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Whisper of the Heart [Blu-ray + DVD]

18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Britney Snow, Coutney Thorne-Smith, Cary Elwes, David Gallagher
  • Format: NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: G
  • Studio: Studio Ghibli (Presented by Walt Disney Home Entertainment)
  • Release Date: May 22 2012
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,113 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

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 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 --This text refers to the DVD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. K. Harkness on April 3 2008
Format: DVD
"Whisper of the Heart" defies the anime stereotypes of giant robots and scantily clad (if at all) women. Instead, we are presented with a story about believable characters who are trying, like the rest of us, how to live a valid life. This movie should appeal to many, but if you have a young person in the house who is a musician or writer - or who wants to be one - give them the gift of watching this sweet, humane story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steven Aldersley TOP 50 REVIEWER on July 1 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Who is Whisper of the Heart aimed at? It's animated, so it must be for children? The lead characters are young teens and there's a strong romantic element, so is it aimed at teens? I'm a 51-year-old man who doesn't have any children, but I love every minute of this film.

If you are a fan of Studio Ghibli, you'll know that Hayao Miyazaki has directed most of the studio's work. Yoshifumi Kondo directed this time, but Miyazaki wrote the screenplay, and his influence can be felt rather than seen. Whisper of the Heart is set in the real world and only contains the tiniest of fantasy references. It's a coming-of-age tale that just about everyone can identify with. Even if you are not a child, a teen, or a parent, you will remember living through similar moments to those depicted in this story.

Shizuku is a 14-year-old girl who focuses most of her attention on school, reading, and studying. One day, she notices that almost every book she borrows from the library has previously been checked out by Seiji Amasawa. She becomes curious about him, and wonders how someone could have such similar tastes to her own. At school, she's a good student, and goes through the typical things that most young girls experience. She talks to her girlfriends about boys, but writing is her real passion. She impresses her friends by writing song lyrics.

Her life changes when she encounters a cat on the train, and she follows it after it gets off at her stop. It leads her to an antiques store, owned by an old man. The man turns out to be the grandfather of the mysterious Seiji, and the two finally meet.

Although Shizuki studies hard, she has little idea of what she wants to do with her life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Clara Fraschetti on Jan. 8 2010
Format: DVD
I watched this film with my four children who are 8, 6, 6 & 4 years old. I have seen a few Studio Ghibli films and have been impressed with every one of them. The long reflective shots that allow you to take in the setting of the story, the depth of the characters, the imaginative story line kept all of us gripped and touched until the very end. No Hollywood shortcuts here. Shizuku, the main character, loves to read and her interest in literature takes her on an exciting adventure that helps her get in touch with what her dreams are for her life. Great values and likable characters for children to take in.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful coming of age story. I wish that I grew up on Gibli movies; while Disney's young women were pining over marriage, Gibli's young women were going on adventures to learn about the potential life held for them. Between saving your parents from being turned into pigs by an evil witch, to exploring the secret spirits of the forest, Gibli creates deeply thoughtful, multi dimensional characters with dreams and adventures, often finding magic in everyday life.
This movie is long, after finishing it, I felt like I had read a great book. It tells a magical story about a young girl who aspires to be a writer, her struggle over family life, friendship, and her dreams. Without giving too much away, I'd say it's about a girl who loves to read, who day dreams over the mysterious person who has somehow signed out every library book before her. On a boring summer day, hoping to find adventure, she decides to follow a cat off the streetcar. The cat leads her to an antique shop, where she meets the owner and makes a new friend who encourages her to write a novel. I will say that this movie is very slow paced, but that's just the style.

Visually, it's modest traditional animation over delicate watercolour backdrops.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Whisper of the Heart is another one of those wonderful little animated films marketed by Disney and produced by Studio Ghibli. And yes, like it's siblings, it's a true little gem!

Heart doesn't get as much notice as more action oriented Ghibli films like Ponyo or Kiki's Delivery Service or Castle in the Sky because well....., it's not an action oriented film. Rather this film is just a sweet little tale about a girl's coming of age. Simple as that. No violence, no explosions, no car chases, no space aliens; just a young girl coming to grips with her first love.

However, if you think boring; you couldn't be more wrong as a mysterious cat eventually leads her to the boy of her dreams. The first half is rich and diverse as she explores her surroundings while the second half is more introspective as their relationship develops. Ironically, one of the highlights of the movie comes around the mid-point with a neighbourhood jam session to the tunes of "Rocky Road." It's that sort of film.

There's not a great deal of difference on this BD/Combo pak between the Bluray and dvd versions. The BD is crisper and shows more detail which is appreciated as she explores the town. And the dvd's English and Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks are bumped up a notch to 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks on the bluray. But since this is a film with many introspective moments and quiet dialogue and not the sort of action you'd get in say...., a Ponyo; most of the time you probably won't notice the difference.

It's a fascinating little film though and is perfect if you want a family film with no violence. It would also make a perfect gift for any young girls (or not so young) in the family. It's a little gem that too often gets overlooked by the bigger, badder animated films out there and that's a real pity!

J. A.
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