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In this 1978 Walt Disney movie, a spaceship is stranded on Earth and impounded by the U.S. government. Its pilot, a cat-like alien named Zunar-J-5/9 Doric-4-7, or Jake for short, has a collar that has special powers, including the ability to allow Jake to communicate with humans. Jake has eluded the authorities and needs the help of a man named Frank in order to reclaim and repair his ship to get back home.
After Frank determines that they need gold in order to fix Jake's ship. Jake uses his collar's powers to affect the outcome of various sporting events, including horse races and pool games, to win money to buy the needed gold and repair his saucer. So Frank; Frank's friend Norman Link and Frank's new girlfriend, Liz, help Jake find the gold he needs.In the end, Jake is able to repair the flying saucer and sends it back to the mother ship, deciding to stay on Earth with with Frank.
Unfortunately, Liz is kidnapped by a crook called Mr. Olympus, who wants the power of Jake's collar. Frank, Jake, and Link track down Liz and her kidnapper at an airport, and they eventually rescue her in a daring chase involving a helicopter and a ancient biplane. In the end, the military, without a spaceship to work on, learns Jake is not an enemy and helps find and capture the stranded criminal mastermind (he escaped from the helicopter, but his parachute snagged on a tree, over a cliff). Jake is adopted by Frank and granted full American citizenship.
- Alien Among Us: Jake, aka Zunar-J-5/9 Doric-4-7.
- Amusing Alien: Though Jake is more The Comically Serious at first, he quickly evolves into a Not So Above It All type.
- Alien Catnip: Norman's sandwich was able to revive an unconscious Jake just in the nick of time.
- Aliens Speaking English: Jake speaks thanks to his collar.
- Technically, it's telepathy, as he himself explains. He seems to be able to understand spoken English just fine, though.
- Ascended Fanboy: Frank, a fanboy of "Science"!
- Bad Boss: Mr. Olympus
- Benevolent Alien Invasion: Jake even becomes an offical citizen of the United States by the end of the film.
- Big Eater: Jake, at least when it comes to Earth cuisine.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Mr. Olumpus and his lackey. And let us not forget General Stilton and his men who all seem Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket.
- Cats Are Superior: And may also be aliens.
- Crowning Music of Awesome: Say what you will about the rest of the film but Lalo Schifrin's score is beautiful.
- Cultural Posturing: Jake, but a very mild case.
- Delegation Relay: The Army officers, led by Harry Morgan, who chased Jake and Frank around fall into this running gag several times during the movie.
General Stilton: *gives a command* Colonel!
- Diabolical Mastermind: Mr. Olympus seemes to think he is.
- Drives Like Crazy: Jake, as weird as it sounds.
- Expy: Mr. Olympus and his henchmen are obviously supposed to be Bond villain expies.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Zunar-J-5/9 Doric-4-7... or Jake for short.
- First Contact: With humans and... Space Cats?
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans will be tickled at the appearance of Jim Begg from Catalina Caper and Village of the Giants as a computer technician.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: Looking exactly like a normal cat has it's advantages.
- I Choose to Stay: Jake eventually deciedes that he likes Frank and the other humans too much to leave them.
- Innocent Aliens: Jake's cat-race.
- Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Jake and the other alien cats aren't all that interested in Earth. He just had to make an emergency landing.
- Interspecies Romance: Alien cat Jake has quite the crush on Earth cat Lucy-Belle.
- Little Stowaway: Jake.
- Older Than They Think: This movie did the flying bicycle scene FOUR YEARS before Spielberg did in ET.
- Parachute in a Tree: What happens to Mr. Olympus and his lackey.
- Psychic Powers: Jake, naturally.
- Jake's collar can give anybody the power to levitate.
- Kind of like Mind Over Matter.
- Red Scare: Near the beginning of the movie, General Stilton assumes Jake's ship is a Soviet one.
- Translator Microbes: Jake's collar.
- The Mothership: Who's pilot apparently is also a cat.
- What Do You Mean It's Phlebotinum?
Frank: Wait, that's gold.
- Whole-Plot Reference: The Futurama episode "That Darn Katz!" is a spoof of this movie, right down to the spaceship and the mind powers. The only real change being that the cats are evil beings who want to invade the Earth.
- You Can Talk: Frank's response when Jake first reveals his telepathy:
Frank: You? That's you?