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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Book Review : The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L.Frank Baum

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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was the first book in a series of stories by L.Frank Baum, later reprints of the book took the name the Wizard of Oz instead which was the title of a highly beloved Broadway musical adaptation of the story.

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In the story a young girl called Dorothy who lives a grey and boring life in Kansas gets transported to the colourful world of Oz when she and her dog Toto are picked up in a cyclone.

The house they were in lands on the Wicked Witch of the East and kills her, an event which attracts the Good Witch of the North, Dorothy explains how she wants to go home and is encouraged to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald city and seek the help of the Wizard of Oz.

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This all sound very similar to those who are familiar with the 1939 film starring Judy Garland, however I was surprised with how different the book was to this film adaptation.

I don’t want to give away too many of differences but I would like to talk about some of them with as few spoilers as possible.

The biggest surprise is the lack of a Wicked Witch of the West, she is in the book but only appears in one chapter half-way through the story so after her demise the groups journey is still not over.

There are various different lands and species in this book that do not appear in the film, one area that stands out is a land that is completely made out of porcelain china.

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A pre-warning that the book carries quite a heavy body count of various creatures that are slain by the four heroes of the story (Scarecrow, Lion, Tin-Man and Dorothy), these are not too graphic but younger readers may find them a little bit disturbing.

I love the 1939 film but I think I prefer this version as I felt that this adventure was so much more interesting and intense. I loved the character developments and the conversations they would have, one of my favourite moments in the book was when the Tin-Man and the Scarecrow were debating whether its better to have a brain or a heart, the characters have back stories in this too explaining how they became the way that they are, the Tin-Man’s backstory is particularly quite tragic.

This is a wonderful book and to be honest I was expecting to read a story I already knew and was pleasantly surprised when I read this and it was almost completely different and that reason alone is a great reason to pick up a copy and check it out for yourself.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L.Frank Baum

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