Top positive review
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The cat's whiskers
on 28 January 2006
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.