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[Neko mainpage] Neko no Ongaeshi
(The Cat Returns)


  1. Sydney Morning Herald - December 19, 2004

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1). Japan Times

The following are representative quotes only; the full text is available online at:

November 24, 2004

The Cat Returns

By Bernard Zuel

[. . .]

Although it comes from Japan's Ghibli animation studio, which gave us Spirited Away, the often wondrous and adult-hued children's fantasy that offered an alternative pole in the animation universe to Pixar/Disney, The Cat Returns is a different beast.

Based on a graphic novel by Aoi Hiiragi, it is sweeter, plainer and more traditional in both look and structure than Spirited Away. Beautifully handpainted in what could be water colours, its story is in many ways a twist on a typical Brothers Grimm tale of a girl punished for nothing more than being good. Haru appears at first too compliant to offer any real resistance but (with a touch of The Velveteen Rabbit) Haru discovers an alternative universe where objects once loved by humans have come to life, and then three friends to help her escape the clutches of the comically nasty king of cats.

[. . .]

Director Hiroyuki Morita, whose first film this is after working as an illustrator on several Ghibli animations, does not yet have the confident sweep of Spirited Away's Hayao Miyazak.

But The Cat Returns has a sweet charm and an old-fashioned storyteller's feel.

[. . .]

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