The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.
Upon being sent to live with relatives in the countryside, an emotionally distant adolescent girl becomes obsessed with an abandoned mansion and infatuated with a girl who lives there - a girl who may or may not be real.
When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.
College student Hana falls in love with another student who turns out to be a werewolf, who dies in an accident after their second child. Hana moves to the rural countryside where her husband grew up to raise her two werewolf children.
A young girl rescues a mysterious cat from traffic and soon finds herself the unwelcome recipient of gifts and favors from the King of the Cats, who also wants her to marry his son, Prince Lune. With the assistance of a fat, grouchy real cat and a an elegant cat statuette come to life (both characters featured in Studio Ghibli's earlier anime "Whisper of the Heart"), the girl visits the Cat Kingdom and narrowly escapes again. Written by
A very different follow-up to Whisper of the Heart
Let me start by saying that The Cat Returns is not the best of Ghibli and Miyazaki had almost nothing to do with it. If Miyazaki had directed or even written it, the film would have been as great as Totoro or Kiki. This movie is pretty much Whisper of the Heart as a Spirited Away style fantasy.
The story is as follows: A normal girl named Haru is transported to the world of cats to marry a cat prince who she saved from a speeding truck. That's basically all that I can tell without giving away the film. For those of you who loved Whisper, Baron is back big time. It was great to see Baron have a much larger role as a hero. The `stray' cat from Whisper is also back and fatter than ever.
Though some Ghibli fans will be disappointed, those who are cat-lovers will fall in love with the film. The film's flaw lies in that the story moves along a bit too fast for my taste. Just don't go expecting a film on the same level as Spirited Away or Mononoke and you'll have a great time. Grade: A-.
Rated PG for frightening scenes, brief sensuality, and language. Suggested for ages 10 and up.
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