English: The Cat Returns
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 20, 2002
Duration: 1 hr. 15 min.
Rating: G - All AgesL represents licensing company
Score: 8.021 (scored by 32631 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsadventure drama fantasy ghibli
Jan 6, 2008
Story: The Cat Returns is a side story to the Studio Ghibli film, "Whisper of the Heart'. In essence, it is a separate story within a story, which makes the concept quite clever. It brings back old characters from the original showing, into a plot that has a similar atmosphere to The Nutcracker or Alice in Wonderland. It is a fantasy, in a which a shy girl is carried off into another land, and in the process learns more about herself. The moral behind the story is a touching one, and it is delivered well. Perhaps the only drawback that someone might find, is that it all ends too happily [or that the story is too predictable].
Art: The art was decent, considering it came from a studio that is well known for its high quality animation. Yet I saw the film in a site where the movie had slightly lower quality then what might be seen on a dvd or television screen. There are some scenes in which the art is commendable. This includes anatomy of the animals, and the city scenes. Some scenes were very well detailed, although the color at times wasn't as vibrant as it could be. [This could simply be a style presented in the film]. It can't compare to some of the more vibrant shows of today, but it is still well done.
Sound: The sound was decent, although it could have been better. If there were any songs, they were not strong or memorable. It was straight forward sound that was good enough to deliver the show. The voice actor for the main character did a good job, making Haru [the girl] quite comical at times. Audio was not the strongest area in this film, but it was not bad.
Character: The character's personalities were probably typical for a story such as this one. Yet there are many aspects that they portray in the film in order to help the story flow. There is also character development within the main character, Haru, although the change was rather sudden and short-lived. It still makes it all fit together nicely in the end. The characters themselves are not as strong as the story or the enjoyment, but they are quite comical.
Enjoyment: In my opinion, this is the strongest point of the film. There will always be a moment in which something ironic, or humorous occurs. They try their best to make the audience laugh. If it isn't the witty or silly remarks made by the characters, then it is the very actions within the plot itself. I enjoyed the film very much, and haven't felt so light-hearted in a while.
Overall, The Cat Returns, is a comical and sweet tale. It isn't something meant to be taken seriously. It is an odd, wacky fantasy with jokes and general mischief at every corner. I feel that it is a must see for any Studio Ghibli fan. Yet even if you are unfamiliar with the other works in Studio Ghibli, I feel that this story will still leave you with a nice (if not wacky) impression. read more
Jul 16, 2008
The story here is very similar to many other Ghibli movies. A character is thrust into a magical land, or sees something out of the ordinary. However unoriginal it may be, it's well done. It's well written, and it's well paced.
The art style is a bit mediocre for a movie. The characters are drawn very simply, and lack shading to make them look more three-dimensional. The background paintings are very beautiful, though.
Soundwise, it is very well done. The music is high quality, and the stereo sound is mastered well. The English dub is done pretty well, no complains there really.
The character is very relatable, especially if you are a girl. My sister and one of her friends were watching this, and fell in love with the movie. I believe the reason for this was the central female protagonist. She is portrayed realistically and believably as a teenage high school girl.
Although a bit short for a Ghibli movie, it's a concise, memorable and whimsical adventure into a fantasy world that is worth seeing. It is a good movie overall; if you like Miyazaki's work, give this one a go.
You can watch my video review of this anime HERE. read more
Mar 15, 2008
The story, which involves Haru, an unlucky high school student, whisked away to the Cat Kingdom after saving 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.
More problematic, however, 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, Haru 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 healthy 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). But while unquestionably fine for children and families, the film is ultimately a weaker effort, both narratively and artistically (the artwork, although colorful and imaginative for the most part lacks the polish that we have come to expect from Ghibli), and consequently, is not especially memorable.
Aurally, The Cat Returns cannot be faulted. The musical score from Yuji Nomi (Whisper of the Heart) is pleasantly orchestral and charming, and the ending theme song which accompanies the closing credits is lovely and catching. And of course, Disney does yet another fabulous job of providing a top-notch cast to translate the movie into English. These include Tim Curry, Peter Boyle, and Elliot Gould. Special credit in particular goes to Cary Elwes (Donald Curtis in Porco Rosso), who is perfect as the suave, debonair Baron. On the other side of the spectrum, Anne Hathaway's Haru, although good, sometimes comes across as too whiney. Granted, this is how she is supposed to be, but it does detract from the likeability of the character.
