The film A Whisker Away answers the cat enthusiast’s question: how does it feel to be a cat? These feelings are channeled in a new animation from Netflix by Mari Okada and Studio Colorado. The drama of the existence of teenagers who feel that being a cat will make things feel more fun.
This film tells the story of Miyo, a middle school student who is always happy and often considered annoying. She is known as Miss Ultra Gaga and Enigmatic, so she is called Muge. Aside from having a close friend named Yoji, Muge also likes his classmate, Hinode.
Muge lives with his father and stepmother. Fighting with his stepmother, Muge meets a strange man who gives him a mask. With that mask, Muge turns into a cat and sneaks after each after school to meet Hinode. Saturated with his life as a human, Muge is determined to become a cat so he can continue to be with Hinode.
Like other teen films that mostly carry the theme of existence and journey to adulthood, A Whisker Away is no different. But there is something new, comparing the existence of humans with cats, the cute mammals that are the lives of this film. There are many beautiful cats in the film.
Fantasy elements make imaginative plots, rather than adult realism stories that are difficult to digest. From Miyo / Muge’s trip with family and friends, there are many lessons to be given. Accept differences, convey feelings, and make peace with oneself and circumstances.
The dynamic flow that is presented that has been built from the middle of the story is made messy towards the end of the film. When the audience is brought to the fantasy world full of cats, Cat Island. Visual changes and very different tones on the third act are less integrated with the whole film.
Packed in lots of emotions that display the depth of character through beautiful animations from Colorado Studios. Miyo’s description is quite realistic with the problems she faces; the stepmother’s arrival and was not accepted by the person she liked. It’s too simple for an adult audience, but it’s still interesting to follow.
The original translation of this animation is titled “Wanting to Cry, I Pretend to Be a Cat“. Behind the English translation, the film A Whisker Away arguably takes reference from the famous animation studio Ghibli. In addition to stunning images, this film also presents a fantasy feel like Ghibli films.
Beautifully summed up using the ‘default’ summer style in Japan, a few jokes about cats will surely be understood by those who love these animals. There are some warm scenes that represent how humans and cats can understand each other.
The plot and story in this film are not even as strong as cute and adorable cats throughout the story. If you claim to be a fan of cats, this film can be a fun spectacle. Just like watching videos of cute cats that are scattered on Instagram or Twitter.