The Cat Returns (2002) Review

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The Cat Returns is a Fantasy film that was Directed by Hiroyuki Morita with the screenplay by Reiko Yoshida.

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A shy high school student named Haru rescues a cat in the street before it is hit by a car, she doesn’t realise until afterwards that the cat she saved was in fact a prince and as a thankyou she is now unfortunately lined up to become his wife. Haru is harassed by cats from the cat kingdom who want her as their queen.

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She begins hearing a voice telling her to find a fat white cat who can take her to the home of the Baron (This is the same Baron from Whisper of the Heart) a talented swordsman who can keep Haru safe, Haru is soon kidnapped and taken to the Cat Kingdom leaving the Baron and his assistant Muta to follow the catnappers and rescue Haru from a future she never asked for.

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Plot wise this is a really easy film to follow and its just over hour in length making it a great starting point for introducing new comers to Ghibli films or anime in general.

Not a lot really stands out with this film, I love characters designs but have never really  been a fan of the world, the cat kingdom is quite boring to be honest nothing stands out about it but the characters really bring this film to life.

The king is voiced by Tim Curry who does an excellent job, the witty nature and villainous tone that he carry’s is perfect for this character.

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Anne Hathaway voices our lead and is fantastic, other recognisable names are Peter Boyle, Andy Richter and Kristen Bell.

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There isn’t much to talk about with this film, its no masterpiece and is far from one of the most impacting or epic films in the Ghibli collection however, its still one of my favourites and that is mainly due to its charm and how its a film that is a really easy to follow along with, it being shorter is nice too because some of the longer Ghibli can feel that they drag out a little bit longer than necessary but this one is straight to point and is fun all of the way through, the Cat Returns is a really nice movie and I think that is the best way to describe it, it can be enjoyed by anyone and it’s a film that I try to watch as often as I get the chance.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Cat Returns

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Over the Garden Wall Review

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Over the Garden Wall is an animated miniseries created by Patrick McHale for Cartoon Network, Patrick McHale has worked for Cartoon Network before, you may recognise some of the shows Patrick has created including Adventure Time and The Marvellous Misadventures of Flap Jack.

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The first thing that needs to be known about Over the Garden Wall is that it really is a mini series, it only consists of 10 episodes which are all approximately 12 minutes long, the shows follows the journey of two brothers Wirt and Greg who are lost in a forest and are trying to find their way home, of course from a creator of such imaginative shows the forest in Over the Garden Wall is far from ordinary, without giving away too much the two brothers meet a large array of characters including a crazy woodsman who constantly warns the boys of a creature called the Beast, a primary school of anthropomorphic animals and a woman who has been turned into a bluebird.

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The art direction the designers took here is simplistic but I find that it’s the smaller touches that really make it stand out, from the above image you will notice that darker shades of colour and a heavy use of shadows really help make the imagery unique, I cant help but feel that the decision to use a lot of darker art choices was to help support the rather dark premise of the show, now that is not too say that their isn’t the occasional uplifting and happier moments in the show and when these few moments do happen the art style is more brighter with much less shadows and shading, I cant help but feel that the art style of Over the Garden Wall will become a prime example in the future of just how smaller details can help bring out such vibrant detail in many forms of art.

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The voice cast is phenomenal, the majority of characters in the show are voiced by very famous actors including but not limited too Elijah Wood, John Cleese, Christopher Lloyd, Samuel Ramey and Tim Currey, as you can imagine all of these actors do an outstanding job with their roles and Elijah Wood actually voices Wirt one of the main characters, the rest of the voice cast may not be as well known but that doesn’t mean that they are short on talent, to be honest my favourite character in the show was Greg who was in fact voiced by a young boy called Collin Dean, in the past Collin has done voice work for Hotel Transylvania and he even played a small role in the 2015 Christmas movie Krampus.

Over the Garden Wall was a show that I held off from watching for a long time and now I really regret that decision, this is one of the greatest animated series I have ever had the pleasure of watching and I do hope that a second season is being considered, I understand that the majority of voice actors here are very busy but I wouldn’t mind watching a second series with completely new characters and even a brand new cast, if you haven’t see the show yet then stop reading this review and go watch it right now and I guarantee you wont regret it.

Thank you for reading this review of Over the Garden Wall

The June Zbox review is coming, due to an issue at Zavvi’s warehouse one of the items didn’t arrive until recently and therefore the boxes have been delayed to early July, once the box does arrive I will get the review out as soon as possible.