The Cat Returns

Viewed – 09 August 2013  Television

I recorded this off TV recently and as both an admirer of Studio Ghibli and someone who loves our feline friends, this was a must!  Haru is a day dreaming school girl, who has a crush on the local hot guy and loves cats, who seem plentiful in her little suburban neighborhood.  One day she spots a cat about to be hit by a passing car and rushes to save it, only to discover the cat can talk and bestows his gratitude on her, with a promise of gifts to come.  Soon Haru finds herself unexpectedly drawn into the secret world of cats, leading to the mythical kingdom.


This is an utterly charming and very enjoyable movie.  Simple in tone and nature but with some memorable characters including the Baron, a suited and upper class gent of a cat and the offish but lovable Muta, I had a very good time watching this.  The animation is effective without being all that ‘wow’ and the story is beautifully told with plenty of humor, fantasy and ideas to hold the viewer’s attention … with shades of Alice In Wonderland.  Voice work from Anne Hathaway and Elliot Gould among others does more than a worthy job too.  In comparison to other Ghibli efforts like Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away it lacks scope and feels over far too soon, this viewer feeling he could happily spend hours in the company of these characters.  The Kingdom of Cats is also a wonderful idea and well executed.

A highly recommended, perhaps lesser known effort from the famed Japanese animation house.

Verdict:  4 /5