Hope in Animation Research: Animated Film

The Cat Returns


The Cat Returns is a Japanese animated film from Studio Ghibli released in 2002, directed by Hiroyuki Morita, produced by Toshio Suzuki and Nozomu Takahashi, written by Reiko Yoshida.
The film follows the shy student Haru, who – after a series of events – finds herself unintentionally engaged to the cat prince of the Cat Kingdom. With the help of a big white cat named Muta she meets Baron the cat figurine and Toto a stone raven who have both come to life by their artist. Haru get taken to the Cat Kingdom and start turning into a cat herself. With help from Muta, Baron, Toto, and others, she finds the way to turn back human and escape the Cat Kingdom.
The Cat Returns Wikipedia page here.

The animation style within the film uses lots of bright, vivid colours, with intricate and beautiful backgrounds, that has just as much colour as the character designs. Although they use a lot of colour, it is never harsh on the eyes or are too strong. There is so much artistic detail in pretty much every shot, paying close attention to patterns, textures, etc.


Hope plays a major part in this animated film, there is not much the main character Haru can do but hope in her situation. At first there’s the hope for her crush then it quickly turns into the hope that she can turn human again, the hope to get out of the engagement, and the hope to escape the Cat Kingdom.


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