Friday, March 1, 2013

The Cat Returns (Hiroyuki Morita, 2002) Review

With Whisper of the Heart out of the way, I can turn my attention to a film that I've wanted to talk about for a while now. Will I ever get round to Miyazaki's films? Eventually, but for now I'm looking at The Cat Returns...obviously, because it's the title of the review. I was probably gonna mention it. Well, with that out of the way, let's dive into one of Studio Ghibili's lesser known titles, The Cat Returns.

Haru (Anne Hathaway) is a normal high school student, that is until she saves the life of a cat and sheis rewarded by residents of the Cat Kingdom. She recieves some gifts that only cats would want (mice, catnip and the such) until the Cat King (Tim Curry) arranges Haru and his son, the cat she saved, to be married. Haru seeks help from the cat bureau with the help of Muta (Peter Boyle), a big fat cat from Whisper of the Heart, and meets with the head of the bureau, The Baron (Cary Elwes) also from Whisper of the Heart. Muta, The Baron and their avian friend Toto (Elliot Gould) vow to protect Haru from the Cat King.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present my favourite Studio Ghibli film (you know, considering The Castle of Cagliostro doesn't count). I believe that my favourite genre is pure Adventure. No Sci-fi or Action hyprid genres, just Adventure. My love of The Castle of Cagliostro reflects this and The Cat Returns is no different. It's sort of a dead genre as most people tie in other genres into it, making something new. I respect this film for bringing in only fantasy at the very least. The world that they create with this film is beautiful and the animation, while vastly different to Ghibli's other works, helps create some excellent content for this film. What tops it off is the amazing soundtrack. It's easily Studio Ghibli's best soundtrack to any of their films.

This film easily has by favourite Ghibli characters in it. The Baron is one of my favourite cartoon characters to date and his team up with Haru, one of Ghibli's better protagonists, and Muta, a very enjoyable character (mostly down to the voice work from Peter Boyle), makes for excellent dialogue and some awesome moments. Tim Curry naturally does a hammy performance as the Cat King and is an excellent addition to the cast. I also have to give film props for succesfully managing to blend different emotions together in a small space of time. That's hard to do but it pulled it off. Did I mention I love this film?

I could go on about how much I love The Cat Returns. Is it perfect? No. The big glaring problem is that it's too short...that's it. I can't think of any other problems (I'm sure you can Becuase of it's length, I can easily watch this film again and again and never get bored of it. THAT shows how good of a film it is. It's the most replayable film I can think of. Remember how I said in my review of Whisper of the Heart that you all need to buy it? Yeah, buy this too while you're at it. It's well worth a watch.

My favourite Ghibli film. The exellently written script and characters combined with nice animation and an amazing soundtrack and cast makes for one of Ghibli's more enjoyable films.

I think I'm a cat that a form of bias?

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