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I Like Cats, But…

February 19, 2012

I’m not a fan of anime. There’s always something weird and vaguely sexual about it that just creeps me out. I just don’t understand the appeal, or why it has so many rabid American fans. It’s a vast generalization, I know, and it really is a cultural thing that I don’t quite understand. However, I don’t discriminate, and I really do try to keep an open mind. Sometimes certain things break stereotypes. I didn’t  want to miss them. And that’s how I discovered the films of Studio Ghibli. Y’all might have heard of the movie Spirited Away (it won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature of 2002), or Kiki’s Delivery  Service (they used to show that one on Cartoon Network).

These are fantastic films, most of them directed by the master, Hayao Miyazaki. I’ve been a fan since I first saw Spirited Away in 2002. We even watched a Studio Ghibli film in one of my college film classes. In my teacher’s opinion, it was right up there with Citizen Kane. They’re each classics in their own way, blending the perfect amount of fantasy and societal commentary, while appealing to all ages. This weekend, I got to see The Ghibli film The Cat Returns.

Hayao Miyazaki

Tell me honestly you wouldn't want to be a cat

I like cats. A lot. I watched The Cat Returns with my cats (and my brother). I was wrapped in a red blanket adorned with sweater-wearing cats while watching.  I laughed at all the cat-themed jokes. And when the main character, a girl named Haru, got partially turned into a cat, it didn’t even creep me out. That would normally creep me out majorly. I desperately want to go to the cat kingdom. If anyone knows the way there, please let me know.

Plus, the movie had an all-star voice cast: Anne Hathaway, Tim Curry, Peter Boyle, Andy Richter…great stuff! This movie gets all four paws up. It was fun, short, sweet, and all those good things. See it if you’re a cat fan, or a Studio Ghibli fan, or an anime fan, or a movie fan. Don’t turn your nose up at it because it’s anime. Ghibli films tend to transcend stereotypes. Just go ahead and see any movie the Miyazaki has been involved with. You won’t be sorry.

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