Thursday, March 3, 2011

WHISPER OF THE HEART


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.
(Amazon.com description of Whisper Of The Heart)

Original Japanese Title:
Dubbed by: Disney
Animation: Studio Gibli
Manga adaption?: Not that I know of.
Rating: G

{I, the reviewer, give "Whisper Of The Heart", 10 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

I don't know what it is, but despite how simple this movie was, I was enchanted. It just goes to show you that you don't always need an epic-sized plot where alot is going on, like the world falling apart, massive wars, characters with dark pasts....while I love stories like that, "Whisper Of The Heart" was a nice little change from all that. Simple, but artistic. In fact, I think it's simplicity was why I fell in love with it so much!

It's about a young girl named Shizuku who loves to read books. She often spends time in the library and reads fairy tales, though spending too much time in this has caused her grades to slip a little. She meets a boy in her grade that seems a bit jerkish. When she is on an errand to deliver lunch to her father, on the train she meets this cat. When the train stops, the cat leaves, and she decides to follow it. From there she discovers a strange shop and meets the kind old man who lives there. Later on she finds out that the store owner is that jerk boy's Grandfather! However, she learns more about this boy and starts to get to know him. He likes to make violins and his dream is to become a master violin maker. Amazed at how he's already decided what he wants to do, she then decides to take up writing. She's read enough fairy tales, why not create her own?

As a writer/dreamer myself, I felt I could really connect with Shizuku as she strived to finish her story in a specific deadline she set herself. It sort of made me think about how I am. I feel as though an artist sees the world differently. There's constant inspiration, and I often find myself visually imagining my stories as I create them, kind of like Shizuku does. I guess that's another reason why I fell in love with this movie, 'cause it was about a young aspiring writer, and I felt I could relate to that. I guess it was also comforting to me, too, since I feel not everyone I know really supports my goals and dreams, and this film inspired me to keep improving myself as an artist.

Not much going on, yet it's still so magical! The animation style is wonderful (like all Gibli films), the story is enchanting, and it's so simple! Plus it's clean, so the whole family can watch! I'm not usually into much slice-of-life stuff, but this is one of those anime that despite it's simplicity, it just draws you in. I especially loved the scenes where you got to see into Shizuku's story as she visually imagines it! The story she writes would make an awesome movie in itself, and it made me wish I could read it. So, if you're looking for an anime that's easy to understand, something that's free of objectionable content, or would like to relax and take a break from the more intense stories, then I think you'll love this!

Recommend?
It may not be an action film, but it's simplicity is what makes it so enchanting! And if you like other works by Studio Gibli, this will NOT disappoint you! Plus, it's one of the cleanest anime I have seen in awhile!

I recommend this *ANIME NEWCOMER WORTHY* since it's a simple anime with a simple story, not hard to understand!

[VIEWING PLEASURE]

[MUSIC]
The music fits the series very well. While I wouldn't call it a masterpiece, the music is rather good. I especially loved the part when Shizuku sings while some people with instruments accompany her.

[SUB VS. DUB]
I haven't watched the Japanese version yet, but the English dub was pretty good. I felt a few parts seemed a bit stiff, but for the most part it was a great dub!

[MOVIES/MANGA]
None that I know of.

[RELATED TITLES]

[DVD EXTRAS]

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
None.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
Not that I can remember.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
Clear of this.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
None.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
Nothing in the actual story. When Shizuku is writing her story, she imagines the events in her head, and there's some magic in her story. All just fantasy.

*EPISODE LIST*
(This is a movie, so no episodes, just chapter selection)

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite Ghibli films - maybe my VERY favorite. You're absolutely right - it's wonderful in its simplicity. Shizuku is a memorable character and a wonderful heroine. And one thing that has always stuck out to me are the backgrounds in this movie - they're so peaceful and beautiful.

    If you want to read more, you might want to try the manga. There's a short sequel, of sorts, to the events covered in this film in the manga. Despite being hard to find, it's a terrific little read.

    There's also "The Cat Returns." I've never seen it, but I've heard it's "meh."

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