The Cat Returns

JAN 18 - Dubbed; JAN 22 - Subtitled

Fourth Annual Studio Ghibli Film Retrospective: Jan 10- Jan 27

Jan. 22 Screening Includes an Introduction by Kristyn Vitale, PhD., Maddie’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Human-Animal Interaction Lab at Oregon State University.  

6:30PM | Talk 

7:30PM | Film Screening (Please note: There is a chance that the movie will start before 7:30PM if the lecture wraps up early)

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.


Directed by Hiroyuki Morita, The Cat Returns was originally envisioned as a short film for a Japanese theme park, a project later canceled. The movie was the second Studio Ghibli release to be directed by someone other than Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata.


Duration: 75 mins. | Rating: G | Presented Jan.18 dubbed in English and Jan. 22 in Japanese with English subtitles 

The Empirical Theater's Studio Ghibli Retrospective runs January 10 through January 27 and features a collection of some of the finest films from Japan's most renowned animation studio. Please call 503-797-4000 for more information.