Up 18 this week

The Cat Returns (2002)
"Neko no ongaeshi" (original title)

G  |   |  Animation, Adventure, Comedy  |  19 July 2002 (Japan)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 27,709 users  
Reviews: 73 user | 63 critic

After helping a cat, a young girl finds herself involuntarily engaged to a cat prince in a magical world where her only hope of freedom lies with a dapper cat statuette come to life.



(comic "Neko no Danshaku, Baron"), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

The 25 Most Immersive Worlds in Cinema

Highly immersive cinematic worlds can carry a movie, and we've rounded up the best of the best.

See the full list

Related News

Top 10 Studio Ghibli movies
| Den of Geek

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 23 Feb 2012
a list of 26 titles
created 02 May 2012
a list of 46 titles
created 13 May 2012
a list of 33 titles
created 16 May 2012
a list of 24 titles
created 07 Apr 2014

Related Items

Search for "The Cat Returns" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Cat Returns (2002)

The Cat Returns (2002) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Cat Returns.

User Polls

1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A love story between a girl who loves reading books, and the boy who has previously checked out all of the library books she chooses.

Director: Yoshifumi Kondô
Stars: Youko Honna, Issei Takahashi, Takashi Tachibana
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Minami Takayama, Rei Sakuma
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Stars: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett
Ponyo (2008)
Animation | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An adventure about a five-year-old boy and his relationship with Ponyo, a goldfish princess who longs to become a human after falling in love with him.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A group of Yokohama teens look to save their school's clubhouse from the wrecking ball in preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Director: Gorô Miyazaki
Stars: Sarah Bolger, Chris Noth, Anton Yelchin
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman
Wolf Children (2012)
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

College student Hana falls in love with another student who turns out to be a werewolf, who dies in an accident after their second child. Hana moves to the rural countryside where her husband grew up to raise her two werewolf children.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Stars: Aoi Miyazaki, Takao Ohsawa, Haru Kuroki
Animation | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wonderous forest spirits who live nearby.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Chieko Baishô, Takuya Kimura, Tatsuya Gashûin
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A flamboyant thief and his gang struggle to free a princess from an evil count's clutches and to learn the hidden secret to a fabulous treasure that she holds part of a key to.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Yasuo Yamada, Eiko Masuyama, Kiyoshi Kobayashi
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The life and misadventures of a family in contemporary Japan.

Director: Isao Takahata
Stars: Hayato Isohata, Masako Araki, Naomi Uno
Spirited Away (2001)
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino


Cast overview, first billed only:
Chizuru Ikewaki ...
Haru (voice)
Yoshihiko Hakamada ...
Baron (voice)
Yuki (voice)
Lune (voice)
Hitomi Satô ...
Hiromi (voice)
Kenta Satoi ...
Natori (voice)
Mari Hamada ...
Natoru (voice)
Tetsu Watanabe ...
Muta (voice)
Yôsuke Saitô ...
Toto (voice)
Kumiko Okae ...
Haru's Mother (voice)
Tetsurô Tanba ...
Cat King (voice)
Yô Ôizumi ...
Additional Voices (voice)
Youko Honna ...
Chika (voice)
Additional Voices (voice)
Haru (voice)


A young girl rescues a mysterious cat from traffic and soon finds herself the unwelcome recipient of gifts and favors from the King of the Cats, who also wants her to marry his son, Prince Lune. With the assistance of a fat, grouchy real cat and a an elegant cat statuette come to life (both characters featured in Studio Ghibli's earlier anime "Whisper of the Heart"), the girl visits the Cat Kingdom and narrowly escapes again. Written by castipiani

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Journey to another land. See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

19 July 2002 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

O Reino dos Gatos  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$522,911 (France) (1 August 2003)


$522,911 (France) (1 August 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was originally going to be a short straight-to-video project, but Toshio Suzuki was so impressed with Hiroyuki Morita's storyboard, and especially the main character of "Haru", that he encouraged Hayao Miyazaki to give this cinematic release. See more »


In the beginning when Haru is on the roof and a volleyball hits her head, you see there is a door on the same "floor" they are on. At the end, you see that the door has moved up one level. See more »


Haru: [Haru sits down on a lawn chair in a cafe, and a squishing/meowing noise is heard. She shrieks and jumps up] A cat... a FAT cat!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits have a series of still images from the film. The last image before the film fades is Haru feeding the small white kitten on the pavement. See more »


Spun-off from Whisper of the Heart (1995) See more »


Kaze Ni Naru
Written by Ayano Tsuji
Performed by Ayano Tsuji
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Another gem by Studio Ghibli
20 May 2006 | by (Dundee, Scotland) – See all my reviews

'The Cat Returns' is yet another treat produced by Studio Ghibli, the company which brought us masterpieces such as 'My Neighbour Totoro' and 'Spirited Away'.

The story of this film is much simpler than previous Studio Ghibli productions/epics with a typical modern teenage girl Haru as the heroine. When walking home from school one afternoon, Haru rescues a cat from being ran-over by a lorry only to discover she is responsible for saving the life of Prince Lune, the heir apparent to the Cat Kingdom. Lune's father, the King of Cats, promptly decides the best way to repay such a favour is for Haru to marry his son. Naturally, our heroine is horrified at the prospect and must seek protection from enigmatic Baron, founder of the Cat Bureau, for help before she is carted off to the Cat Kingdom by the very determined cats.

As a cat-lover, I found this film utterly adorable. The scene where the cats from Cat Kingdom descend on Haru's street in the middle of the night was had a very wondrous aura to it and the scene where the cats try to make Haru laugh at her feast was hilarious. The characters, as always, are solid from the refreshingly normal teen-aged Haru to the grumpy Muta to the suave Baron (even though he's an animated cat, the charisma of the character will leave many females empathising with Haru's little crush on him!).

Although the plot of 'The Cat Returns' is a simple affair so it will easily appeal to young children, there is much humour in the film that will keep older kids and adults amused. Also, those who love cats can't help but fall in love with the many feline characters we come across in the film. Now, I'm off to track down 'Whisper of the Heart', which is a 1995 Studio Ghibli film that features the character of Baron.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
So what's up with Hiroyuki Morita? Pete-230
Call me crazy but does anyone else find The Baron sexy? vanessafernance
Best/Worst of English Voice Cast mannix-6
Animation in The Cat Returns rad_d_2000
Should I see This movie NZTigerboy
Should I Watch 'Whisper of The Heart' First? windsok
Discuss The Cat Returns (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: