The title for this review will probably be your first reaction upon seeing this short film. Though considered Japanese animation, little in it looks like it. The story itself plays out silently, accompanied by music and squeaks from the characters. In truth very little in this movie makes any sense. One way to describe it is: If Stanley Kubrick made an animation, this might be it.
But it's still an excellent film. Cat Soup is about two kittens. One of the kittens, named Nyaaka, gets sick and has her soul removed by Death, but before all of the soul is removed, Nyatta, Nyaaka's brother, catches and breaks a piece of the soul, saving Nyaaka from death... barely. She becomes an emotionless creature with a dead look to her large eyes. So Nyatta decides to find his sister's soul. In his journey, he drags his near-dead sister to many places, from a bizarre circus to a tiny, dark river, with many strange, magical, and sometimes disturbing places in between.
The things that happen to the characters of this short seem almost random, giving the feeling of constant surprise to Cat Soup. Following the characters, you wonder where in the world they could get to next Just when you realize they are at their next destination you begin to want Nyatta and Nyaaka to move on. Danger meets them in every place they go, whether from a physical thing or from the weather. And then, of course, there is the scene where you see the namesake of the film...
When all put together, it makes for a surprisingly tense and entertaining piece of short animation. The problem with this movie is that it is easily misunderstood. Where one person believes its magical, another thinks its crap. All I can say is give it a try, rent it if possible, or buy it if you're a collector. I'm sure that if you watched it without a critical eye, you'll find your own measure of enjoyment from Cat Soup.