Bizarre and Beautiful:The strangest animated films ever made.

Catnapped!/Totsuzen! Neko no Kuni Banipal Witt

1995

Director: Takashi Nakamura

Country of Origin- Japan

Catnapped! Has a plot as complicated as it is weird. Toriyasu and his little sister Meeko are taken by three cat scientists to an alternate dimension called Banipal Witt which is inhabited by anthropomorphic cats. The candy colored world sits atop an enormous sleeping cat that could destroy everything if awakened. The sun in Banipal Witt is fired out of a canon every morning, and when exposed to it people turn into cats (and eventually after too much exposure monsters). Toriyasu’s dog Papadoll (the most adorable name you can possibly give a dog) has been kidnapped and turned into a monster by the evil cat queen Buburina and her henchman Doh doh. Buburina herself suffers from a Midas like curse, everything she touches turns into balloons.

What can be said about Catnapped, the first in this strange series of truly odd films? Well for one thing it is a lost treasure and an anime classic. Those who know about it love it and those who don’t know about it should see it. Catnapped was the pet project of Takashi Nakamura who not only wrote the story and designed the characters but also directed the film. Takashi is mostly known as the animation director of Akira as well as a short stint with Ghibli as a lead animator on Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. And boy does his raw talent shine out of every frame. The animation on Catnapped is pure joy and the design is straight out of a psychedelic dream.

Since my first viewing of this film way back in the 90’s, I’ve always felt Papadoll’s beast design is one of the most beautiful animated monstrosities ever put to screen. It manages to be funny and terrifying at the same time and is exactly what a small child might try to describe but lack the ability to draw.