Catnapped! (original Japanese title: Totsuzen! Neko no Kuni Banipal Witt) is a 1995 animated feature film distributed by Geneon and written, designed and directed by Takashi Nakamura, whose previous works include the animation art department of Akira.
A boy named Toriyasu and his younger sister Meeko are contacted by three anthropomorphic cats, who transport them to their homeworld, Banipal Witt, ruled by evil princess Buburina, whose instruments of domination are a giant flying dog (that happens to be Toriyasu's missing pet dog, Papadoll) and her own grasp of magic.
The film is remarkable for its imaginative visuals, often compared to Yellow Submarine, and for being one of the few Japanese animated films for children among the glut of sexual and violent animes of The '90s.
This film contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Chu Chu doesn't need Toriyasu to stand up to Buburina in a catfight.
- Air Jousting: The climax of the film.
- Alien Sky: The Moon is a vessel manned by a single person, and the Sun is a fireworks device!
- And the Adventure Continues: Toriyasu and Meeko foil Buburina's plan and rescue Papadoll but then Henoji, Suttoboke and HoiHoi come back to enlist their help with a new problem on Banipal Witt.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Doh Doh was the apprentice of Sandada and the brother of Chu Chu, but saw a painting of Buburina that causes anyone to look at it to become her slave.
- Bumbling Sidekick: Doh Doh isn't a completely useless henchman, but he's not too good either, and Buburina shows zero respect for him.
- Cat Girl: Most prominently Toriyasu and Meeko first simply gaining cat ears. Also Chu Chu.
- Celestial Deadline: Toriyasu and Meeko must thwart Buburina's plans and return Papadoll to normal before sunrise. Otherwise they'll suffer Papadoll's fate.
- Chekhov's Gun: In the beginning of the movie, Toriyasu advises Meeko to not bring up the idea of Papadoll being kidnapped by aliens at school. Later on, we find out in a flashback that Yasu got mocked by bullies on a street about his obsession with searching for aliens together with Papadoll.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: A recurring decoration theme, as well as part of Buburina's Noble Womans Laugh and Doh Doh's Evil Laugh.
- Cursed Item: A portrait of Buburina: anyone who looks at it becomes insanely devoted to her.
- Deranged Animation: Many and surreal!
- Fisher Kingdom: Toriyasu and Meeko gain feline features when they arrive to Banipal Witt. Reversely, cats lose their anthropomorphism while on Earth.
- They don't so much lose their anthropomorphism than disguise themselves as ordinary felines so as not to attract attention. Even so, they admit that their disguises aren't foolproof, thus why Henogee begs Meeko not to wake up any adults.
- Floating Continent: Banipal Witt is on top of a floating tower of continents.
- Inept Mage: The old wizard Sandada leads La Résistance against Buburina but his magic is too weak to do anything on his own. His potions prove useless too.
- Inflating Body Gag: Owing to an enchantment placed on her, Buburina's touch causes anyone to inflate into a balloon.
- Interspecies Romance: Toriyasu and Meeko receive a bit too much attention from Chu Chu and Suttoboke respectively.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Doh Doh was a cute looking cat boy but immediately became adult and haggard after falling under Buburina's spell.
- Kick the Dog: Both litterally and figuratively. Likewise, Pet the Dog.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The Pink Panther appears briefly among a crowd fleeing Papadoll's attacks.
- Magitek: With a bit of Bamboo Technology mixed in, Banipal Witt runs on blimps and pellets.
- Meaningful Name: Buburina owes her name to buburu, bubble. Just wait to see her magic in action.
- My Greatest Failure: Buburina's parents blame themselves for spoiling Buburina rotten, resulting in her nasty disposition and her curse.
- Never My Fault: Buburina absolutely refuses to take any responsibility in the death of the wizard's daughter.
- Royal Brat: Buburina to a T. It's pretty much why she was cursed in the first place.
- Sugar Apocalypse: Banipal Witt was a beautiful land ruled by two benevolent monarchs. Then Buburina and Papadoll happened.
- Trailers Always Spoil: If you were to see some of the early VHS trailers for this film prior to its distribution by Pioneer Entertainment, then there'd be no point in you seeing this movie in full.
- Verbed Title: Catnapped!