The Cat Returns
This is an earlier studio ghibli film and if you happen to have seen most of the other films you will notice a common character. This story is light, upbeat and generally humorous...if you like cats. There are many different characters but most are animals...this story doesn't exactly have an underlying value to teach except be careful who you save and know what your getting into before it is too late.
This story starts out with a young girl, pretty common studio ghibli cliche, walking to school with one of her girl friends. As they walk the one girl notices something odd about a stray cat. He was walking on his back legs...and also carrying a package in his mouth. The girl proceeds to absentmindedly have conversation with her friend but keeps an eye on the cat. Eventually the little rascal decides to cross the street without realizing a large truck would smoosh him to a pancake. So the heroine of the story grabs her friends field hockey stick and springs across the street to scoop the cat up, nearly getting hit herself. The cat then speaks with her for a while and proceeds as if nothing major just happened and disappears with the package.
If only the poor girl would have left the cat alone and gone to school on time...because she just saved the prince of the cat kingdom...yes somewhere hidden in the city full of people there was a place ruled by cats and only cats.
Anyhow this poor girl will now be praised by the royal cat family and showered with gifts. An ambassador for the cat finds her in the human world and deliveres an itinerary of gifts to be received. The girl is obviously in denial that a talking cat is going to give her presents so she goes home and goes to bed as normal...but when she wakes up her front lawn is overgrown with cat tails...and for some reason all the stray cats in the neighborhood start to follow her, she freaks out and runs to school to find out her pockets are filled with cat nip. Now she is beginning to get consirned. As she goes through the day doing normal girl stuff, crushing on boys she is to nervous to talk to, the ambassador shows up asking about the presents. The girl yells at him for a while making it clear she is not a feline and does not want a bunch of cat gifts. The ambassador invites her to the cat kingdom, but the request is just a formallity because she has no choice to go or not. Now she is taking these cats seriously as a bizzare threat. She trips and falls over and lands in a pile of trash, a voice in her head tells her to seek out a fat white cat that will protect her from the cat kingdom....and that is where the plot gets going.
On her wild goose chase she finds the fat white cat and eventually he leads her through a maze of alleyways to meet the baron.
She is in an empty plaza as the sun sets and all of a sudden light begins to shine through a window of a tiny building....this is apparently the baron coming to life but we never figure out what exactly is happening. The fat cat tells this new petite cat, the baron, to quit with the theatrics. The baron is an interesting cat dressed in a three piece suit with a cane. Before they all can get down to business however a whole bunch of cats appear and take the girl....the fat cat gives chase while the baron takes his flying mount, a raven, in pursuit of the young lady. The horde of cats begin to make these weird portals to jump through space and eventually they jump into their cat kingdom....the next part of the movie is interesting and silly. Not the best work by studio ghibli but not terrible either...I would probably watch it a few times. 5 out of 10