The Making of the “The Cat Returns”

This entry was posted in Animated, Anime, Documentary, DVD, Videos & Movies, Family by Snowfoxx on

Since The Cat Returns is one of our most popular posts, we thought you might like a little insight into the one movie that every cat love must own. Much of this documentary is in Japanese, but don’t worry, there are no subtitles, as translators do the voice overs for us. We meet with the master movie maker, Hayao Miyazaki, who has at least 10 movies on the IMDB top 250, and what prompted this story. In actuality, The Cat Returns is a spin-off from an earlier Studio Ghibli movie, “Whisper of the Heart“. In that story, a teen girl finds inspiration to follow her heart from Baron Humbert von Gikkingen, a dapper cat with a diplomatic manner and clever wit. We go in all kinds of directions while seeing how this movie was made, from interviews with the director, producer, and Japanese voice actors. We even meet the big stray cat that is the body model for Muta. This cat is a stray that lives at the studio, and she struts around the area like she owns the place. Everyone there likes her, so maybe she does. One endearing an funny clip features just about everyone on the staff at Ghibli, from the actors to the editors to the cleaning crew, coming into to make “cat calls” for the scene where the cats have their procession to Haru’s house. We even get to watch as they produce the music, and enjoy as we hear and watch the cute Ayano Tsuji sing the opening theme song “Kaze Ni Naru” with only her ukelele as an accompaniment.

Another feature in these bonuses is a short about the English-speaking actors whom adapted the script for Pixar. Anne Hathaway, Peter Boyle, Elliot Gould, Tim Curry, and Cary Elwes carry off the translation perfectly, and kept going on and on about how much fun it was to do the voiceovers for “The Cat Returns”. Even Anne’s own response about the carrying on and screaming that Haru often does was very similar to what Chizuru Ikewaki had said in her interview in the “Making of” short.

Naoya Tanaka created pages and pages of base storyboards for the original project, and we are treated to his original sketches as a bonus, too. Any Miyazaki fan must see this short documentary. It is as entertaining as the movie itself, and you learn so much about the animation process along the way. We will most likely be giving more reviews on more Ghibli films soon, because we just can’t seem to get enough of them.