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Whisper of the Heart [DVD]

Price: £11.86 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Whisper of the Heart [DVD] + The Cat Returns [DVD] + Porco Rosso [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Yoshifumi Kondo
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 10 April 2006
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EMI5MO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,435 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Whisper of the Heart follows the story of teenage bookworm Shizuku who is struggling to find out who she is as she approaches the last summer of junior high school. Energetic and free-spirited, she harbours ambitions to write. But Shizuku is a voracious reader and plans on using the library to read away the summer vacation. When she finds that the same mystery borrower has got to every book before her, she meets Seiji, a trainee violin-maker who challenges her to stop reading and start writing.

About the awakening of creative talent, Whisper of the Heart was the first and only full-length feature by Hayao Miyazaki’s protégé Yoshifumi Kondo before his sudden death at the young age of 47.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Mohd Jafar on 5 May 2007
Format: DVD
Whisper of the heart is one of the most sensitive, heartwarming and beautiful films ever made. Based on a shojo manga by Aoi Hiiragi, Written and produced by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Yoshifumi Kondo, whisper of the heart is a tale of self discovery and coming of age of a high school girl Shizuku who is not sure what she wants in life. A series of dramatic events bring her closer to a guy Seiji from her own school. Together they embark on a journey which will help them find their inner potentials, realize their dreams and also love for each other. Also featured in the movie is an old man who runs an antique shop stocked with amazing treasures, including a magnificient porcelain figurine "the baron" (also featured in "The cat returns). Both of these characters play an important role in the film. Though "The cat returns" is kind of follow up to "whisper" yet for some reason it was released on dvd before "whisper".

Rarely is a film as honest and realistic as whisper of the heart and that's what makes it amazingly special, charming and successful. Within its thin plot and realistic settings, whisper has its magic moments which are downright uplifting and strike a chord somewhere deep inside. The film itself is a breath of fresh air.

Whisper of the heart, though slow in pace, draws you in from the very beginning and refuses to let you go. Its a heartwarming tale which makes you feel nostalgic and helps you relive the adolescence. Except for the Shizuku's dreamy fantasy sequence, the film relies heavily on dialogues and simple and real situations. The locales and the backgrounds shown in the film are as beautiful and breathtaking as in any other ghibli film.
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104 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Shinkansen on 14 May 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The animated films from Studio Ghibli are easily the finest expressions of that art form around today. "Whisper of the Heart" is a simple, uncomplicated story of a 14 year old schoolgirl as she approaches adulthood. It is set in a contemporary Tokyo which is drawn so clearly it could almost have been photographed.

Shizuku is in her last year at junior high school and loves literature. She is clearly intelligent, but lacks direction and ambition. A chance encounter with a cat on a train leads her to a friendship with Seiji and a re-evaluation of the way her life is developing.

The story is not so much plot driven as character driven. There is no violence or aggression. There is no intergeneration conflict. In the school scenes there is a welcome absence of "competitive jock" and "prom queen" elements which seem to permeate American films.

Although this film is about a teenage girl, it is not a teenage film, but a real family film which can be enjoyed on many levels. Technically, this is "reality animation" which is as good as it gets. It is heartwarming, it has humour, it has insight.

This is a lovely film.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Matthew on 5 April 2006
Format: DVD
Being a Ghibli film alone should be as much of a testimony as any as to the excellence of this film. Nevertheless, i'd like to rave....
Contrary to the usual direction of Ghibli fims, in which troubled souls find themselves flung into the depths of magical mirror universes, 'Whisper of the Heart' unfolds completely in the real world. The difference being that everything magical takes place clearly within the imagination of the main character - a young high school girl, desperately trying to feel unique.

The scenes set in the imagination are animated to feel like augmented images of the real world so that, as a viewer, you find yourself feeling ductile between landscape and mindscape. When the feature finishes you don't feel completely returned.

The film also shows a real attention to the inane details, which in any live action film would just be trivial. But to see these things animated, it really shows the levels of devotion people have given to it. Not only these, but the larger things as well, like the expressions of the characters, or the musical score - they're all an index to its masterfulness.
I'm honestly in love with this film - yes, solid, unconditional love *cough*. It is just wonderful. If you give it the two hours of attention it deserves, enchantment will betide thee.
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Ms. A. E. Lathrope on 23 July 2006
Format: DVD
.. make it this one.

I always find it so difficult to say which of the Ghibli films is my favourite; and each time i discover a new one, it seems to be my new favourite- as i'm sure many people who have commented already can probably empathise with.

However, being the slushy female i am, this is definitely my favourite, closely followed my laputa (as that's got such humour, and still such depth).

Whisper of the Heart is one for a true romantic. However, if you're ever feeling low and needing a pick-me-up; AVOID grave of the fireflies- it's wonderful, but an absolute tearjerker. i cried my eyes out! ha.

All of ghibli films are worth a see, but this is fantastic.

P.S- the characters in the cat returns are similar, but compared to this, that film is tripe.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Tony Munchtuna on 15 Oct. 2006
Format: DVD
Shizuku is a teenager dealing with the usual problems of growing up; high school entrance exams, busy parents, a bossy older sister and of course, relationships. Whilst reading library books over the holidays, she notices the same name in all the books Seiji Amasawa and begins to wonder just what this mystery boy who shares her tastes would be like in real life. At the same time, Shizuku starts running into an annoying young man wherever she goes, this boy couldn't possibly be Seiji could he OooOOoOO?

Whisper of the Heart won't satisfy those looking for a fantasy epic packed with magic and action, but if you're a fan of the quieter slice of life genre, you'll find much to like here. The themes of finding love amidst the complex web of teen relationships and working out future goals may be nothing new, but they will no doubt strike a chord with the majority of viewers.

Central to all this is lead character Shizuku perhaps not as spunky or outgoing as the average Ghibli heroine, she is nonetheless a strong willed character who likes setting herself tricky goals, from reading twenty books over the holidays, to writing Japanese lyrics to `Take Me Home, Country Roads'. Through her attempts to achieve these goals, we see Shizuku grow as a person over the course of the film; not only becoming more aware of herself, but also taking the important step of beginning to empathise with others. Unfortunately, the limited runtime of the film does have a noticeable effect on the story Shizuku's relationship with Seiji in particular feels a little rushed in places, as he goes from peripheral annoyance to an important person in her life.
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