Whisper of the Heart (1995) – 8/10

Copyright Holder: Aoi Hiiragi
Yoko Honna: Shizuku
Issei Takahashi: Seiji
Tachibana Takashi: Shizuku’s Father
Muroi Shigeru: Shizuku’s Mother
Tsuyuguchi Shigeru: Baron
Kobayashi Keiju: ‘World Emporium’ Proprietor
Brittany Snow: Shizuku
David Gallagher: Seiji
Cary Elwes: The Baron
Writer (Original Manga) Published by Shueisha: Aoi Hiiragi
Writer (Screenplay): Hayao Miyazaki
Storyboard: Hayao Miyazaki
Producer: Toshio Suzuki
General Producer: Hayao Miyazaki
Director: Yoshifumi Kondo

Whisper of the Heart (1995)

Middle School girl Shizuku spots that a boys name keeps appearing before hers in library books she is taking out and builds a romantic ideal in her mind. Her schoolmates are also having the beginnings of romantic entanglements but, one day, a cat will lead Shizuku on to the path of self discovery and, perhaps, true love.

8/10

Sweet, charming and exceptionally animated. Very exceptionally animated. Tragically, this would be director Yoshifumi Kondo’s only film for Studio Ghibli due to his untimely death from an aneurysm (he was 48). Miyazaki is reported to have intended Kondo to be his successor at Ghibli and that makes his death even deeper felt. Of all the non-Miyazaki directed output at Studio Ghibli, this one (though scripted by Miyazaki) is closest in tone to the master’s work.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Available on DVD.

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