misfortune of someone else" (Cool Cat and Maria laugh when Butch gets paint in his eyes)
    • "You should read messages from strangers" (this, however, was fixed in Kids Superhero. Plus, it gets reversed at the end of the film)
      • To make matters worse, in Kids Superhero, Cool Cat tells Maria not to open messages from strangers but can in this instant since he's there with her. When Maria suggests that the message could be about wining money in a contest, rather than warning her that it could be a scam designed to steal personal information, Cool Cat instead cheers about them going on a trip together, which gives the moral that "giving personal information to strangers is okay if they're gonna give you something".
    • "Yelling at a bully will make them go away" (even though if you show a bully that they are getting a rise out of you, they will continue to harass you).
  25. Internal contradictions, such as Cool Cat saying that his hands are full, even though they clearly aren't, or a little girl calling for help so she wouldn't be bullied... even though she is right next to a location titled "Bully's Diner".
  26. Poor production values that make it more like a long PSA program rather than being a movie (that's direct-to-video for a reason).
  27. Despite the film's intense negative reputation, it somehow still manages to spawn several more Cool Cat featurettes/short films like Cool Cat's Crazy Dream (2019) and Cool Cat Fights Coronavirus (2021) for example, with each film receiving far worse reviews than the last (including this film and it's re-release version Cool Cat: Kids Superhero), hence showing how Derek Savage is blind to negative criticism of this film and the Cool Cat live-action franchise in general.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. It actually teaches kids a good lesson about what to do if you find a gun in the "gun safety" scene, despite said scene being pointless.
  2. Making an anti-bullying educational film for kids is an interesting idea on paper, though it was executed at its worst here.
  3. Because of its lack of quality, the film does make for unintentional comedy.


Reception and copyright controversy

After the film came out, several online critics bashed the movie for its poor acting, awful plot and annoying main character. The two most notable such reviews were by I Hate Everything (as part of his "The Search for the Worst" series) and YourMovieSucksDOTorg. Savage initially took his criticism in stride, but a few weeks after IHE's video was uploaded, Derek Savage had filed copyright claims against IHE for alleged "copyright infringement", even though said the video was a review, which is protected by fair use.

Not long after, Derek Savage then uploaded a video in which he tried to explain the difference between copyright infringement and fair use, which was criticized immensely. In response, YMS uploaded a video refuting Savage's claims.

On November 28th of that year, IHE uploaded a video detailing the events that had transpired between him and Savage since his last video. According to IHE, Savage had even impersonated attorneys from a law firm in an attempt to manipulate him into removing several videos from his channel.

The reviews made by IHE and YMS, respectively, have since been re-uploaded by others, notably Bobsheaux and Josiah Clarke. Corey's review was uploaded after the controversy.

On IMDb, the film has a 4/10, while its re-released version, Cool Cat: Kids Superhero, has a 2.6/10.


  • Cool Cat Saves the Kids is composed of three twenty-two-minute short films, with new material to tie them together: Cool Cat Stops Bullying, released in 2012; Cool Cat in the Hollywood Christmas Parade, also released in 2012; and Cool Cat Finds a Gun, released in 2013. This would explain the inconsistencies within the plot. Savage has admitted that he did not plan for this to be a feature-length film.
  • TheOdd1sOut made a whole video centered on this and Derek Savage, but it got removed from YouTube.
  • There are three more Cool Cat films in development, titled Cool Cat Stops a School Shooting, Cool Cat Flips a House, and Cool Cat Fights the Coronavirus; the latter two are short films being made into their own independent movies.

External links