Title: The Cat Returns (猫の恩返し)
Released: 2002

Director: Hiroyuki Morita
Class Superlative:
 Most Feline-Friendly

In a Land of Pure Imagination

Haru is just an ordinary high school girl — until the day she rescues a cat from becoming roadkill. But the cat is actually the Prince of the Cat Kingdom, who shows his gratitude to Haru by offering to marry her. And by ‘offering’, I mean Haru’s totally forced to, and now she’s trapped in the Cat Kingdom. But lucky for her, Haru has a certain top hat-wearing aristocat to help her get back home.

Adorable Child Kitten Alert

A KITTEH from Haru’s childhood.

Lovable Anthropomorphic Sidekicks






Wait, WTF?

Why is the Cat King so obsessed with marrying Haru off? Sheesh, these cats sure like their matrimony. 

Famous Voices

Class Superlative: Most Feline-Friendly

I don’t think I can adequately prepare you for just how many cats this movie has, because there’s really no way to overstate it. It’s not nearly as distracting as tanuki balls, but it’s still noticeable. The movie itself is a silly, fun, and original tale of how a young girl finds her inner confidence — and the debonair talking cat that helps her do so. 

Exploring the Studio Ghibli Vault

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.