The Cat Returns (2002)

I’ve been waiting quite a while to see this film show up on Blu-ray in the US. And since we now have Porco Rosso and Pom Poko on the horizon, slated next year in February, we are surely close to seeing this and Spirited Away show up as the last two “previously released” films to release on Disney HD. And very likely we will see Only Yesterday and Ocean Waves released on Blu-ray by GKids, who have been doing a stellar job with other foreign animated features, as well as two recent Ghibli titles.

I’ve been quite fond of the atmosphere of The Cat Returns and the type of fantasy world story that it is. It’s very similar to another anime film called Catnapped!, but it is far less annoying and far more charming and enjoyable. It’s almost a pseudo sequel to Whisper of the Heart, and has been speculated to be the story that Shizuku writes after reuniting with Seiji. Which makes this technically Studio Ghibli’s ONLY sequel. Beyond the visuals, I love the English dub: which is both unobtrusive and very well done, and is one of Anne Hathaway’s only voice-over roles. But I think she turns out a really likable and relatable performance. This is also Carey Elwes’ 2nd Studio Ghibli dub, as the whimsical Baron. And it’s far more enjoyable a listen than his rather awkward turn as a Texas-born sea-plane pilot in Porco Rosso.

But now I’ll let TheDullWoodExperiment explain the rest. =)


Cat Returns, The

Original title: Neko no ongaeshi

D: Hiroyuki Morita / 75m

Cast: Chizuru Ikewaki, Yoshihiko Hakamada, Aki Maeda, Takayuki Yamada, Hitomi Satô, Kenta Satoi, Mari Hamada, Tetsu Watanabe, Yôsuke Saitô, Kumiko Okae, Tetsurô Tanba

Haru (Ikewaki) is a young girl who always seems to be running to catch up in her life. While on her way home from school one day, she saves a cat from being run over by a truck. Unseen by anyone else, the cat dusts itself down and thanks her for saving his life; afterwards Haru thinks she’s going mad. When she mentions the incident to her mother (Okae), her mother recalls an occasion when Haru was much younger and she spoke to a kitten. Somewhat reassured, Haru is still surprised to find a procession of cats appear in the night outside her home. Led by the Cat King (Tanba) of Cat Kingdom, he bestows on her his thanks…

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