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Whisper of the Heart (Mimi wo sumaseba) (1995)

  Directed by: Yoshifumi Kondo
Written by: Aoi Hiiragi, Hayao Miyazaki
Starring: Youko Honna, Keiju Kobayashi, Shigeru Muroi, Takashi Tachibana, Kazuo Takahashi, Shigeru Tsuyuguchi
Links: Whisper of the Heart on the IMDb
Genre: Cartoon/Animation

This movie gets: 8.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"More fun-filled moments from Japan" - a review by pearly

Shizuku (Youko Honna) is a young girl living in Japan. She is quite studious, and ambitious, though she doesn't yet know exactly what she wants to do with her life. One day, whilst reading, she realises that many of the books she has borrowed from the library have previously been borrowed by another boy, someone she has never heard of, by the name of Seiji Amasawa (Kazuo Takahashi). Shizuku begins to form a picture in her mind of what this boy might be like.

Around the same time, Shizuku comes across a strange cat travelling on the same train as her, and when it gets off, she decides to follow it and see where it is going. The cat leads her, in a roundabout way, to an unusual little curio shop, where she sees the statue of another cat, The Baron (Shigeru Tsuyuguchi), and is shown a magnificent and magical clock by the owner of the store, a delightful old man (Keiju Kobayashi).

Whisper of the Heart is a tale of young romance, with a little magic and humour thrown in for good measure. It's a fun story, and it is executed in a beautiful way - I specifically enjoyed the scenes set in the antique shop. This film also paved the way for The Cat Returns (2002), with the feline characters being beefed up to form the leads for that film. Having already seen The Cat Returns, I enjoyed imagining the process that the writers must have gone through, taking these rather small characters from Whisper of the Heart and imagining personalities and lives for them to form the basis of another film.

If you're intrigued by the thought of a Japanese translation of John Denver's song Take Me Home, Country Roads, I feel confident in stating that this film is the only place where you will be able to get such an experience.

pearly gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 23 Aug 2004

Movie review statistics

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Reader comments

  1. I LOVE this movie!
    It's my favorite Miyazaki-written movie.

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from C. J. Daae (http://lefantome.us.tf) on Sun 22 Jan 2006 09:46 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (1 rating)

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