Thursday, November 5, 2009

Studio Ghibli imaginary architecture: The cat returns by Hiroyuki Morita, architecture and film appreciation

category: Architecture and Film, Imaginary architectures of studio Ghibli

film index: 68 (Ghibli index 05)
relationship with architecture:
This movie was created because of the high demand by the viewers to explore more of the fantastic world and the imaginary landscape/ architecture of previous Ghibli film "Whisper of the Heart". similar dramatization of real life township as well as unique blend of imaginary and real life architecture. Less relation with architecture, but more fantasy than the prequel.

film: The Cat Returns (Neko no ongaeshi)
director: Hiroyuki Morita
writers: Aoi Hiiragi
production: Japan, Studio Ghibli
release: July 19, 2002
playtime: 75 min
visual: colour
Language: Japanese, English
Genre: animation, fantasy


Description and Download:

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. 

In 1995, Studio Ghibli released a movie titled Whisper of the Heart (or If You Listen Closely), based on a manga by Aoi Hiiragi, about a girl writing a fantasy novel. Although the girl's life had no magical elements, short fantasy scenes depicted what the girl was writing about. Those short scenes were so popular that fans demanded that a movie be made of the fictional girl's novel: That movie was The Cat Returns.

The Cat Returns began life as the "Cat Project" in 1999. Studio Ghibli received a request from a Japanese theme park to create a 20-minute short starring cats. Hayao Miyazaki wanted three key things to feature in the short — these were the Baron, Muta (Moon), and a mysterious antique shop. Hiiragi was commissioned to create the manga equivalent of the short, which is called Baron: The Cat Returns (Baron: Neko no Danshaku) and is published in English by Viz Media. Once again it was written from Shizuku's perspective, roughly two years in her future. The theme park later cancelled the project.

Miyazaki then took the existing work done by the "Cat Project" and used it as a testing ground for future Ghibli directors — the short was now to be 45 minutes long. In the end, responsibility fell to Hiroyuki Morita, who had started out as an animator in 1999 for the film My Neighbors the Yamadas. Over a nine-month period he translated Hiiragi's Baron story into 535 pages of storyboards for what was to be The Cat Returns. Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki decided to go ahead with a feature-length film based entirely on Morita's storyboard; this was mainly because Haru, the main character had such a real feel to her.

IMDb link:
wikipedia link:

Prequel: "Whisper of the Heart" (click here)

screen caps:


sneak peaks:


rapidshare link
link bundle: 1

link bundle: 2

link bundle: 3
mediafire link

dual language: latin and japanese
subtitle: spanish


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