Cats hit theaters December 20th, and the Internet is jazzed about it. Based on the popular musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber, Tom Hooper (Les Misérables, The King's Speechhelms this latest adaptation. Cats has created its own weather system of buzz, from casting controversies to its use of unsettling CGI. The original musical was at one time the longest running show on Broadway. Now, its movie adaptation is about to make its own type of history. In 1998, a live performance of Cats was recorded and released straight to VHS. That version stuck religiously to the original, but this year’s Cats is going in a very different direction, to put it politely.

In today’s Broadway scene, movies are often adapted into musicals. Such is the case with School of Rock, Frozen, and now Beetlejuice. But musicals-turned-movies are much more hit-or-miss. It’s very difficult to capture the energy of a live musical number on the big screen, and there’s always the issue of whether actors should sing live or in a studio. Actors have to tailor their performances to accommodate for close-ups, and can’t go as “big” as they would on stage. But when a movie gets it just right, the results can be magical. Here are the 15 strongest musical-to-movie adaptations that are definitely worth a watch.

The 15 Best Musical-to-Movie Adaptations

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