As mentioned, children will obviously enjoy The Cat Returns, but in contrast to the studio's more memorable features, it falls disappointingly short. Although better than the worst animated features out there, The Cat Returns, so far, ranks as the weakest of the Studio Ghibli films. Ghibli completists will pick it up just for the sake of "owning the entire collection", but chances are it will not be among their top ten lists. read more
Apr 7, 2010
The film has some of the same characters from 'whisper of the heart' but that doesn't mean you have to go and watch that becasue the film will still make sense.
It's a very simple story to understand and it's very enjoyable.
The main charater has problems with being herself and making choices which puts her in abit of a situation in the film.
However there are people there to help her.
I won't give any spoilers because I'm sure you will want to find out for yourself.
I noticed that the art in this film is different to other studio ghibli films but it's still good.
Overall a great film to watch
Hope this review is ok as it's one of my first ;)
Apr 14, 2010
The fact that "The Cat Returns" is not a Miyazaki film might be a stumbling block for some. His presence in Ghibli films is so heavy it can be hard to watch one without the expectation of seeing his stylistic influences. It's even more difficult to appreciate "The Cat Returns" because, to be honest, it's inferior to the average Miyazaki film. This doesn't mean it's bad though. On the contrary, for me it was like a breath of fresh air. Though I do like Miyazaki films (not as much as most other people like them, admittedly), all his films have kind of a same-ness about them, and it can get a little tiring after watching so many. In comparison to those, "The Cat Returns" has a much more easy going mood, and I, for one, found this to be a welcoming change and delightful to watch.
The characters are colourful and funny, with the banter between them providing one of the main attractions for the show. They may not have much depth, but that isn't really required in a light anime such as this - what's important is that the characters are interesting and entertaining, which they are. Apparently some of the characters are taken from "Whispers of the Heart" (perhaps that's why the title is "The Cat Returns"). I've watched "Whispers of the Heart", but don't recall seeing them, so I doubt they played very heavy roles in that. The link is tenuous at best, so watching that is not a prerequisit to watching this.
"The Cat Returns" is great for a casual watch. However, it feels like it's lacking something, and isn't engaging enough to be rated any higher than a plain "good". I think at least part of the problem lies with the characters' voices. The protagonist Haru's voice is good for the comedy moments, and fits her character quite well, but doesn't sound dramatic enough on occasions when it should. The voices in general just sound often sound very quiet, leaving the mood feeling a bit empty. This would be my main criticism of the anime (if you're wondering why the score I gave for the sound is still quite high, it's because it picked up points for having great music). Nevertheless, it's a very likeable anime, and can definitely be enjoyed if approached with an open mind. read more
Jan 28, 2013
Cat Returns doesn’t get a whole lot of publicity next to its Ghibli movie compatriots. It’s not a sprawling epic fantasy, nor a deeply personal human tale like their other movies. Cat Returns is firmly a comedy. It’s trade is primarily visual slapstick, but there’s enough cleverness to the way its presented that it doesn’t feel juvenile or get old quickly. They’re usually one-note things, like the bodyguard cats having a fur pattern that makes them look like they’re wearing tuxedos, or the disproving look the Muslim cat wearing a burqa gives her husband after she catches him ogling another pretty lady cat. Most of the visual gags come from ‘cat lore’ ideas such as this, where they translate human ideas into cat form. What would the leader of a slightly dodgy organisation give as a present? Why, recreational drugs of course! Otherwise known as catnip in cat-lore.
When it’s not trading in on its visual humour, Cat Returns goes to that stable of Ghibli tricks to bring out the wonder as the magical enters the mundane world. Statues coming to life, cats parading down the street, entering a street that you’re clearly too big for. I’ve never been as big on the massive sprawling fantasy epics Ghibli do, because they feel like they get a bit lost in what they’re trying to do and end up getting all a bit silly. Where I love them is Porco Rosso, Arrietty or the start of Spirited Away where it’s the injection of a little bit of magic into the regular world, and time and time again they nail those scenes. The way the music tees up the scene, how there’s little hints of reveals that something’s up before it actually happens. The movie does lose this edge when they enter The Cat Kingdom, but the visual comedy picks up the slack there. It gets all a bit silly, but since its played for jokes, it remains thoroughly entertaining.
