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Catnapped! The Movie Anime DVD Review

4 min read
You go into a disc with low expectations and then get something completely unexpected.

Boy, talk about a surprise. You go into a disc with low expectations and then get something completely unexpected.

What They Say
There is a place, a whole world that belongs only to the cats. A hidden world known as Banipal Witt where the sun changes creatures from the outer world into monsters. Travel there as two young children set off on a fanciful trip with a desperate group of feline engineers to save Banipal Witt from the evil-sorcerer cat, Buburina, whose very touch turns any living thing into a balloon!

With this talent and the monster dog, Papadoll, Buburina hopes to control all of Banipal Witt and only Toriyasu, Papadoll’s former owner, has any hope of returning Papadoll back to normal. But can they rescue Papadoll and defeat Buburina before the sun rises.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Part of the fun of having a large collection of anime is that when you go trawling through you pull out things you haven’t thought about in ages. One of those is the 1995 film Catnapped!, which was released by Pioneer/Geneon Entertainment back in 200. The film has some solid credits behind it, such as Taro Maki of Tenchi fame is one of the producers here. Takashi Nakamura, an animation director on Akira, is the director and writer here. Chiaki Konaka who wrote the Lain screenplay after this was involved in the screenplay for this. And it was animated by Triangle Staff, which certainly brings back memories.

Catnapped follows a pretty basic story. Toriyasu, a young boy who has pretty much ignored his dog, and his kawaii sister Meeko get kidnapped by cats and taken to Banipal Witt, a world where the dog has been taken by two evil cats and is being used to take over everything by destroying it first. The two humans make it into the world fairly early in the movie, leaving a lot of time for the adventure in Banipal Witt and the discovery of the main players there. Meeko is naturally very cute and does all kinds of cute things a little girl would do if turned into a Catperson. Toriyasu is a bit less interested in everything, but eventually warms up to the task at hand and makes a few friends along the way.

With it being a children’s story, there’s going to be a moral of some sort in it. The main villain, Buburina, has a rather dark past associated with her that results in one death, though it’s off-screen when it happens. She turns her people into balloons, having been cursed by a magician. Though the dark moments in the movie are few, they’re well placed. There’s one particular scene when Toriyasu is remembering a bad time he had with his dog, Papadoll. Anyone who has had a dog and through emotion has done the same… well, it brought some tears to my eyes. I’ve been there, I know exactly how he felt and why he did what he did. That was truly a touching moment.

The animation for the movie isn’t spectacular, but it’s well done. There are several very fluid sequences and several areas where you’re reminded heavily of a Studio Ghibli style. The character designs are either average for the most part with a few really neat ones (Buburina as both a youth and an adult for example) and the overall feel is very well done.

In Summary:
Contrary to prior expectations, Catnapped! proved to be a fun movie with a great storyline and interesting characters and it aged well overall, though my own kids are certainly well past when they’d totally enjoy this. If you’re in a lull or looking for something for the kids to enjoy, this title is definitely recommended though it is one that likely won’t get rescued anytime soon, now being out of print for about fifteen years. But such is the fun of discovery and looking for hidden gems off the beaten path while absorbing the latest and greatest shows.

Features
Japanese Language, English Language, English Subtitles, Slide Shows, Character Information

Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: A-
Extras Grade: N/A

Released By: Geneon Entertainment
Release Date: March 7th, 2000
MSRP: $29.99
Running Time: 75 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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