Temperatures at-or-below-freezing, snow flurries and freezing rain, and a few days mostly free of engagements of any kind ... a great weekend to stay home and watch movies. And that's just what the three of us (elder son is out-of-town with church youth group) have decided to do.
We started tonight with a rental from Netflix, "The Cat Returns," a feature-length animated film from Japan's Studio Ghibli, directed by Hiroyuki Morita. Perhaps better-known to American audiences is the film's executive producer, Hayao Miyazaki, who directed such films as "Spirited Away," "Princess Mononoke" and "Howl's Moving Castle" (which was nominated last year for an Academy Award).
When a high school girl named Haru saves the life of a cat, she sets in motion a series of events that will change her life. It turns out that cat is a prince, the son of the Cat Kingdom's ruler. In gratitude, the Cat Kingdom showers the girl with gifts, including an offer of marriage to their prince.
We enjoyed the film. It's shorter than some of the other works listed above, well illustrated, and the story has enough action and theme to hook you and keep you watching. The English-language version is also helped by a talented voice-over cast that includes Anne Hathaway, Cary Elwes, Elliott Gould, Peter Boyle and Tim Curry. I recommend it!