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The Cat Returns Blu-ray Review

The Cat Returns Blu-ray

“The Cat Returns” is an overlooked Studio Ghibli title.

After saving a cat carrying a gift box (who turns out to be a Prince), a human schoolgirl (Haru) is visited by members of the Cat Kingdom (led by the mean Cat King). Haru, who has been able to speak to cats since she was a child, becomes showered with gifts from cats and is even asked to marry the Prince. Not knowing how to get out of this ordeal, a mysterious voice suggests Haru visit the Cat Bureau. Haru does so and it is here she meets a dashing cat (Baron Humbert von Gikkingen) who wears a suit and a top hat and carries a cane. Before Baron can help Haru out, she becomes abducted by members of the Cat Kingdom. Worse still, Haru becomes transformed into a half cat! Can Baron and his trusted pals bail Haru out of this situation or will Haru be stuck in the Cat Kingdom?

When it comes to the films of Studio Ghibli, “The Cat Returns” isn’t one that is often mentioned. Admittedly, director Hiroyuki Morita’s film is a very light comedic fantasy adventure about kindness and friendship, but that’s no reason for it to be generally overlooked. In fact, it’s probably one of the most well paced and entertaining films in the entire Ghibli catalogue.

One can argue the movie is essentially an oddball “stranger in a strange land” type of tale, but the story isn’t what makes “The Cat Returns” such a delight. It’s the characters that make this one so memorable. From the large, grouchy cat Muta to the cool cat Baron, the film is positively brimming with characters that are bound to put a smile on your face. My only real complaint is that the runtime is a mere 75 minutes as it would have been fun to spend more time with these characters.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The Blu-ray disc offers up an incredible hi-def transfer. The colors look particularly sharp here.

Audio Tracks: English and Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? The English track boasts some major voice acting talent and is well worth playing. With that said, I know many purists out there will only go for the Japanese track and that is perfectly understandable. It’s the way the film should be played.

Extras:
* Disney trailers.
* 4 ½ minutes of trailers and TV spots for “The Cat Returns.”
* “Behind The Microphone”- Interviews with the American voice cast members including Anne Hathaway, Cary Elwes, Peter Boyle, Elliott Gould, Andy Richter, and Tim Curry.
* DVD copy.
* ‘The Making of the Cat Returns”- A 34 minute featurette loaded with behind-the-scenes info.
* Original Japanese storyboards of the film.

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June 11, 2015 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | ,

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