Whisper of the Heart
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From the creators of the Academy Award(R)-winning SPIRITED AWAY (Best Animated Feature Film, 2002) comes a tale based on the screenplay from the legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki. During summer vacation, a schoolgirl named Shizuku, who longs to discover her true talents, observes an ordinary-looking cat riding by himself on the train. Intrigued, she decides to follow him. This chance encounter leads her to the mysterious Seiji, a boy who is determined to follow his dreams, and The Baron, a magical cat figurine who helps her listen to the whispers in her heart. Soon, Shizuku's exciting adventures carry her far beyond the boundaries of her imagination. Featuring extraordinary storytelling, enchanting animation, and an all-star voice cast, this 2-disc set will inspire dreams and warm hearts of all ages. ~~(c) 1995 Aoi Hiiragi/Shueisha Nibariki GNH
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 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 a sense of magic can exist, even in everyday Tokyo. Whisper of the Heart was the only film Yoshifumi Kondo directed before his untimely death at age 47, 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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But the characters are sweet, and the nuanced facial expressions and non-verbal communication makes it one you can watch again and again and find something new to love every time. If you think of yourself as an artist and are interested in stories about artists' struggles, this is a good one.
My 2-yr-old loves watching the cat navigate the city and the trains all on his own. He thinks it's hilarious. My 5-yr-old is too young to understand the teenage romance parts, so he has little use for this movie! But I like it.
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.
this shows love and how you should improve yourself and focus on work or school rather than chase a lover.
that all those things will fall into place as you grow. it's a wonderful movie.
The setting is Tokyo - teenager Shizuku Tsukishima is a bookish girl who'd rather while away the hours buried in a book than study her school books. Shizuku feels there's something missing in her life and a chance encounter with an indifferent yet strangely captivating cat on a train one day changes the course of her life. Shizuku follows the cat to an old antique store, where she is captivated by the statue of a mysterious cat (the Baron, who made a lasting impression on fans in The Cat Returns). Later, Shizuku discovers that the store is owned by an old man who happens to be the grandfather of Seiji Amasawa, the very young man whose name had been on the library cards of many of the books Shijuku's been checking out.
A gentle friendship develops between the two teenagers, one that baffles and delights Shizuku. Her lack of confidence in herself makes her question the balance in this friendship as she thinks very highly of Seiji's talents as a budding violin maker, whereas she thinks she has nothing much to offer in return. She just writes song lyrics and wastes time reading fairy tales, pursuits she deems worthless. It takes a while, but Shizuku does finally find her true calling, and the statue of the Baron serves as an inspiration towards this end.
I loved the way the story took its time to unfold. Nothing felt rushed or plodding - this is one of those movies that I would watch again on a leisurely weekend afternoon, and reflect upon my younger days. It is such a sweet, if a tad melodramatic, coming of age story that is sure to warm anyone's heart. Note: The picture quality is crisp and clear. There are scenes of Shizuku's father smoking, and minor language (in some earlier scenes, Shizuku calls Seiji "stupid jerk" several times, and also uses the term "idiot", but that's it).