The Three Lives of Thomasina

The Three Lives of Thomasina

Synopsis of Movie

In the tradition of Pollyanna and So Dear to My Heart, The Three Lives of Thomasina brought a sentimental, turn-of-the-century story to motion picture life, courtesy of Walt Disney’s magic factory. Paul Gallico’s book Thomasina formed the basis of this tale of love and kindness, set in 1912 Scotland.

The title character is a cat belonging to young Mary MacDhui. Mary’s father Andrew is the local veterinarian, skilled but emotionally cold. When Thomasina contracts tetanus, Andrew insists the cat be put to sleep, despite Mary’s anguished pleas. The girl’s neighborhood friends arrange a small funeral for Thomasina, but before the cat can be buried, backwoods beauty Lori MacGregor appears and takes the cat away. The townsfolk think Lori is a witch, always taking “dead” pets away and bringing them back to life in her secluded cottage. In reality, Lori is merely kind and perceptive, and her old-fashioned cure succeeds in bringing Thomasina back to life.

Meanwhile, Thomasina has gone on a journey to Cat Heaven, the starry home of the Cat Goddess. The feline immortal returns Thomasina to earth, but her memory has been erased. Back on earth, Andrew comes to see Lori, who has been getting all his business now that the town thinks of him as a cat killer. The healer’s tender heart wins the gruff man over, and the two fall in love. Later, Mary spots Thomasina in a driving rainstorm, but the mindwiped kitty doesn’t recognize her and flees. Mary follows, and the exposure leaves her with a deadly case of pneumonia. Lori’s skills are again called into service, but little Mary won’t recover unless Andrew learns the healing power of love.

Simple and heartwarming, The Three Lives of Thomasina was the kind of nostalgic sentiment for which Disney was famous. Playing Mary MacDhui, newcomer Karen Dotrice so impressed Walt Disney that he cast the young Briton in his next film, Mary Poppins, as Poppins’ charge Jane Banks. Matthew Garber, one of Mary’s playmates in this film, was also brought stateside to play younger brother Michael Banks in the same film.

Movie Release History

1963 - The Three Lives of Thomasina

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Andrew McDhui Patrick McGoohan
Lori MacGregor Susan Hampshire
Mary MacDhui Karen Dotrice
Reverend Angus Peddie Laurence Naismith
Mrs. MacKenzie Jean Anderson
Willie Bannock Wilfrid Brambell
Grandpa Stirling Finlay Currie
Unknown Alex Mackenzie
Hughie Stirling Vincent Winter
Jamie McNab Denis Gilmore
Doctor Charles Carson
Unknown Ruth Dunning
Constable McQuarrie Ewan Roberts
Mr. Dobbie Oliver Johnston
Targu Francis De Wolff
Old Lady Nora Nicholson
Geordie Matthew Garber

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