SuperKitties' Justin Guarini Talks Disney Team-Up, Batman '66 Inspirations, and More (Exclusive)

Justin Guarini talks about teaming up with Anika Noni Rose and what DC project inspired his character Cat Burglar

Buddy, Sparks, Ginny, and Bitsy continue to delight fans as part of Disney's popular series SuperKitties, and the introduction of the lovable Cat Burglar only made those adventures more entertaining. The person behind Cat Burglar is none other than Broadway and American Idol star Justin Guarini, and ComicBook had a chance to speak to Guarini all about bringing the character to life on the show. We also discussed his recent duet with Anika Noni Rose (Princess Tiana of The Princess and the Frog), the lessons young kids can learn from the character, and how Batman '66 inspired Cat Burglar's voice! It all started though with one chance audition, and that paved the way for one of Guarini's favorite Batman shows to make its way into his performance.

"It's so wild. I have auditioned for a lot of different things for Disney over the years," Guarini said. "I auditioned for Mickey Mouse at one point, and like, did all these like wild things for, what was it, Frozen on Broadway? And then I'm trying to think of some of the other Disney auditions. And randomly, SuperKitties came around and my agent was like, 'Do ou wanna give this a shot?' I was like, yes, I wanna give this a shot. It's Disney you kidding me, let's go!"


SUPERKITTIES – "The Great Yarn Caper" (Disney) CAT BURGLAR

- Disney)

"I just love the old Adam West Batman right? And so when I thought of Cat Burglar, and how I kind of wanted to place his voice, I legit was like, let me think about it, Eartha Kitt. You know Eartha Kitt had this voice like this (does a pretty great impression), It was very interesting, and up here, darling, and all that," Guarini said. "And so I was like, well, what happens if I kinda do that more in a masculine way that has a little edge, and it's this line that you have to walk, especially you know, Disney or kids stuff."

"You want him to be a villain, but no villain is a well... I can't say no villain, but certainly with kids shows no villain is a villain like we would consider it. So he has to also be like cute and sweet and soft. And so when he's doing all the sort of things he shouldn't be doing, you know he's gotten another rough edge to his voice. But then, when he's realized that he's done something wrong, and he feels really sorry, it's so sweet," Guarini said. "And so I have just absolutely fallen in love with him, and I love that, you know, for your daughter and for the other kids that are watching, that his big thing is showing kids that people make mistakes."

In fact, forgiveness and making mistakes are two key aspects that Guarini loves about Cat Burglar and what the character brings to the show. "We live in this world where it's like, Oh, my goodness, if you make a mistake, It gets put on social media, and all the world gets to see it, and we can't make a mistake," Guarini said. "No, no, no, everybody's gotta pretend to be perfect, and yet in general, what SuperKitties does and then, more specifically, how Cat Burglar plays into all of that, you make mistakes, but he does like the wrong thing for the right reasons a lot of times. And when he understands oh, I don't have to steal everyone's yarn in KittyDale in order to be able to get my favorite Blankie back,  those little things he realized, yeah, I made a mistake. I apologize for it, and I learned from it."

The other key element is that while the SuperKitties need to stop him, they also welcome him back into the fold with open arms. "He has a little bit of a hard time learning cause he continues to steal things, However, it's that lesson especially when he recognizes that he made the mistake. It's okay to make mistakes and guess what, the SuperKitties forgive him. Forgiveness is such a huge thing, too, especially when we feel like we've been wrong. So I could talk for a million years about why I love this character, but I'm so glad that you and your daughter get to watch it, and it's so much fun to to get to play him all the time."

Recently Cat Burglar received a visit from family, as the show introduced his Cousin Sassy, who is also pretty good at stealing things. The role is voiced by Anika Noni Rose, and they even had a Better Burglar duet in her debut. Guarini couldn't be more thrilled about the opportunity to work with Rose, and it turns out they actually worked together on his first movie.

"Look. I mean, it's wild to just be a voice on a Disney show period. It is an honor. It is like a dream come true, and then the fact that I get to work with some of my favorite people on the planet, like Mr. Puppypaws, is James Monroe Iglehart, who is like legit a walking human Teddy bear, like the loveliest human being. I think he's gonna play Louis Armstrong on Broadway this season and is gonna be absolutely fantastic. He's an amazing human and an amazing performer," Guarini said.



- Disney)

"And then to find out when, I think it's the second season of SuperKitties, that I'm gonna be singing with the same person who voiced Tiana on Disney. And not only is it the same person to voice Tiana, but it's somebody who I way back in the day, which is like 23 years ago, but like 23 years ago worked with on my very first movie From Justin to Kelly. She was one of the characters and someone who I then went on to admire so much in the Broadway community that we're both a part of. It was like a wild thing, and now she gets to be Cat Burglars' cousin on SuperKitties! It is a small world, and it is at the same time such a wild experience," Guarini said.

You can watch the whole hero crew on SuperKitties, which airs on Disney Junior and Disney Channel. The first 4 episodes of Season 2 are available now on Disney+