Brought to us by the one and only Studio Ghibli, The Cat Returns is a 2002 anime film directed by Hiroyuki Morita and a spiritual sequel/spin-off to the 1995 Whisper of the Heart. This review will be based on the 2005 Walt Disney English dub.
Haru Yoshioka (Anne Hathaway) is a shy, neurotic, and somewhat ditsy schoolgirl. One day, she is walking home from school she saves a cat from getting run over by a bus. The cat turns out to be Prince Lune (Andrew Bevis), the heir to a throne in the realm of cats. He thanks her for saving his life, vowing to return and thank her properly. However, she is soon created by a large chorus of cats, who tell her that she must now marry the prince.
Realizing that there is little hope of escaping this destiny, she teams up with a cat known as the Baron (Cary Elwes) and his friend Muta (Peter Boyle) in order to get her out of the situation, but that does not save her from being brought into the land of the felines and slowly starts to turn into a cat. Can she escape before she can get back to Japan in one piece?
This is probably one of my favorite Studio Ghibli animated features. The artwork is near flawless and it hearkens back to a time of a traditional animation. The story is incredibly imaginative and is whimsical, something that is disappearing (even in cartoons.)
I would also like to praise the voice acting skills of the English cast. Hathaway may be overrated when it comes to live-action, but when it comes to this role, she knocks it out of the park. Cary Elwes, likewise, is great as the Baron. He cameos as the character in the previous film, but this time, he really got to shine.
FAVORITE QUOTE: Always believe in yourself. Do this and no matter where you are, you will have nothing to fear.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Mild cartoon violence
Check out the Japanese trailer below:
That is my review. What did you think? Let me know in the comments below and tell me if there’s a movie you’d like me to review. Check out my thoughts on the popular anime flick Whisper Of The Heart. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.