Cat Days is a sweet animated short film by Jon Frickey about a young boy who, after a visit to the doctor, is diagnosed with the cat flu; the only logical conclusion reached by the doctor therefore becomes that the young boy is actually, after all, a cat.
This odd premise works well with the tone and humour of the movie, playing with this identity crisis both with absurdity – the father of the boy starts reading a book about how to raise cats to better understand his son – and genuine fondness.
The animation is entirely fluid and the illustration style, both colourful and minimalist, creates a cute, childlike atmosphere that allows for truly beautiful moments, like when boy and cat entirely merge together.
Although created by a German, the movie takes place in Japan and is therefore entirely in Japanese. This setting obviously brings to mind other Japanese animated movies with similar peculiar premises with which Cat Days fits well.
Like those other great movies, Cat Days is not entirely really about a boy thought to be a cat, but more of an exploration into childhood and letting children be children – with, for example, the quick acceptance and friendship between the young boy and a girl living in his neighbourhood (both voiced by young Japanese children who do a wonderful work) that contrasts well with the father’s rigid approach to the new information about his son.
Cat Days is a cute, childish (in the best way) short film worth a watch at the very least for its wonderful illustration style.