A fun movie moment to help speed the week along:
Nope, you’re not mistaken (or having an Angela-esque hallucination) – that is a royal procession of upright cats, full Secret Service detail included (i.e., the cat in the black suit).The scene is an early moment from The Cat Returns, an animated film from Studio Ghibli (but not directed by Hayao Miyazaki). Perhaps a bit slow-paced for some, this whimsical whisp of a movie details the fantastical adventures of Haru after she saves the son of the king of cats. Like other Studio Ghibli movies, it’s got lots of personality (cooky sidekicks always included) and small touches (camouflaged cat bodyguards, a criminal notorious for consuming too many fish, cats whose personality and position in life match perfectly with their physical appearance – you can just feel who they are) that make the world feel real, almost eerily so.
And also like Miyazaki’s films, The Cat Returns has that childhood wonder of magic, that air of fairytale fantasy, with its travels on twinkling lights, cats that process through the night, and dashing feline rescuers towering at one foot tall, that helped make the Harry Potter stories so successful on paper and on the screen. No Lord Voldemorts here though – the villain is an overweight cat with poofy hair who addresses Haru with a surfer-style “babe.” In other words, the perfect movie for a rainy day.
Okay, yes, you may be thinking: Studio Ghibli? Again? Well, what can I say, I’m an addict. Fantasy + skilled animation + total eccentricity? How could you not love them?