Watch The Cat Returns
- 1 hr 15 min
The Cat Returns is a 2002 Japanese animated film produced by Studio Ghibli. Directed by Hiroyuki Morita and written by Reiko Yoshida, the film follows the story of Haru, a young girl who saves the life of a royal cat and is drawn into a magical world of cats. The film begins with Haru, a high school student who feels lost and disconnected from the world around her. One day, on her way home from school, she rescues a cat from being hit by a truck. To her surprise, the cat thanks her and tells her that he is a prince from the Cat Kingdom, and that he has come to repay her for saving his life. Haru is initially skeptical, but she is soon whisked away to the Cat Kingdom, a magical realm where cats walk on two feet, wear clothes, and speak like humans. There, she meets the Cat King, a regal feline who insists that she marry his son, Prince Lune, as a reward for her bravery. But Haru is not interested in marrying a cat, and she begins to plot her escape. With the help of a dapper cat named Baron, Haru sets out on a perilous journey to escape the Cat Kingdom and return safely to her own world. Along the way, she encounters a colorful cast of characters, including a crow who helps her fly, a giant harp that can control the wind, and a trio of dapper cats who serve as Baron's loyal assistants. Throughout the film, Haru learns important lessons about bravery, friendship, and the power of imagination. She discovers that she is more capable than she ever imagined, and that true friends are always willing to lend a helping paw. The animation in The Cat Returns is stunning, with lush, detailed backgrounds and fluid, expressive character designs. The film's soundtrack, composed by Yuji Nomi, is also noteworthy, with a mix of whimsical melodies and soaring orchestral themes. The voice acting in both the Japanese and English versions of the film is excellent, with Chizuru Ikewaki and Anne Hathaway both delivering nuanced and engaging performances as Haru. Other notable performances include Yoshihiko Hakamada as the suave and debonair Baron, and Aki Maeda as Yuki, a loyal cat who helps Haru on her journey. Overall, The Cat Returns is a delightful and charming film that will enchant viewers of all ages. Its blend of adventure, humor, and heart make it a standout in the Studio Ghibli canon, and it is sure to be beloved by generations of anime fans to come.