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Cat Soup
Cat Soup
Director: Tatsuo Sato
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Anime & Manga, Animation
UR     2003     0hr 34min


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Movie Details

Director: Tatsuo Sato
Creators: Masaru Takase, Tatsuo Sato, Atsushi Moriyama, Masaaki Yuasa, Nekojiru
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Anime & Manga, Animation
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Animation, Fantasy, Animation, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Software Sculptures
Format: DVD - Color - Animated,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/09/2003
Original Release Date: 09/09/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 09/09/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 0hr 34min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, Japanese
Subtitles: English
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Movie Reviews

Mature anime
Chapulina R | Tovarischi Imports, USA/RUS | 08/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Insert "Hello Kitty" into "The Grateful Dead Movie" and you have an idea -- sort'a, kind'a -- of what a short, strange trip this film is! Two cute kitty siblings enter a limbo between life and death, while trying to recover one's soul. There they experience numerous bizarre, occasionally gory, disconnected adventures. There is little dialogue other than word balloons, and most seemingly nonsensical. But this is not merely acid-induced weirdness; there's a story in this imagery that will stick in your mind long after watching it. For those who like Japanese animation and "Cat Soup" in particular, I recommend finding tol's "Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space." "Tamala" features another cutie cat-girl, with a penchant for four-letter words, and a propensity toward violence and freaky adventures. Like "Cat Soup," "Tamala" has fantastic art and imagery; plus it boasts a mindblowing soundtrack."
Um... Yeah... But... Um... Huh?
Antonio D. Paolucci | Beaver Falls, PA | 01/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The title for this review will probably be your first reaction upon seeing this short film. Though considered Japanese animation, little in it looks like it. The story itself plays out silently, accompanied by music and squeaks from the characters. In truth very little in this movie makes any sense. One way to describe it is: If Stanley Kubrick made an animation, this might be it.

But it's still an excellent film. Cat Soup is about two kittens. One of the kittens, named Nyaaka, gets sick and has her soul removed by Death, but before all of the soul is removed, Nyatta, Nyaaka's brother, catches and breaks a piece of the soul, saving Nyaaka from death... barely. She becomes an emotionless creature with a dead look to her large eyes. So Nyatta decides to find his sister's soul. In his journey, he drags his near-dead sister to many places, from a bizarre circus to a tiny, dark river, with many strange, magical, and sometimes disturbing places in between.

The things that happen to the characters of this short seem almost random, giving the feeling of constant surprise to Cat Soup. Following the characters, you wonder where in the world they could get to next Just when you realize they are at their next destination you begin to want Nyatta and Nyaaka to move on. Danger meets them in every place they go, whether from a physical thing or from the weather. And then, of course, there is the scene where you see the namesake of the film...

When all put together, it makes for a surprisingly tense and entertaining piece of short animation. The problem with this movie is that it is easily misunderstood. Where one person believes its magical, another thinks its crap. All I can say is give it a try, rent it if possible, or buy it if you're a collector. I'm sure that if you watched it without a critical eye, you'll find your own measure of enjoyment from Cat Soup."
Quite a Delectable Soup, Indeed
Marley | Massachusetts | 11/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Wow. After seeing this on the back of my magazine cover, and hearing it described as "Hello Kitty" on acid, I decided to check it out. And all I can say is: WOW. It is a great short film, and very thought-provoking. Even after watching it several times, there are things I discover that I previously had missed. I would recommend this to anyone with an open-mind, a love for niche anime titles, or a strange sense of humor. I would not recommend it for children under the age of 14, however. Despite the cute cats on the cover, it is a tad bit bloody, and the youngun's probably wouldn't sit through this mature anime, anyway."
Hello Kitty as done by David Lynchisan!
Andreas M. Alvine | Los Angeles CA | 04/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As said by the other reviews this is an extraordinary pieces of media that defys convention. Imagine Hello Kitty done by the director of Eraserhead only David Lynch was Japanese. This piece is just that. As other people have accurately surmised there is a story in this but the basic story hides other metaphorical meanings and plot. The basic story is about a pair of young sibling cats and the older sister is dying of an illness. The brother gets into an argument with death and gets into a tug of war that tears her soul in half saving her from death but not completely. Then he takes his sister to get the other half of her soul back. The animation is filled with very powerful symbology. Although many concepts in the portrayal are very Japanese there is not a single spoken word in any of this movie. It will help a lot if you are familiar with Japanese culture to understand some of the symbology like the little bell and the flower that reoccurres. Other symbols transcend cultural barriers.
Look, this animation goes in the class of Fantasia, Eraserhead, Alegro non Troppa (Bruno Bozzetti), and Liquid TV (the only really inspired show MTV ever did but now look what we are left with. Is there no humanity in entertainment any more?) but there is some really strange violence in this animation and it is so surreally done that it will leave you answering a horrendous number of questions. Also this movie, like the afore mentioned Fantasia, are way over young heads and they would never understand any of it. Also keep in mind that many of the images have DEEP cultural meanings and some will not be as clear as others. It is all part of the story. This is SO classic Japanese story telling if I ever seen it. One thing about Japanese people is that they have an indirect way of saying things that many Americans don't catch. They are a people of subtlty and intricasy. It is important to pay attention to this animation because if watched twice you will find things you missed before. There is more to this story about a brother trying to save his sister's life. There is a 'universal order' story in this as well.
I was completely straight watching this but the other reviews calling Cat Soup 'Hello Kitty on Acid' were giving a good description of this movie. It is 34 minuets of great visuals and unusual sound and music. Do not come to this one with great expectations of Disney style animation. This is more like Hello Kitty done like Nausica to a Eraserhead like story of death and love. Now for those of the mind alternating persuasion, buy this, turn on, tune in, and drift away in a story that is told for the eyes and not the ears although the music and sound score that goes with this fit the scenes very well. This is a magic carpet ride into the surreal you are sure to enjoy. I got to say this is a must for any hard core animation and cinema collector. If you are into Japanese cinema (and I got a streak for it myself with a growing Akira Kurosawa collection (director of The Seven Samurai and Yojimbo) as well as Akira, Cowboy Bebop, Pom Poko and others in my collection) make sure this is one in your collection!!!!
If you do not appreciate Japanese cinema this might be over your head. If you like Eraserhead what are you waiting for if you have not seen this?!?! This is very surreal so be forewarned. Bad reviews on this one are usually by people who don't understand this genra of movie be it Japanese, British, Italian, or American and I can understand because taste is subjective and there is nothing wrong with not likeing a piece if there is real merit to one's dislikes. Don't let other reviews dissuade you from at least checking this one out and seeing if you like it. Cute never came off this wierd!"