Shizuku is a young girl out of school for summer vacation and she checks out a lot of books from the library. Since sign-out cards are in the books, she begins to notice that there is another person checking out the same books. She wonders who this could be? One day she is riding on the train and she sees a cat riding by himself? She decides to follow the cat to see where he lives and also to have an adventure. She discovers a different part of town she hasn’t seen before and she meets Seiji. He is an older boy who is learning to carve violins and he wants to go to Italy to study this craft. Shizuku is impressed that he already knows what he wants to do with his life. She feels behind because she is trying to discover her own talents.
I wonder about animated love stories from Japan with teens 14 and 15 years old? Isn't this a little young for most teens to be deciding on their mates and careers for the long term? I did like the story line, the animation and the characters. Some of the characters show up in other films too. 3 1/2* (I liked this movie)
111 min, Animation directed by Yoshifumi Kondo with the voices of Cary Elwes, Brittany Snow, Ashley Tisdale, David Gallagher, James Sikking, Jean Smart, Harold Gould, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Martin Spanjers, Mika Boorem, Abigail Mavity, Deanna Russo.
Note: Imdb 8.0 out of 10, 91% critic 90% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.7* out of 5* with 334 reviews.
Special Note: This is the only film directed by Yoshifumi Kondo. Studio Ghibli hoped he would become the successor to Hayao Miyazaki and Takashi Tachibana. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1998. The Cat Returns focuses on a minor character from this film, the Baron released in 2002. There is a billboard in the movie advertising itself?