Sunday, October 29, 2006

Movie Log: The Cat Returns

I saw this a week ago now, with the boys, as our "Boys' Movie Saturday" selection. (This week, they wanted to watch Aladdin, but that ended up being Thing 1 poking through the 2nd disc of the 2-disc set and watching various odd things, so I'm not counting that.)

My memories are getting a bit faint now -- I'll try not to tax them too much.

The Cat Returns is a minor Studio Ghibli movie -- before I look it up on IMDB, I'll guess that it was done for TV or a direct-to-video release (what I think they call an OAV, if I'm not misusing that term). The title positions it as a sequel to Whisper of the Heart, since "the cat" here is a figurine that played a role in that movie (and came to life in a short story-within-a-story near the end, supposedly written by Whisper's heroine). Presumably, we're to think of The Cat Returns as another story about the Baron character from Whisper's story-in-a-story, and probably as having been written by that girl what's-her-name.

Well, IMDB doesn't entirely clear things up -- it seems that this started as a twenty-minute short for a theme park, but grew along the way. (I can't tell if it was released theatrically in Japan, but it certainly doesn't seem to have been in the USA.)

In any case, it's a small, minor, cute little movie about a girl and some cats. She saves a cat from a speeding truck on the way home from school one day, and soon finds herself in the land of the cats with multiplying troubles. My boys enjoyed it, but didn't love it -- I bet girls would like it better, and cat-crazy girls the most. For adults, I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to see it unless (like me) you're trying to work through all of the Studio Ghibli movies.

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