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Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space (2002)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 351 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 15 user | 14 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

A cerebral and existential story of Tamla, a kitten from the Planet of Cats, who sets out to solve the mystery of her birth.

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Title: Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space (2002)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Tatla the Machine God (voice)
Takeshi Katô ...
Zombie Cat (voice)
Hisayo Mochizuki ...
Tamala (voice)
Shinji Takeda ...
Michelangelo (voice)
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Storyline

It's the year 2010 on the planet of cats, where lies Meguro City, a megalopolis entirely controlled by the super-corporation Catty & Co. The nefarious influence of this corporate empire extends malignantly across the feline galaxy. Tamala, a carefree, one-year-old kitten, decides to flee this cruel reality and boards her spaceship in search of her planet of origin. Written by Bruce Osborne <saitoh-hajime@neo.rr.com>

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19 October 2002 (Japan)  »

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User Reviews

 
Let's Catty Diet! (Great Movie! Great Soundtrack!)
9 April 2004 | by (Hollywood, USA) – See all my reviews

"Tamala 2010" is a great animated movie with a great soundtrack, period. I could stop there and the review would be complete, but I'll say more. Much more.

To begin with, this is an animated film by a group that calls itself "t.o.L", and I'm assuming that they came up with the design, the animation, the characters, and the music. It's a film with a plot that could be sketched on a napkin. But that's besides the point. This film is a great fusion of design, 2D and 3D animation, and music in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It's as if the children of the creators of Yellow Submarine approached R. Crumb about making "Fritz the Cat" into a film again, Crumb angrily turns them down, so they go to a group of Japanese animators to make a cat-themed movie, and get the spirit of Philip K. Dick as their creative consultant.

The result is an animated masterpiece where one scene flows into another, largely driven by music and exciting artwork and visuals, but hardly ever by plot. If this sounds like Disney's "Fantasia", it's not. Tamala is a "cute female cat" who is going from CatEarth to Orion to find her mother, but is diverted along the way to Planet Q (or Q Planet) and ends up in "Hate City" which is a skid row slum type of place with a war going on between cats and dogs.

Both CatEarth and Planet Q are highly original creations. We spend most of the movie on Planet Q. Overshadowing everything is the mysterious, sinister, and somehow comforting "Catty & Co." which is a capitalistic conglomerate that controls 99% of all production. Catty & Co. is everywhere, like Big Brother, but more indifferent. It is this "Feline Galaxy" that t.o.L has created that is the big selling point of the movie for me. Now that I've been introduced to it, I want to see more of it, like I want to see more of Springfield each week on "The Simpsons".

The attention to detail is amazing. Every scene in this movie has something to offer. There are no wasted backdrops, everywhere you look there are posters and advertisements for Catty & Co., with a brilliant array of designs. So much work went into this movie, so much care was placed in executing each scene, that I had to see it twice, to see all of the details I missed the first time.

And what about the characters? Tamala is a "cute female cat" as the movie calls her, but she's no "Hello Kitty". She's an enigmatic symbol that the animation flows around. The film get quite a lot of emotional mileage out of these simple characters, considering how simply she, Michelangelo (her friend on Planet Q), and the Professor are drawn by the animators.

This review wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention the great soundtrack. This movie could be broken up into just the animation that goes with the songs and it would still be great. It's a fusion of electronica, heavy metal and pop, and in the context of this film it's fantastic.

This is not a film for young kids, it's pretty much R-rated fare. There are some very violent scenes, and occasional use of the "F-word" by Tamala mostly. Though Tamala makes a few sexually suggestive comments, nothing ever happens, and most of the "sexy" talk is from two gay male cat hustlers who talk about other gay male cats they find attractive, but nothing happens visually, it's all talk. "Hate City" is violent, oppressive, dirty, damaged, it's one perpetual skid row, and I wanted more of it, it was a great, original creation! But it's not for young kids, they wouldn't understand it.

I went to www.tamala2010.com but could not get the Japanese language pack to install, so I could not get any information about whether there will be a sequel, and I was able to find little credible information about t.o.L via Google, so I am in the dark about the future of this "project" as their site calls it. All I can hope is that they will create more planets with dysfunctional societies for Tamala and her friends to explore. This film is a true work of art, and a true 10 out of 10.


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