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Good deeds can have surprisingly cat-astrophic results, or at least that’s the premise in The Cat Returns, a 2002 theatrical anime film from director Hiroyuki Morita and the animators of Studio Ghibli, which heads back to U.S. theaters on June 26 & 27, 2022, via GKIDS and Fathom Events as part of their Studio Ghibli Fest 2022 programming. The Cat Returns will screen as follows at select theaters:


  • Sunday, June 26, 2022 – 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM Local Time (English Dubbed)
  • Monday, June 27, 2022 – 7:00 PM Local Time (Japanese with Subtitles)



RELATED: GKIDS and Fathom Events Reveal Lineup for Studio Ghibli Fest 2022


GKIDS describes the story of The Cat Returns as follows:


In this sequel to Whisper of the Heart, 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 movie poster for the GKIDS release of The Cat Returns, a 2002 theatrical anime film directed by Hiroyuki Morita and animated by Studio Ghibli.


For more information, including theaters and ticket sales, please visit the official Studio Ghibli Fest 2022 and Fathom Events event pages for The Cat Returns.


Source: Official press release


Copyright notice: © 2002 Nekonote-Do – Studio Ghibli – NDHMT


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Paul Chapman is the host of The Greatest Movie EVER! Podcast and GME! Anime Fun Time.