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"The Cat Returns" Review

With American animated movies charging farther into 3D CGI territory to the point where a traditional 2D Disney movie like The Princess and the Frog is a novelty, old-school Japanese animation - and I don't mean anime like Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop, and Dragonball-Z - soldiers on in relative obscurity despite the efforts of Disney to import them with American star-laden dubs as the lineup on the delightfully crazy The Cat Returns.

Anne Hathaway (aka "Yummy Girl" to me) voices Haru, a schoolgirl who discovers that saving the life of a cat that's about to be hit by a truck can be an example of no good deed going unpunished. First the cat talks to her(!), then procession of cats bearing the Cat King (Tim Curry) parades down her street that night promising great rewards(!!), leading to a journey to the Kingdom of Cats where she is to be married to the cat she saved(!!!) which isn't that kinky since she's transforming into a cat. Did I mention the Baron (Cary Elwes), who was a sculpture that came to life because it has a soul and wears a top hat and tails?

Then it gets really weird.

I don't know what kind of crap is being aimed at the kiddies these days, but it'd do parents some good to show them stuff like this (and A Clockwork Orange, but that's another topic) to give their imaginations a good flight of fancy. (It's also fun for grownups, too!) Anime snobs scoff at English dubs, but the cast including Peter Boyle, Elliot Gould, Kristen Bell, and Andy Richter are fine and dandy.

Delightfully goofy and chock full of kittehs, I highly recommend The Cat Returns. See it now!

Score: 9/10. Rent the DVD.


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