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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 5 October 2009
`The Cat Returns' is a sweet film from Studio Ghibli and while it is probably not as good as some of the other Ghibli films I have seen it is still fun and an entertaining film. The story is about the schoolgirl called Haru who saves a cat from being run over while crossing the road. Soon after she is approached by the Cat King, whose sun she saved, who wants to shower her with gifts. Soon though the cats generosity gets overwhelming and when Haru is invited to the Cat Kingdom itself she decides she needs to get some help.

Although the plot of this film isn't too complicated, it is still a sweet story and somewhat enjoyable. The animation is as good as you would expect from a Studio Ghibli film and the English dub is also very good with the likes of Ann Hathaway, Cary Elwes, Judy Greer and Tim Curry providing the voices. Overall `The Cat Returns' is a good film that is easy to watch and quite enjoyable.
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VINE VOICEon 5 November 2005
This film had a mixed reception when it was released. However, I think it is great fun.
Okay, so at first "The Cat Returns" may not look quite as crafted as "Spirited Away" or other Miyazaki films. But that's because this has a different director at the helm, with his own visual style. I for one quite enjoyed the look of the film, especially the gawky but sweet Haru.
The first time I saw this film I wasn't aware that the Baron had previously appeared in "Whisper of the Heart". This explains why his appearance seemed a little odd and without much backstory - a Japanese audience would already be familiar with the character (thankfully a UK DVD release of "Whispers..." is planned, so that should soon be rectified).
Finally (and I can't emphasise this enough), LISTEN TO THE ORIGINAL JAPANESE DUB!!! I first saw this in the cinema in English, and I must say the subtleties of the original Japanese really help the story. In the English dub we have Tim Curry as the Cat King playing it mock-cool, but the original voice was the actor who played Grandpa in "Happiness of the Katakuris", and he brings his wonderfully funny, expresive voice to the fore.
So give this film a chance. It may be a small, rather fluffy film and the heroine is never in any real danger (except being forced to marry a cat!), but it has magic moments galore (especially the midnight cat procession). A part of any Ghibli fan's collection.
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This is a great film, perfect for lazy Sunday afternoons. I tend to feel that this film is aimed more toward a younger audience, although that didn't stop me enjoying it. You get the usual high quality Ghibli animation and film score, as well as a quaint story that is inoffensive and rather charming. It isn't as innovative as other Ghibli films, but it is another fine film from the respected Japanese studio. Well worth a try if you're a fan of anime.

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on 9 June 2007
If you think this is a sequal to Whisper of the heart, it isn't really.

They have taken the shop, 'Moon' and the Baron from Whisper of the heart and put them together with a different girl (Haru).

I'm sure everyone's said the storyline enough by now, but incase you still don't know it:

Haru is walking down the street, and saves a cat from getting run over. The cat is actually a prince, so his father, the cat king repays her with lots of cat themed presents like mice. They announce they will collect her in the evening and take her to the cat world to marry the prince. A voice tells her to see the Baron, led by Moon (who is called something else in this film). The cats take her to their kingdom, and the Baron and Moon try to save her. The more she gets used to being in their kingdom, the more she becomes a cat. By the end the prince comes and stops the king from marrying them, and she gets home again. The end.

I don't think its suitable for anime fans, its too childish. There is humour in it, but, not enough to make me want to watch it again. Yet the artwork was so detailed, its not really suitable for young kids to appreciate it. Then who is it suitable for?

I would compare this film to the episode of Excel saga with all the dogs, if you scrap all the violence. All the voices were too American as well.

Whisper of the heart was much better, however if you watch the cat returns first, you might not enjoy Whisper of the heart. So make sure you watch that one first!
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on 29 January 2006
As a Studio Ghibli film, The Cat Returns is ok. Released just one year after the classic Spirited Away, to me it failed to rival that greatness for several reasons.
Firstly, it felt too short.
Secondly, the story lacked depth with little character development.
Don't get me wrong, the story as an idea is great. Girl saves a cat prince, she gets swept away to the cat kingdom as thanks by the cat king to marry the prince, but is rescued by a cat who is not quite a cat.
An ok film, but not a great Ghilbi one.
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on 23 May 2009
I really enjoy the Studio Ghibli collection, and this is one of my favourites. It is a fast paced film, with good humour. It isn't too long and it is OK for little viewers. Obviously Spirited Away is the best film in the collection, but this is a close contender. The animation is fresh and the story is unique.
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on 8 June 2010
One of my favourite Studio Ghibli films (I have most of them!)

Excellent animation, story and characters - you may recognise the cat from another story!

Good v bad story with humour and interest all the way - highly recommended
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on 27 April 2013
Any cat lover will absolutely adore this film, even if they aren`t that big a fan of animation. A beautiful, charming and funny story about the secret world of cats that the entire family can enjoy.
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on 21 September 2015
What can you say it's the brilliant ghibli..it's beautiful art andcrandom epic sad storyline brilliant way to bow out.deserves Oscars.Andcstored am a mother of a studio ghibli fan stunning.
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on 8 August 2015
I hate it when I see ***Spoilers*** so I won't be doing that here!

All I will say is that I love this film and it is suitable for adults and child.

Highly recommended!
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