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Sweetly charming and beautifully animated, The Cat Returns offers anime adventure suitable for the very young and young at heart. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

High school student Haru (Chizuru Ikewaki) rescues a cat that was about to be run over by a truck and discovers the cat is actually a prince named Lune. Out of gratitude, Lune's father, the Cat King, asks her to marry Lune. Haru is brought to the Cat Kingdom, where she starts to develop feline features. When she is prevented from leaving, the Baron (Yoshihiko Hakamada) and Toto, two statues that have magically been given life, provide assistance in gaining her freedom.

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News & Interviews for The Cat Returns

Critic Reviews for The Cat Returns

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (2)

  • Catchy entertainment for kids and adults...

    September 1, 2008
  • [Director] Morita has a slightly cruder, more realistic sense of the world and its looniness than does Miyazaki, and you can see where The Cat Returns moves on a different track even as it pays homage to Japan's current animation master.

    June 20, 2007 | Full Review…
  • There's little tension or opportunity for emotional involvement in the brief story, and despite competent animation the cats are rarely anthropomorphised to good comic effect. One for anime -- and animal -- lovers only.

    April 1, 2006 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Another enjoyable fantasy adventure from Studio Ghibli.

    February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
  • An enchanting, magical fable with a twisted vein of surrealism that makes you wonder exactly what they're smoking over there in the Land of the Rising Sun.

    May 24, 2005 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Miya-san may have said "sayounara" but the films made during his time will continue to inspire and delight.

    December 28, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Cat Returns

  • Jun 21, 2014
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 07, 2013
    I love cats and this film is perfect for me!!! It's an enjoyable family fantasy that was filled with laughter and likable characters.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Jan 19, 2012
    Sorta like 'Spirited Away' but with a much more whimsical and playful tone. Very bizarre but effectively endearing personal tale about a directionless schoolgirl who finds her path in life in the most unlikely of places. Filled with laugh-out-loud moments and a weird but memorable cast of characters (The Baron is voiced masterfully by Cary Elwes), it may not be the most original Studio Ghibli film but it is still thoroughly entertaining in it's brisk 72 minute runtime. Even without the two masters involved (Hayao Myazaki and Isao Takahata), the Ghibli crew can still make quality animated films. Side note: This is a spin-off of another Studio Ghibli flick named 'Whisper of the Heart', which was a grounded slice-of-life masterpiece in which it's brief dream sequences featured The Baron. Both 'Whisper of the Heart' and 'The Cat Returns' have no real story connections, so watching 'Whisper of the Heart' is not needed in order to understand the plot (although you should definitely still give it a viewing since it's a criminally underrated near-classic). Plus, watching 'Whisper of the Heart' gives 'The Cat Returns' story a fun context to view it in.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Nov 27, 2011
    Studio Ghibli can really do no wrong. They have this uncanny ability of making everything adorable, and with seeming effortlessness they're able to pull you in and make you care deeply for their characters without actually putting much effort into their development. They just define them so well through design and minor subtleties that by the time a cat stands upright and begins speaking with Cary Elwes's voice you're already too in love to care about all the ridiculous crap they're about to throw at you.
    Brett W Super Reviewer

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