Studio Ghibli’s 2002 anime film The Cat Returns is getting a limited US theatrical release on June 26 and 27 in select cinemas nationwide. The new limited release is part of the ongoing Studio Ghibli Fest 2022, hosted by American film distributor GKIDS. Other upcoming films with limited theatrical releases include Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Spirited Away.
According to Crunchyroll, the listed schedule are as follows:
- Sunday, June 26, 2022 – 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM Local Time (English Dubbed)
- Monday, June 27, 2022 – 7:00 PM Local Time (Japanese with Subtitles)
The Cat Returns anime film is based on a manga by Aoi Hiiragi. The film was directed by Hiroyuki Morita with Reiko Yoshida doing the screenplay. It is a spin-off from another Studio Ghibli film Whisper of the Heart in 1997. GKIDS describes the movie as follows:
In this sequel to Whisper of the Heart, a quiet suburban schoolgirl, Haru, is pitched into a fantastical feline world and must find her inner strength to make her way back home. Walking with her friend after a dreary day at school, Haru eyes a cat with a small gift box in its mouth attempting to cross a busy street. The cat fumbles the package in the middle of the road as a truck is rapidly bearing down. Haru manages to scoop the cat away to safety. To her amazement, the cat then gets up on its hind legs, brushes itself off, and thanks her very politely.
Strange behavior indeed, but this is nothing compared to what happens later that evening when the King of Cats shows up in a feline motorcade replete with vassals, maidens, and even Secret Service cats. In a show of gratitude for saving his son’s life, the king cat showers Haru with gifts – including a large supply of individually wrapped live mice – and decrees that she shall marry the cat prince and come to live as a princess in the secret Kingdom of Cats.