HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Country
Absolution
Rough Draft, A
Battle of the Godfathers
Lu Over the Wall
She's Funny That Way
Vox Lux
Aftermath, The
Five Fingers for Marseilles
Jupiter's Moon
Favourite, The
Mysteries of the Gods
Coming Home
De Sade
Patti Cake$
Hellbound
Final Destination 2
Romance
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Cockleshell Heroes, The
Mule, The
Sunday in the Country
Nutcracker Fantasy
Spellcaster
Hipsters
Executive Action
Captain Marvel
Zombie Girl
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Rhinoceros
Monkey King 3, The
Adventurers, The
Stripped to Kill
Daughter of Dr. Jekyll
Aladdin's Magic Lamp
Christopher Robin
Hole in the Ground, The
Daniel
Blue Christmas
Death Trip
   
 
Newest Articles
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
   
 
  Catnapped! Eight out of ten kidnappees prefer whiskersBuy this film here.
Year: 1995
Director: Takashi Nakamura
Stars: Fumihiko Tachiki, Hiroaki Hori, Mirai Sasaki, Noriko Hidaka, Ichiro Nagai, Jouji Yanami, Masato Yamanouchi, Mayumi Izuka, Mitsuo Iwata, Sukekiyo Kameyama
Genre: Animated, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Fifth-grader Toriyasu (voiced by Hiroaki Hori) and his little sister Miko (Mirai Sasaki) are worried that their beloved dog Papadoll (Fumihiko Tachiki) has been missing for a week. One night a trio of talking, costumed cats spirit the youngsters away to the magical cat kingdom of Banipal Witt, whose mystical sun turns the kids into cats but has also turned Papadoll into a goggle-eyed, gargantuan cross between Godzilla and a killer plush toy - with an oddly unsettling wheezy laugh! Now terrorizing the city under the command of evil Princess Buburina (Noriko Hidaka), whose cursed touch turns people into balloons that have a nasty habit of going pop, Papadoll’s only hope rests with Toriyasu and Miko. They must retrieve a magic cat’s paw glove before prolonged exposure to the sun turns them into monsters too.

Catnapped! was produced by Pioneer the anime outfit behind cult sci-fi serials Armitage III (1994) and Tenchi Muyo (1992) as an attempt to break into the children’s market. Dismissed by some as a Studio Ghibli knockoff, the film actually has its own distinctively twisted flavour, a candy-coloured cartoon nightmare for tiny tots to gasp, giggle and hide behind the sofa, and ironically foreshadows the rival studio’s own foray into feline fantasy: Hiroyuki Morita’s underrated The Cat Returns (2002).

It is an early work by Takashi Nakamura, the writer/director/character designer behind the ambitious A Tree of Palme (2005), whose idiosyncratic touch is evident in the charming cut-out and plasticine credits, the recurrent balloon-puppet and fairground imagery, and an array of audacious visuals. Banipal Witt itself is a riot of kaleidoscopic colours and visual invention, resting on the back of a planet-sized sleeping cat it is an eye-popping fairground of Ferris wheels and cat-shaped rollercoasters where inhabitants fly steampunk spaceships and the inflatable victims of Buburina’s wrath float about luxurious palaces.

However, Nakamura is rather better at breakneck chases and offbeat imagery than spinning a coherent plot or affecting undertones. An overcrowded back-story interweaves a foolish apprentice sorcerer who stole the magic glove to win Buburina’s heart; allusions to a forbidden romance between a cat and a mouse (!); and a flashback that reveals the petty princess was cursed by yet another sorcerer in revenge for causing his daughter’s death. None of these elements really cohere as, after an admittedly pulse-pounding climax, the movie ends with the suggestion of a sequel that never came to be. Grouchy Toriyasu is a poor choice for a hero, bickering his way through an interspecies romance with cute cat-girl Chuchu (Mayumi Izuka), but gutsy little Miko proves a real scene-stealer. Watching Miko boss her way aboard the cat spaceship, trick her drowsy brother into believing he’s late for school, or stand up to the all-powerful Princess Buburina with nothing but determination on her side is a treat, although one longs for a hint of Ghibli’s psychological undertones. Still, Catnapped! is never less than enjoyable and has the taste of carefree adventure that crackles like exploding candy.

Click here for the trailer

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2799 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
Paul Shrimpton
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: