The ‘Cats’ trailer is out of the bag — and the Twitter-verse is losing its collective mind

Universal  decided to stoke cat-scratch fever early and unleashed the first trailer for “Cats” upon an unexpecting public on Thursday instead of Friday. Was that a good idea? Who knows? But it just might be the weirdest darn movie musical ever. Maybe the weirdest movie ever, period.

Here is what your unbelieving eyes will see: Strangely humanoid felines that skitter across London cobble stones and leap through the city streets. They also pounce about in an ornately decorated home with chairs and utensils that are giant compared to the wee kitties on-screen.

A-list star bodies are made animal-like and adorned with weird skin-tight CGI fur as they walk about on two legs when they aren’t scampering. All the while Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella the Glamour Cat sob-sings “Memory” while the likes of Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Idris Elba, James Corden, Jason Derulo, Taylor Swift and Rebel Wilson bring Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s 1981 stage sensation, “Cats,” to cinematic life.

Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”) previously oversaw another sung-through  tune-filled sensation, 2012’s “Les Miserables,” which earned eight Academy Award nominations and won three, including supporting actress for Anne Hathaway. Just like “Cats,” “Les Mis” leaves little wiggle room for a middle ground — people fall head over heels for this theater-camp catnip or they will want to scratch their eyes out. But at least the likes of Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe looked like real people in the adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 19th-century novel.

Of course, Webber has composed new songs to pad the Oscar chances for the film that is based on T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.” The show remains the fourth longest-running  Broadway musical ever — which might mean it has a similar want-to-see factor as “Les Mis,” which took in more than $440 million worldwide.

Sir Ian himself tiptoed politely onto Twitter after a featurette came out earlier in the day minus any images of the actors in furry guise.

But the social media backlash to the first images from the movie that opens Dec. 20 was swift — Taylor Swift, as it were –and quite hissy to say the least:

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