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The Cat Returns (2005)

Anne Hathaway , Cary Elwes , Hiroyuki Morita  |  G |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anne Hathaway, Cary Elwes, Elliott Gould, Peter Boyle, Tim Curry
  • Directors: Hiroyuki Morita
  • Writers: Project Concept By Hayao Miyazaki, Original Graphic Novel By Aoi Hiiragi, Screenplay By Reiko Yoshida
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.1), French (Unknown), Japanese (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006J28BO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,130 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Cat Returns" on IMDb

Special Features

Behind The Microphone With Voice Talent From The Film Including Anne Hathaway, Cary Elwes, And More

Editorial Reviews

The Cat Returns (2002) brings back Muta, the cranky fat cat, and Baron von Gikkingen, the elegant statue, from the feature Whisper of the Heart (1995). On her way home from school, Haru, a confused 17-year-old, prevents an elegant gray cat from being hit by a truck. She's inadvertently saved the life of Lune, Prince of the Cat Kingdom, and his royal father decides to thank her. He fills her locker with gift-wrapped mice and decides she should come to his kingdom and marry Lune. Haru seeks help from the Cat Bureau, and eventually returns to relatively normal life, with the assistance of Muta and the Baron.

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

Product Description

From the creators of the Academy Award(R) winning SPIRITED AWAY (Best Animated Feature Film, 2002) comes the visually stunning THE CAT RETURNS, a spectacular animated journey to a world of magic and adventure. Haru, a schoolgirl bored by her ordinary routine, saves the life of an unusual cat, and suddenly her world is transformed beyond anything she ever imagined. The Cat King rewards her good deed with a flurry of presents, including a very shocking proposal of marriage to his son! Haru embarks on an unexpected journey to the Kingdom of Cats where her eyes are opened to a whole other world and her destiny is uncertain. To change her fate she'll need to learn to believe in herself and, in the process, she will learn to appreciate her everyday life. Featuring the sensational voice talents of Anne Hathaway, Cary Elwes, Tim Curry, and Elliott Gould, THE CAT RETURNS is a magical animated adventure that will delight and inspire everyone.~~(c)2002 Nekonote-Do - GNDHMT

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I want a kitten. October 17, 2005
Let me start off this review by saying the movie itself is a five star treat. I rented, after being on a Miyazaki and Ghibli streak, wanting to see all this Japanese studio had to offer. This one blew me away. It made me renew my love for cats, and I know this is one that my best friend, a feline fanatic himself, will probably be proudly displaying next to his What's Michael? japanese comics. Something the collective asian conscience gives them an affinity for cats, and it helps this movie shine. Anyone who has kids or cat lovers will enjoy this tale, but some may be a little lost. There was a movie before this one called Whisper of The Heart, not translated into english, but it isn't the same storyline, just the same characters, so you wont be missing any info, just dealing with a huge plot. Its worth investing in though.

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.
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72 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprising choice . . . November 10, 2004
I am not doing this review based on the Disney release, but on the original Japanese release. This charming little story is a product of Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli, but it is directed by Miyazaki's associate, Hiroyuki Morita. It is actually a sequel to the excellent and equally charming Whisper of the Heart, another beautiful though very low-key Ghibli product. The strange thing is that Whisper of the Heart has never been released in the U.S.; releasing the sequel before the original is a bit odd.

That being said, a wealth of details about the films (and everything from Studio Ghibli) can be found on the tremendously informative 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.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay but mixed June 7, 2005
Fans of Miyazaki-san and Studio Ghibli will appreciate this release, even though, once again, the Guardians of American Culture at Disney have tinkered with the dialog and plot line to suit their agenda. The release seems ham-handed and rushed.

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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Rounding out the trio of the second wave of the Studio Ghibli DVDs distributed by Disney is THE CAT RETURNS, a curious entry to the Ghibli library. The film, directed by newcomer Hiroyuki Morita, is actually a spin-off of another Ghibli production, Yoshifumi Kondo's WHISPER OF THE HEART. I've practically enjoyed all of the Miyazaki movies I have seen thus far as well as Isao Takahata's GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES, for all of these movies are artistically beautiful and not just masterpieces of Japanese animation, but true classics, period.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for THE CAT RETURNS. The story, which involves a moody high school student whisked away to the Cat Kingdom after she rescues a feline from being run over by a truck, is serviceable but uninspired and predictable in a Disney-ish sort of way--a trait that Miyazaki and Takahata's works never shared, and that is a detriment to this film. The biggest problem I have with the movie is the "believe in yourself" message. Rather than allowing the viewer to watch the struggles of the protagonist and determine what she has to learn in order to return to her homeland, she is given this very message verbally about halfway through the movie. Not only does this undermine the theme, it makes the ultimate resolution less satisfactory than it should be.

THE CAT RETURNS is not a bad film by any means. It has its preciously delightful moments (an adorable scene where we see a young girl feeding a small, filthy kitten fish crackers and a very charming ballroom dance sequence), a fare share of comedy (mostly in the form of a grouchy fat furball named Muta), and one truly memorable character, a suave, splendidly dressed "aristocat" antique by the name of Baron (his presence carries the movie as a whole).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars childrens delight
As an anima lover I am always looking, this one seems to be perhaps a earlier attempt but still has the warmth and love of the artistic eye that delights the innocence of children.
Published 8 days ago by gavin w smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent family movie
Such a great movie! The baron is super cool, Moota is hilarious and it's just a great story with humor and heart. A great family movie! Read more
Published 17 days ago by J. Funk
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghibli's usual good work!
There isn't much I can say, that hasn't been said about The Cat Returns. But in the sake of fairness, I will state that I think that it is my most favorite Studios Ghibli film that... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Carl Ward
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story
Amazing and imaginative story. I love Studio Ghibli's works. However, this is not as good as My Neighbor Totoro or Spirited Away.
Published 28 days ago by Bubbagirl2
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Watched it once and gave it to someone else.
Published 1 month ago by Zoe's Nana
1.0 out of 5 stars Buena Vista sucks
A fantastic convincing fantasy that makes me happy! It really does feel like something that the main character of whisper of the heart would write. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Steven Charlson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Jrjb
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Leslie Shields
5.0 out of 5 stars big fan of the director
big fan of the director
Published 1 month ago by Josh .V
5.0 out of 5 stars Love
Beautiful movie, a little different feeling from a lot of his other stuff
Published 1 month ago by Tany
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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
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