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The Cat Returns Review

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After rescuing a cat, teenage schoolgirl Haru is taken to the Kingdom Of Cats and prepared to marry said feline, who happens to be a prince ù although, more bizarrely, she develops a crush on a porcelain cat called the Baron who tries to help her escape.

★★★★★

Though produced in 2002, this Studio Ghibli movie suffers by comparison with the animation house's breakthrough Spirited Away. After rescuing a cat, teenage schoolgirl Haru is taken to the Kingdom Of Cats and prepared to marry said feline, who happens to be a prince - although, more bizarrely, she develops a crush on a porcelain cat called the Baron who tries to help her escape.

Crossbreeding issues aside, the Alice In Wonderland set-up - based on the manga book Baron: The Cat Returns - has its whimsical charms, especially for cat fans and children. But 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.

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.