Cat Returns doesn’t have an annoyingly perfect female lead either! The lead character is an humanly flawed teenage girl who feels she’s sucking at life and wouldn’t mind a change in identity to escape from it all. Her story of self-confidence, while obviously not the main attraction while you’ve got cats wearing burqas, wraps up quite nicely in its own way. She’s animated quite strangely, in a different way to how Ghibli usually operate it. She stumbles a lot, moves like she’s uncomfortable in her skin, and has lots of little attention to detail that’s really quite noticeable and goes a long way to establishing her character using visual cues. It’s rather reminiscent of the way KyoAni animates nowadays, except without all the little cutesy details like inward pointing toes and other animation tricks sacrificed towards the Unholy Alter of Moe. Although considering the Cat Returns girl falls over a lot and is generally really clumsy, maybe she is a K-ON girl after all? She even has the eyes for it.
As an aside, the English Dub is possibly the best I’ve ever heard. Disney usually do good jobs anyway, but they really knocked it out of the park with Cat Returns. Every single role is nailed, from the gentlemen cat’s posh Britishness to the king cat’s opening “heeeyyy babe” line. The main girl in particular is so fantastically done, and she wouldn’t have come across as human as she did without it. I know poor old Bang Zoom can’t afford to bring on friggen Anne Hathaway to voice their main characters like Disney did for Cat Returns, but it really is nice to watch an anime of this quality and not either flinch every 5 minutes because of bad line delivery or resort to subs and have my eyes glued to the bottom 6 inches of the screen.
Cat Returns doesn’t leave a huge impact. Its comedy, being of the silly variety, doesn’t hold a lot of weight. The story is quite pedestrian too, if at least still well executed. But the movie is a huge amount of fun, and genuinely laugh out loud in a way Ghibli normally are not. It’s magical, doesn’t outstay its welcome, and I’m hard pushed to think of a way the movie could have been any better. So yeah, Ghibli make good movies. News at 11. read more
Oct 21, 2010
Okay, well the story is pretty basic. If you've seen other Miyazaki flicks, you know that usually the story is a little like this: There's a female protagonist in some strange situation because she saw or did or interacted with some type of otherwordly thing. Basically, Haru, who is completely normal, saves a cat and gets WAY more than she bargained for. It's really short, and there aren't too many plot twists, but it's a nice story. It's pretty relatable because Haru is so average. I liked it, but it wasn't Miyazaki at is finest or anything.
I can't complain. It's distinctive and you can tell right away that it's a movie done by Miyazaki. It isn't very intricate or outstandingly elegant. Very simple, but very visually appealing, especially the scenery.
I was really surprised that the English dub wasn't trash. The music was great, as usual and the dialogue was nice.
Haru is very simple and ordinary, but she's portrayed as very pure and good-willed. Her buddies (cats) are...really great. The Baron has a very typical "hero" feel to him, but I mean, it's still pretty cool. Muta was really funny and if you've seen Whisper of the Heart, you'll probably enjoy seeing Muta in The Cat Returns.
Enjoyment and Overall:
It's great, but when you have someone like Hayao Miyazaki, it's not surprising that it's overshadowed by other pieces of his work. If you're a fan of Miyazaki, you will more than likely like this movie. It's nice watch and it's easy to fall in love with. I think female audiences may be more entertained because Haru is so easy to identify with as a typical high school girl with no particularly special talents or skills. read more
Jun 11, 2009
Dec 10, 2012
So this indirect sort of sequel is about a young, kind girl who befriends several cats (and a crow), adventures to the Kingdom of Cats, and learns to believe in herself in the process. Now, the premise would get most eye-rolling; again, this is a movie definitely geared toward children but its also pretty silly. It’s as sweet and simplistic as the story suggests, and unlike Castle in the Sky or Spirited Away, there aren’t really mature moments to draw in older audiences. That being said, again, it’s done extremely well.
