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The Cat Returns [2002 film]

por Hiroyuki Morita (Director), Reiko Yoshida (Screenwriter)

Outros autores: Yuji Nomi (Compositor), Toshio Suzuki (Producer)

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: Studio Ghibli Animation (2002)

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In an imaginative and lighthearted tale, a young schoolgirl saves the life of a noble cat and is rewarded with a shocking proposal of marriage - to the Cat King's son - and a fateful journey to the extraordinary Kingdom of Cats.
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I knew I'd seen The Cat Returns before, but I couldn't remember what it was about or even whether I'd liked it. Still, cats are always nice, so I figured I'd enjoy at least that much.

Haru is a high school girl who has trouble getting up on time in the morning and is nursing a crush on one of her classmates, a cool-looking guy who's already dating someone else. One day, Haru saves a strange cat just as it's about to get run over and, to her shock, it speaks to her. The cat, Prince Lune, tells her that he has to go but that he'll be back to thank her properly later.

Haru learns that this isn't the first time she's heard a cat talk. When she was a child, she fed a stray kitten who also spoke to her. However, rescuing Prince Lune turns into a much bigger and more annoying event, as Haru keeps getting showered with unwanted gifts designed more for a cat's tastes than a human's. Things go from bad to worse as Haru finds herself accidentally engaged to Prince Lune. The only one who can save her from being forcibly brought to the Cat Kingdom and married off to a cat is the Baron Humbert von Gikkingen, a cat figurine with a soul, and his two friends, Toto and Muta.

This was...okay. I could see why I had forgotten so much about it. It wasn't bad, but it also wasn't nearly as memorable as my more favorite Studio Ghibli films, like Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and My Neighbor Totoro.

My favorite part of the movie was probably the beginning, before Haru ended up in the Cat Kingdom. The various gifts she was given were hilarious, and I enjoyed her introduction to the Baron. I honestly wouldn't mind a series of movies focused on the Baron's life and adventures. The Cat King's first appearance also had some fun aspects - I particularly loved the bodyguard tuxedo cats.

Haru morphed into a more frustrating heroine after ending up in the Cat Kingdom. Maybe there was something about the atmosphere that dulled her wits, but instead of freaking out upon being kidnapped and dragged to the Cat Kingdom, she just calmly and happily accepted it. It wasn't until after she started transforming into a cat and thought her one companion had died that she really seemed to remember what kind of mess she was in. She spent most of the rest of the movie as a damsel in distress.

The positive side of that was that the Baron got lots of chances to be cool. He was fun to watch, although he didn't really have much depth to him. Again, I kind of wish this were part of a series of movies devoted to the Baron, since there was so much more that could have been done with him.

I'm a little amazed that Prince Lune and the Cat King were really related. Whereas Prince Lune was level-headed and dignified, the Cat King was just...not. He probably should have abdicated the throne ages ago.

All in all, this was an okay re-watch experience, but definitely not the best Studio Ghibli has to offer.

Additional Comments:

The repeated fat jokes aimed at Muta were a bit irksome, and Haru's last instance of calling him Fatso seemed particularly unnecessary and out-of-place.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Apr 23, 2018 |
After saving a cat from being hit from a bus, shy high school student Haru receives the blessing of the cat kingdom and is rewarded by becoming engaged, against her will, to the prince of the cat kingdom, the very cat she saved. Studio Ghibli's animation is top notch, as always, with a blend of beauty and oddity. Seeing earth cats walking on two feet and carrying things is strange, but once the story goes to the cat kingdom, the anthropomorphic cats begin to look more acceptable. The handsome and dashing Baron sets off to rescue Haru from a marriage neither she nor the prince want, but the king is forcing. They must escape the kingdom before daybreak, or Haru will transform into a cat herself. The romance that develops between Haru and the Baron is left unresolved, but Haru has gained more confidence in herself after her adventure. A visual splendor to behold with a slightly odd story, this is not the best of Studio Ghibli's works, but it is still way better than most anime. ( )
  jjohlend | Dec 23, 2009 |
I loved this film. It was fresh and clever. ( )
  lnlamb |
Amazon.com
The Cat Returns (2002) brings back Muta, the cranky fat cat, and Baron von Gikkingen, the elegant statue, from the feature Whisper of the Heart (1995). 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. (Rated G: minor scary imagery and cartoon violence) --Charles Solomon
  aacc-illinois | Mar 31, 2015 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Morita, HiroyukiDirectorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Yoshida, ReikoScreenwriterautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Nomi, YujiCompositorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Suzuki, ToshioProducerautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Auberjonois, RenéActorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bell, KristenActorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bevis, AndrewActorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Boyle, PeterActorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Curry, TimActorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Elwes, CaryActorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gould, ElliottActorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Greer, JudyActorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hathaway, AnneActorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Richter, AndyActorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sutherland, KristineActorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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In an imaginative and lighthearted tale, a young schoolgirl saves the life of a noble cat and is rewarded with a shocking proposal of marriage - to the Cat King's son - and a fateful journey to the extraordinary Kingdom of Cats.

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