The Cat Returns
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The Cat Returns recalls Whisper of the Heart and Takashi Nakamura's Catnapped, but it offers neither the wistful charm of the former nor the bold visual imagination of the latter. Hayao Miyazaki has been seeking young directors for Studio Ghibli for several years. After preparing the script and storyboards for Whisper, he turned the film over to Yoshifumi Kondo, who died tragically shortly after the film's release. The Cat Returns was directed by Hiroyuki Morita, who shows promise, but lacks Kondo's elegant sensibility. The DVD extras include a fulsome making-of documentary, Morita's voluminous storyboards, and mini-interviews with the vocal cast that includes Tim Curry, Cary Elwes, Peter Boyle, and Elliott Gould. (Rated G: minor scary imagery and cartoon violence) --Charles Solomon
Top Customer Reviews
WARNING!: Long Plot Ahead! (You should probably just skip to the end and then watch the movie, but it's here for the confused)
School girl Haru has problems. She can't seem to get up on time, make it school, or keep it together in class. She has a crush on the coolest kid in class, but he just got a girlfriend. Her self esteem is way down. On her way home from school, her and her friend observe a cat with a gold chain carrying a package. They watch it look both ways, and cross the street. It's carrying a small package in its mouth, and trips in the street, dropping the little package. They gasp, and Haru rushes into the street. As a truck is about to squish the little cat, she scoops him up with her lacrosse stick (carried home from school) and sweeps him into a bush. Upon landing in the bush alongside, she breaks her stick. The cat gets up, and then stands on it's hindlegs. After brushing himself off, he bows and says 'Thank you for saving my life.Read more ›
That being said, a wealth of details about the films (and everything from Studio Ghibli) can be found on the tremendously informative nausicaa.net Web site. Since this film is being released with Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind and Porco Rosso on February 22, it can only be hoped that it will ride somewhat on the coattails of the two better-known Miyazaki works and will have decent sales. It's an excellent family film and is a refreshing change (like all of Ghibli's works) from giant robots, ninjas, vampires, brainless lowbrow comedy mixed with mindless violence, and the other junk that pervades way too much of contemporary anime releases.
Quite annoying and unforgivable is the use of so-called "dubtitles" to accompany the Japanese dialog. Thus we get the altered meanings, extra conversational clutter and hip dialog revisions of the English dub, instead of a literal translation of the Japanese script. Why no true subtitles? Probably a budgetary/profit margin decision.
Anyway, it's not too bad, even though, as other reviewers have noted, the release to the N. American market suffers from lack of antecedent -- just who is The Cat, and why should we be excited at his return? Return from where, exactly?
2012 update: okay, I see now that The Cat's Repayment is a more accurate translation of the Japanese original title, which reaffirms anyway that the English title is still misleading and confusing, if not illiterate.
This is the story of Haru, a drama queen who lives with her mother. It starts with Haru saving a cat from being hit by a truck, the cat turns out to be the cat prince. His father the King is so grateful that the whole kingdom decides to give Haru gifts, the trouble is that they are gifts that only cats would like (like catnip), then they ask Haru to come to the cat kingdom and marry the prince. She then seeks help from the Baron and Muta. It's a great story about believing in yourself.
Anne Hathaway (The Princess Diaries) as Haru. Cary Elwes (Robin Hood: Men in Tights, The Princess Bride) as the Baron. Peter Boyle (Everybody Loves Raymond) as Muta. Tim Curry does a great job as the Cat King.
This is a great movie for older kids, younger kids might be scared because cats talk and because of some violence.
I really like this movie and I highly recommend it along with the other Studio Ghibli films I am so glad that Disney has finally taken notice and released these films.
Oh BTW, I did watch these dubbed and in Japanese and I didn't notice that any real dialogue had been changed other than a word here and there.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cute story! A bit strange, as they all are but my daughter loves this one.Published 8 days ago by Abbie
Absolutely loved this movie, was just as cute and engaging as Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. I'm adding this to my top favorite Miyazaki films!Published 1 month ago by Shwa
I didn't know what to expect when I bought this movie. I bought it because I like studio ghibli films. I was pleased with the story but I wanted more. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dramanerd
I only got it for my collection, didn't really care for the movie.Published 1 month ago by Emanuel Plotnikov
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Haru looks like a Who, from the world of Dr Suess?||
She does look very bug-like, very "Jimminy Cricket" at times but this is a nice change for Ghibli. I get tired of all their heroines looking like Nausicaa. Even the new girl in "The Borrowers" looks uncannily like Nausicaa. This is, actually, no accident. Miyazaki was (and... Read More
May 10, 2011 by T.Velasquez | See all 2 posts
|Ummm I have a question.||Be the first to reply|
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