If you just want to sit down and watch a cutsy movie, there’s such a charm to the characters and (as per usual) the movie is beautiful to look at. It’s one film where you’re allowed to suspend your sense of taste and just and enjoy this little film. read more
Oct 2, 2011
Aug 6, 2012
May 4, 2011
The story takes place when a young girls saves a cat from getting ran over. Little did she know that she saved a Prince and now the whole cat kingdom wich to meet her and thank her for saving their Prince. But she gets more than a thanks, she searches for another cat who can save her from the cat kingdom and return to the human world.
This is a very cute and funny anime which I enjoyed very much. The art is very beautiful and the characters will make you fall in love with them. This is a great film for all the family on any occasion. I would recommened watching both Whispers Of The Heart and The Cat Returns.
The Baron is the character that links both of these great storys together. Whispers of the Heart is more of to do with a first love and dicovering a new talent as The Cat Returns is to do with discovering who you are and something new about you. read more
Dec 11, 2012
Feb 26, 2010
Art: it's cute. that about all i can say. :)
sound: has a very uplifting feeling and brings out the maximum potential of some scenes in the movie.
Character: she's naive and somewhat oblivious to the things that happened to her throughout the movie.
enjoyment: it made me feel the same way i felt when i watched spirited away. nostalgic and peaceful and it mixed together quite nicely.
Overall: is not bad at all and is not necessary to watch whisper of the heart if you don't want to. read more
Nov 8, 2012
The story is about a girl in high school, Haru Yoshioka, who saves a cat from being hit by a vehicle on the street. Haru had unknowingly saved the cat prince, Prince Lune, of Cat Kingdom. As thanks, the Cat Kingdom showers Haru with many "fabulous" gifts like cat tails in her lawn and mice in her locker! She demands they stop, but they refuse, informing her she will be taken to Cat Kingdom and married to the cat prince! Haru is greatly distressed hearing this, but not long after she is told this information she hears a voice in her head telling her to go the Cat Bureau. Here she meets Baron Huber von Gikkingen who offers his services to help Haru from being forced to marry Prince Lune. If you want to know what happens from this point you'll have to watch it!
The art was wonderful in my personal opinion. The town Haru lives in seems to have a rustic European yet modern Japanese feel. The Cat Kingdom itself is very imaginative, from the walking and talking cats to the eyeball video cameras that watch over them. It's just so wonderfully creative!
The music is my favorite bit about this film. The waltz song between Haru and Baron at the Cat Kingdom's event is my absolute favorite piece. In general though, the voices are well done. Anne Hathaway stars as Haru!
I will forever cherish these character. Baron Hubert von Gikkingen is absolutely adorable, yet such a gentleman! Haru herself is also a strong-willed heroine, first losing herself at Cat Kingdom and then re-finding herself with the help of her friends.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I would recommend it to anyone. Even if they don't like cats! :-P
If you like Studio Ghibli, give it a try! It's a bit older, but it's a wonderful film! I've watched it so many times with my best friends! All three of us really love this film! read more
Jul 29, 2012
This was a cutesy, giggly, aww show for me. The story was simply an 'ok' for me, I didn't learn anything really profound in it, the art was also 'ok'. The main character was 'so-so'.
But somehow, despite how this seems to be a recipe for disaster, the way the story went, it's bizzareness and randomness and surprises and humor, it left an impression on me. I fell in love with the Baron and a remembered how fun my childhood was.
Watching this was like a throwback to my kiddie years and I felt my imagination and wonder soar long after the credits rolled.
What if those amazing things you thought about of when you were young were actually possible? What if the world was only hiding it's amazingness from your critical eyes? What if, what if, what if?
That's what this show left me with. read more
Aug 15, 2013
While watching this movie, i was undergoing a self assessment on both who i am as a person, and how i should improve my confidence as a whole. When i realized this movie is about a female who has many doubts, i felt a little connection growing and decided to watch the rest.
I felt as though this movie had a strong message with a deep meaning that wanted to be shown off with bright colors and it did a decent job with that.
This movie is enjoyable and the characters are 90% cats ! read more
Jan 14, 2012
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Sep 25, 2009