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The Cat Returns
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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
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
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Top Customer Reviews
Reeling from this encounter, Haru discovers to her horror that the cats mean business when she arrives in school to find some bizarre 'gifts' - hundreds of wrapped presents containing live mice! Haru then hears a voice that asks her to find The Cat Bureau, and makes her way to a store (with the aid of an overlarge white cat named Muta) where she meets an elegant and charming cat named Baron von Gikkengen (Cary Elwes). The rest of the story focuses on the Baron's attempts to rescue Haru after she is kidnapped by the King of Cat's henchmen and kept prisoner in the Cat Kingdom.
I loved the underlying theme which addresses self-esteem and trying to find one's 'voice', universal themes which many adolescents struggle with. My five-and-a-half year old daughter might not have appreciated nor understood this theme, but she loved the rich visuals (plus it helps that both of us adore cats!). It is a story that can be appreciated by both young and older viewers on different levels. There is some violence involving battle scenes between the Baron, Haru, Muta and the King's cats, but these scenes are not gory or bloody. In my opinion, this animated feature is suitable for ages 5 and up, depending on the maturity level of the child. "The Cat Returns" is charming with an engaging plot and interesting characters. I plan to watch Whisper of the Heart which I understand features the Baron in it.
After a close friend mentioned seeing it, I decided I'd take the plunge and see it (along with it's semi-prequel, Whisper of the Heart).
Despite a decade of build-up, and a rather short running time (only about an hour and ten minutes), it exceeded my expectations!
It's a simply beautiful movie that left me wanting more, to see it again once wouldn't be enough, I can see myself viewing it again and again in the future!
My only complaints are the aforementioned run-time, and a bit of a rushed pace, the cover also could've been better, I just feel Europe got a better deal with the covers.
Looking forward to seeing it again, and maybe a blu-ray release too!
It's not Spirited Away, but any negatives are outweighed for Ghibli fans because the entire production is an Easter egg for a movie they made 7 years earlier! If you're not sure what I mean, check wikipedia for "The Cat Returns" and read the 'Origin' section :)
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Cheerful and a good watch for the whole family.Read more
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