Whisper of the Heart (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
Pretty realistic teenage "coming of age" and romance at its best—Whisper of the Heart is endearing and funny with all of the sweet, capturing elements Studio Ghibli does so well.
Shizuku Tsukisma is a junior high school student who does what most girls her age do. She reads books in her spare time, talks about boys with her best friend, and spends most of her time making up songs, or adapting them from older westerns and singing them (These are things normal girls do...right?). The whole film revolves around the old John Denver song "Take me Home, Country Roads," and throughout the film Shizuku is trying to adapt the lyrics to help express her feelings for her junior high graduation.
Shizuku also reads a lot and as a result of this, checks out many books from the library. Eventually, she starts to notice a pattern in the books she checks out: the have all been checked out by the same person before her. This sends Shizuku in search for the seemingly elusive Seiji Amasawa, and sets the story for our film.
In May 2012, the North American blu-ray version of Whisper of the Heart was released alongside Castle in the Sky and the Secret World of Arrietty. The movie came shipped from Amazon in great condition, along with the sleeve cover (no bends or tears, the movie was shipped in a box with giant bubble wrap). Inside the packaging you have your standard bluray on one side, DVD on the other, as well as paperwork for a code to Disney Movie Rewards (something I would HIGHLY recommend you start taking advantage of. Signing up is free, and if you buy enough Disney movies, you might as well reap the full the benefits, especially at 35+ bucks a pop, MSRP).
The English dub of Whisper of the Heart is one of the best I've heard and is just as enjoyable as the original audio to me. If you are, however, a stickler for the Japanese audio, the good thing about this release is that it comes with both a verbatim subtitle track of the English version, as well as the original translation subtitle track, so you get to choose.
The only thing that I had a real problem with was the cover art. The Japanese releases on these films got way cooler, exclusive artwork, which would have been great, but of course that's not how these things go. Overall, I am very happy with this purchase, and I'm glad I own this timeless classic. I give the film a 5/5.
Good luck getting Country Road out of your head! It'll be stuck in there for days after each time you watch this film.
Shazuku is a young 14 year old who is growing up following motions of ordinary life. Though she craves to live in the worlds of magic and fairytales, she always keeps brining herself back down to earth thinking she can never be her own person. Then with all the worries about getting into high school and helping her friends as they develop intrests in boys, her dreams are further from her reach than ever. Then one day she notices the same name showing up in all the library books she checked out and wonders who this mystery boy is who shares all these same intrests as her. Not realizing it's him at first she meets Saiji a guy with big ambitions and trying to find his own way to become a professional violin maker. Their friendship blossoms into a beautiful story like Shazukus' fairy tales and soon she is able to follow her dreams with the help of some unlikly friends.
'Whisper of the Heart' is such a warm movie that shows the togetherness of family, friendship and love. It is a movie that will whisk you away and melt your heart as you see a young girl realize that there is a place for her in the big world. All she has to do is listen to her heart.
I didn't even read the description, I just bought it! Not knowing anything about the title, I was pleased to find out it's the predecessor to the Cat Returns (which I also love). Whisper of the Heart is both endearing and touching. It's proof that there is beauty in everyday life and trials. Add a bit of childhood first love, and you have a classic. So glad this one is in my library!
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