The Studio Ghibli Fest 2022 brings an amazing lineup of animated content. Among these The Cat Returns (2002) marks its 20th anniversary with a comeback in select theatres nationwide on 26 and 27 June. The fantastical adventure is a sequel to Whisper of the Heart.
The animated classic directed by Hiroyuki Morita, is also available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital.
As per the official synopsis of The Cat Returns, a quiet suburban schoolgirl, Haru, is pitched into a fantastical feline world and must find her inner strength to make her way back home. Walking with her friend after a dreary day at school, Haru eyes a cat with a small gift box in its mouth attempting to cross a busy street. The cat fumbles the package in the middle of the road as a truck is rapidly bearing down. Haru manages to scoop the cat away to safety. To her amazement, the cat then gets up on its hind legs, brushes itself off, and thanks her very politely.
Strange behavior indeed, but this is nothing compared to what happens later that evening when the King of Cats shows up in a feline motorcade replete with vassals, maidens, and even Secret Service cats. In a show of gratitude for saving his son’s life, the king cat showers Haru with gifts – including a large supply of individually wrapped live mice – and decrees that she shall marry the cat prince and come to live as a princess in the secret Kingdom of Cats.
The upcoming shows on Studio Ghibli Fest also include:
Kiki’s Delivery Service – 31 July, 1 and 3 August
Only Yesterday – 28 and 29 August
Howl’s Moving Castle – 25, 26 and 28 September
Spirited Away – 30 October, 1 and 2 November
The dates of the theatrical release are mentioned above. The Studio Ghibli Fest is being organised by Studio Ghibli, GKIDS and Fathom Events.