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The Cat Returns [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 139 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Directors: Hiroyuki Morita
  • Producers: Toshio Susuki, Nozomu Takahashi
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Sept. 2005
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,838 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Japanese anime feature. Unruly young Haru saves a cat from being run over on her way back from school, little realising that the cat is the son of the Cat King. When Haru is invited to visit the Cat King's kingdom, it isn't long before she discovers that the Cat King's plan is to marry her to his son, Prince Lune. Haru must decide if she will stay in the Kingdom of the Cats or return to her own world. Anne Hathaway and Tim Curry provide the voices in the English dubbed version.

From Amazon.co.uk

The Cat Returns brings back Muta, the cranky fat cat, and Baron von Gikkingen, the elegant statue, from the feature Whisper of the Heart. 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. --Charles Solomon, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 28 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD
The cat returns is a brilliant and funny depiction of how helping a cat can seriously backfire. Like most Japanese animation, this film avoids the cliches and familiar storylines we are used to from Hollywood, and comes up with something very entertaining and original. Perhaps the Amazon reviewer was looking to be swept off into a bizarre parallel universe, filled with unfamiliar creatures, so was disappointed to find only a lot of cats, a crow and a schoolgirl.
Unlike Miyazaki's films, there is no really serious message here, apart from believe in yourself and get up nice and early in the morning - oh, and for best results, always mix your own blend of tea. Thinking about it, those messages could be quite serious for some.
The cats in the film are most definately cats, not human characters in cat-form and are all the better for it. The film is really a comedy about how cats don't understand people. Unusually it is the cat kingdom that's flawed rather than the human world. In this film, going away to a fantasy world is not the answer. You need to snap out of it and start living your life. Well, you're allowed a bit of day-dreaming, just not too much OK?
I have watched most of the films produced by Studio Ghibli, and this is certainly one of my favorites.
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Format: DVD
This was the second Studio Ghibli film I saw after Spirited Away and I was equally impressed by both movies. I have been a fan of animated film all my life but with age I became more and more demanding and the predictable Disney fairy tales are not so impressive anymore. Although Ghibli is sometimes called the Japanese Disney it is a huge understatement. The films are involving and beautifully animated but more importantly they are refreshing. You find your imagination blown away by the inventive worlds and characters in Studio Ghibli movies. Discovering the cats and their world with 17 year old Haru is fantastic, which every animated film should be. But at the same time the story deals with unexpected, adult themes. The characters are not black and white, the good make mistakes and those causing trouble are just misunderstood. The plot also deals with a young girl's confidence and love, as Ghibli films often do, yet with their own, different take. If you have never seen a Ghibli film this is a great place to start and if you are already a fan, this won't disappoint. Enjoy!
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Format: DVD
I did not expect too much when I bought this film, it had not received the publicity of Hayao Miyazaki's other titles - if you dont know who he is you need to go watch 'My Neighbour Totoro', 'Princess Mononoke' and the academy award winning 'Spirited Away' right away! The story is that a young girl, Haru saves the life of a cat who turns out to be Lune, Prince of the Cat Kingdom, and the results of this become more complicated and form the plot of the film. There are some lovely touches, the King of Cats is an amusing character, the Baron is an excellent creation, a dashing, charming hero like Sherlock Holmes in his prime, while the view of the cat kingdom from air which turns out to be a giant paw print almost makes it worth watching the film on its own.

So why not the full 5 stars? OK well for one, it was too short, it came in about 80 minutes which is probably about average for a lot of animated features in the west but from Studio Ghibli it was disappointing since some of their other films have been pushing two hours, and the way they fill that time makes them feel like epics. The style of the animation is pleasant, although the tiniest bit bland, with pastel shades and nothing that could really offend anybody. If you liked other films from Studio Ghiblie you're probably going to like this as well but if you haven't then this might not be for you.

A nice, pleasant animation. Good, not great. Must keep an eye out for 'Howl's Moving Castle'...
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Let's face it, Miyazaki-san and Takahata-san are getting on in years. Already Miyazaki-san has hinted at retirement, until his infectious enthusiasm gets the better of him and he comes back with yet another great idea. Or is it that he is worried about the future of the studio when the two old masters are no longer with us (touch wood that day is very far off)? Well on this evidence he shouldn't worry too much, as Hiroyuki Morita seems to be one of their natural, spiritual successors. It was not on a whim that Miyazaki-san took this young man to a fine restaurant and told him that he had been promoted to director of his own project, and that what was once intended to be a 45 minute short was going to be a full-on cinematic Ghibli release.

And for me, a long time fan of the studio, that faith was well placed. I've no doubt you have read some of The Cat Returns' 3-4 star reviews, with their unfair comparisons to the work of Miyazaki and Takahata at the heart? Well I'm going to ask you to ignore them. Let this work be judged on its own merit. I can assure you, do that and you will find that elusive, enchanting charm that is present in Ghibli's more famous titles. As regards that other-worldly escapism feeling, it is apparent in this movie far more than even some of Miyazaki-san's own work. Haru's transitions into the world of the Cats, both at 'The Cat Bureau' location and then onto the 'Cat Kingdom' are two of the most magical scenes across the entire Ghibli catalogue...for me they are up there with Mei's first meeting of Totoro in every other Ghibli fan's favourite movie, 'My Neighbour Totoro'. I have read other reviewers comments saying that this film has little of the magic of a Miyazaki movie, well I couldn't disagree more. It is in my top five Ghibli movies...
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