Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Island of Cats 『ねことじいちゃん』 - Fantasia 2019 Movie Review

The Movie: The Island of Catsねことじいちゃん

The Director: Mitsuaki Iwago

The Cast: Shinosuke Tachikawa, Ko Shibasaki, Kaoru Kobayashi, Tasuku Emoto, Bēkon

The Story: An aging man living with his cat in a small island village live a happy life alongside his fellow villagers both human and feline even as change and progress happens around them.

(C)2018 "The Island of Cats Film Partners

The Review:
This movie is based off of a popular manga produced by Kadokawa called Nekoji-chan and has been expertly brought to life by expert animal photographer Mitsuaki Iwago. A friend of mine told me she would watch Iwago's animal videos all the time and was happy to see him make a movie about cats. The story is pretty simple and focuses on the lives of a group of friends who have all lived in the same village for many years surrounded by peaceful times and cats everywhere.

The cats are portrayed as being just as much a part of the village as the people and the ones who do have owners more than likely they believe they are the masters instead of the pets. Among the feline characters, Tama-san is the most prominent and is brilliantly played by a cat that of course is named Bacon. Because I didn't already like everything about this movie enough as it was. Tama's adventures include going for walks with his master Daikichi, eating fish, and generally doing things that cats do. Iwago films these adventures in a way that is entertaining and makes you feel like you are right there with Tama as he wanders around the village.

The story follows the lives of the people and the struggles they have dealing with age, change, and progress, but it also shows the sense of belonging they have within their small fishing community and how everyone cares for each other and comes together in times of need. Iwago expertly weaves together each person's story while also giving lots of time for the cats to take center stage as well. Tama even gets to have some adventures along the way including his interactions with a neighboring female cat and how he helps Daikichi find a lost item.

(C)2018 "The Island of Cats Film Partners

The Verdict:
The Island of Cats is the type of feel good movie that helps you to appreciate the simple things in life that bring happiness like friends, food, companionship, and cats. Cats are definitely a source of happiness and this movie is a showcase for how wonderful these little creatures really are.

Flash, the official cat of, gives The Island of Cats the coveted "Two Paws Up" award for excellence in feline related films.

The Island of Cats is an official selection of the 2019 Fantasia International Film Festival.

To see more reviews, interviews, and festival coverage please go to:

TwoOhSix at Fantasia 2019

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