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Whisper of the Heart (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

4.7 out of 5 stars 348 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

WHISPER OF THE HEART inspires like never before in Blu-ray! A new digital master reveals the true brilliance of this heartwarming coming-of-age classic from Studio Ghibli, the studio that brought you PONYO and the Academy Award(R)-winning SPIRITED AWAY (Best Animated Feature Film, 2002). A chance encounter with a mysterious cat sends Shizuku, a quiet schoolgirl, on a quest for her true talent. Challenged by Seiji, a boy determined to follow his dreams, and enchanted by The Baron, a magical cat figurine who helps her listen to the whispers of her heart, Shizuku embarks on curious adventures beyond the boundaries of her imagination. Now in Blu-ray High Definition for the first time ever, this beautiful tale based on the screenplay from legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki will delight and amaze families!


Based on a manga by Aoi Hiiragi, the gentle coming of age story Whisper of the Heart (1995) was scripted and storyboarded by Hayao Miyazaki, and directed by the late Yoshifumi Kondo. Shizuku Tsukishima is an absent-minded, insecure junior high school student who reads book after book of fairy tales, helps her friends, and does most of her chores, but remains dissatisfied. When she encounters a wonderfully supercilious cat on the train, she follows him and meets Seiji Amasawa, a student in her class who hopes to become a violin maker. Seiji's commitment to his dream helps Shizuku find her voice, literally and figuratively: she realizes she wants to become a writer. A statue of a cat in the antique store of Seiji's kindly grandfather inspires her first story, "Whisper of the Heart." Shizuku and Seiji exhibit believable strengths and flaws: their warm humanity contrasts markedly with the shabby superficiality of the characters in many recent American animated films. The lively performances of Brittany Snow and David Gallagher transcend the geographic limits of the story to make Shizuku and Seiji the kids the viewer wishes lived next door. Miyazaki's script suggests that magic can exist, even in everyday Tokyo. Whisper of the Heart was the only film Yoshifumi Kondo directed, but its understated charm stands as a monument to his talent. (Rated G, suitable for ages 10 and older: tobacco use) -- Charles Solomon

Special Features

Blu-ray(TM) Feature Film + Bonus|DVD Feature Film + Bonus|Four Masterpieces Of Naohisa Inoue -- Watch Four Different Scenes By Master Artist Naohisa Inoue Evolve Before Your Eyes|Original Japanese Storyboards|Behind The Microphone -- With Voice Talent From The Film, Including Brittany Snow, Courtney Thorne-Smith, David Gallagher And Cary Elwes|Trailers & TV Spots

Product Details

  • Directors: Yoshifumi Kondo
  • Writers: Screenplay And Storyboard By Hayao Miyazaki
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS-HD High Res Audio)
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    General Audience
  • Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment Presents A Studio Ghibli Film
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2012
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (348 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,173 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Whisper of the heart is one of the most sensitive, heartwarming and beautiful films ever made. Based on a shojo manga by Aoi Hiiragi, Written and produced by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Yoshifumi Kondo, whisper of the heart is a tale of self discovery and coming of age of a high school girl Shizuku who is not sure what she wants in life. A series of dramatic events bring her closer to a guy Seiji from her own school. Together they embark on a journey which will help them find their inner potentials, realize their dreams and also love for each other. Also featured in the movie is an old man who runs an antique shop stocked with amazing treasures, including a magnificient porcelain figurine "the baron" (also featured in "The cat returns). Both of these characters play an important role in the film. Though "The cat returns" is kind of follow up to "whisper" yet for some reason it was released on dvd before "whisper".

Rarely is a film as honest and realistic as whisper of the heart and that's what makes it amazingly special, charming and successful. Within its thin plot and realistic settings, whisper has its magic moments which are downright uplifting and strike a chord somewhere deep inside. The film itself is a breath of fresh air.

Whisper of the heart, though slow in pace, draws you in from the very beginning and refuses to let you go. Its a heartwarming tale which makes you feel nostalgic and helps you relive the adolescence. Except for the Shizuku's dreamy fantasy sequence, the film relies heavily on dialogues and simple and real situations. The locales and the backgrounds shown in the film are as beautiful and breathtaking as in any other ghibli film.
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Format: DVD
This movie, produced by Studio Ghibli (the same company that produces Miyazaki's movies) is a gem. Unlike all of Miyazaki's movies, this one tells in a very poetic way a story about credible young people, their coming of age, and their growing awareness on their dreams and aspirations. It is also a beatiful love story between two children who are discovering that they seem to be made for each other.

This is also one of those movies that will remind you of your school years, and I find amazing the accuracy with which children's emotions are depicted. Indeed, this is something I really appreciate about most of these Japanese directors: the ability of depicting children for what they are, rather than as cute mature and witty "little" adults, as much of Hollywood instead does.

As in virtually all of Studio Ghibli's movies, the drawings are beautiful, some of them breathtaking, and the characters are lovable and well constructed. One of the major "characters" is a cat that will certainly end up loving!

If you liked this movie, I would also strongly suggest you to look for another two Studio Ghibli movies that share the same genre. One is "Ocean waves" (which centers around the complicated love-hate relation between two high school student), and the other one, which is absolutely wonderful, is "Only yesterday", the story of a young Tokio woman who rediscovers herself during a vacation in the countryside. I think both of them (especially the last one) are true masterpieces.
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Format: DVD
I am so glad that this Studio Ghibli gem is finally getting a U.S. release, so that it can get an even wider audience.

Unlike some better known Ghibli productions such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, Whisper of the Heart has very few fantasy elements; it's a story that is very 'real'. The setting of Whisper Of The Heart (original title: Mimi wo Sumaseba) is a typical Tokyo suburb, and the main protagonists are Suzuka and Seiji, a girl and a boy in junior high school. Suzuka is not quite sure yet what she wants to do with her life, but Seiji on the other hand has already found his lifes work. The themes this movie cover are universal, such as:

What does it mean to have, and pursue a dream? What is the use of education? What does it mean to love someone? And so on.

This is a perfect family movie also, for kids over age 10 or so and up. The pace may be a bit too leisurely for younger kids and they may not quite get the themes of ambition, etc as well as older kids might, though there is plenty of other elements to hold their attention, such as the gorgeous animation and the cheekiest cat imaginable. (There is absolutely nothing in this movie that's 'inappropriate' for young children in any way - just that the themes may be a bit difficult for them.) Adults who remember their teenage years would love this movie also. It made me remember what it was like to be 13 and unsure of myself and what I wanted to 'do with my life', and of hanging out with my friends, and the crushes I had on boys, etc. This movie is particularly great for young girls, since Suzuka, the main character, is one of the most realistically portrayed low-teen girls I've ever seen on screen. Ironic, since she's animated.
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Format: DVD
Whisper of the Heart is a wonderful Ghibli movie; although the animation style shows a bit of age, the visual compositions, the magic that makes the ordinary suddenly special, the human touch and warmth of people all make that totally inconsequential. Even if the characters might not be the smooth and flashy style, their movements, the life in them, let alone the breathtaking backgrounds are better than almost anything modern animation has produced.

The plot itself doesn't read as anything exciting that would make one pick up the movie, but that would be a mistake; Whisper of the Heart is about idealism, about love, about the emotions that make us human, that make life worth living. This doesn't make it a boring chick flick or art movie, though. The characters have enough quirks and humor to them to keep even an action aficionado entertained.

There is nothing adult about this movie, in the best senses of that word. No foul language, no sex, no drugs, no drinking, no violence. This is the kind of movie that you can show to a child of any age, from seven to a hundred and seven, and the magic will be there. It is the kind of work that inspires faith in humanity.
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