• Warning: Spoilers
    Japanese animators have a unique freedom with animation, which is why they tend to be able to come out with movies like these, movies that ultimately end up on anime-fans hard-drives and college student's floors, but get completely ignored by pretty much anybody outside of its country of origin. Cat Soup is one of those films that, from Western eyes, is supposed to be experienced on drugs or deeply analyzed. Really, it's just a beautifully detailed surrealist journey.

    There's no real dialog, which makes it easy to pass on to other interested parties uninterested in things like subtitles. A cat and his half-dead (brain-dead?) sister travel through various landscapes of imagination and association. There's a general theme of water, or lack thereof (possibly because of the cat drowning at the beginning? Possibly because of the title?). There's an interesting sort of Genesis take. There's a pig that gets to eat itself. An elephant made of water. And it's gorgeous, compelling, exciting, and fun--provided you don't watch it around druggies who cannot experience anything visually unique without comparing it to an acid trip. Eventually the movie turns itself off, adding another compelling self-reflexive level to the proceedings.

    --PolarisDiB