Screened as part of NZIFF 2004
The latest feature from Studio Ghibli, the animation production house forever associated with the great Miyazaki, is a delicately rendered, cute and funny family entertainment that should appeal to anyone 7+ who’s ever been amused by a cat. Haru, the schoolgirl heroine, risks her life to help a black cat crossing a busy road, and is amazed when he stands up on two legs and politely thanks her. A visit from the King of Cats and his entourage ensues and she discovers that she saved the life of the Crown Prince. Untold feline rewards follow, including deliveries of gift-wrapped mice direct to her school locker and the ultimate treat – the offer of the paw of the Prince in marriage. Understandably alarmed, Haru travels, with guides of varying competence, to the Kingdom of Cats, to sort things out.
“Supple, matter-of-fact tale of two mini-communities inhabited by talking felines with opposing approaches to interacting with humans, is full of narrative surprises, danger and humor… catchy entertainment for kids and adults.” — Lisa Nesselson, Variety