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Daniel "Danny" Cat is the main protagonist of Cats Don't Dance. He is an orange tabby cat who wears a white shirt, a green bow tie, a black vest, brown pants and a straw hat. He is a talented cat who goes to Hollywood in hopes that he can sing and dance (since, according to his arrival song, he was a kitten), only to hear from Woolie the Elephant that Hollywood wants only talented human people. He is Max's arch-enemy
He was voiced by Scott Bakula.
Danny was first seen leaving Kokomo, Indiana, on a bus for Hollywood, with gifts from his friends. As soon as he leaves, he helps a juvenile penguin named Pudge load ice into a cart. Ever since, they have been friends, but soon after, Danny leaves him to get on a taxi. After paying a horse taxidermist, he helps put up the letters for "Gone with the Wind" and dances on the globe. He later gets chased by a guard and then gets caught, but he manages to escape by sneaking on top of a cable car. As soon as he gets to the office building of Farley Wink, he inadvertently knocks a white lady cat named Sawyer into a fountain, having not looked where he was going, as he was dancing around. He then enters, meeting Tillie Hippo and her friends. With help from Tillie to straighten out, he signs notes for Farley Wink and auditions for the next Darla Dimple picture, "L'il Ark Angel".
He teams up with a cynical Sawyer, who is reluctant after he had "crossed her path". As soon as he meets Pudge again, on the soundstage, where he finally learns the latter's name, he is given a script. Much to his dismay, all he gets for a line is "meow", as he is playing a cat. Trying to improve it, since it is a musical, as Darla is singing "Little Boat on the Sea", he ends up enraging Darla, showing her true animal nature. She then calls her over-sized valet, Max, over to punish Danny maliciously.
Feeling downcast, Danny goes over to sit by himself. Sawyer comes over to talk with him, only to result in an argument. He tells her all he wants is to do what he loves, but Sawyer tells him it isn't that simple. He tells her it is simple in Kokomo, so she tells him that "then, maybe that's where [he] should have stayed". Pudge comes over, offering a piece of his doughnut, but Danny declines. However, he appreciates that Pudge supports him, and begins cheering up when Pudge makes a mistake in attempting to do his dance. This is shown by him showing him how it's done. There, they finally see Woolie the Mammoth (Elephant, actually) in person, playing the piano, and they fly into the trailer, where they have peanut tea ("from India").
Back in an alley, Danny returns to have fun with the other animals (except Sawyer, who isn't out yet). As a busy Sawyer is typing, she hears the music and comes out to see. She is reluctant to dance with Danny as it's "a waste of time and [he] will never dance in the movies". Danny had not said anything about movies, nevertheless, Sawyer refuses. However, Tillie bumps her all the way over, and Danny compliments her "dance", but says it's "a little rusty". Sawyer then ends up having fun. Nevertheless, she still says it's a waste of time, even though Danny then asks to get her an audition with the head of Mammoth Studios, L.B. Mammoth.
Soon after, Danny is invited to tea by Darla Dimple, who claims to have wanted to apologize for Max's doings. She lies to him, telling him to get all his friends ready by Friday at 3:00, he being unaware that she was planning on flooding the stage.
On Friday at 3:00, Danny assembles the animals on Darla's ark, and soon finds out there is a flood from the soundstage. It is after he and the animals are thrown out that he finds out that Darla flooded the stage. Danny becomes distraught that he had believed Darla's lies. He is then sent home, packing his bags to go right back to Kokomo. As he is going home (inadvertently leaving his hat behind), unaware that Sawyer was trying to catch up with him and had missed the bus, he finds Pudge walking away, carrying a stick with a box in a pouch at the upper end, he orders the driver to stop the bus, and teams up with Pudge (once again), and forges invitations to Darla's premiere of "L'il Ark Angel" to invite the other animals.
That night, as the movie is running, Danny and Pudge prepare for an all-animal show, and Pudge snaps his bow tie, attracting Max. With Pudge's warning, Danny avoids Max and uses a rope to ascend to the bridge and head for the roof. He then gets onto the Darla Dimple balloon and battles Max. Then, as soon as he is back onto the roof, he pulls one of the ropes for supporting the balloon, causing Max to drift away with it. As soon as Pudge tells him the film is over, he then hurries to stop the audience from leaving, pretending to honor Darla Dimple and claiming she's arranged a special treat for them: a special live show with an all-animal cast. As soon as he assumes that Sawyer and the other animals are gone, he then finds out they have snuck on the stage, starting with Sawyer holding his hands. Danny reminds the others of why they arrived in Hollywood in the first place. He and the others hold a performance, pleasing the audience.
Darla yells at Danny for this, accidentally yelling into a microphone, thus revealing to the audience how she really is. Danny and Sawyer almost kiss, only to accidentally kiss Flanigan on the cheeks, much to their disgust.
Finally, Danny, along with the others, becomes an actor and makes it into cinemas.
- Matthew Broderick was cast to play Danny, but it went to Scott Bakula instead.