The Studio Ghibli movies got back on the right track for me with Whisper of the Heart after a couple of lesser offerings in the oeuvre of the studio. The previous two films were not at the level that most of the prior movies had been, but Whisper of the Heart has reclaimed that Studio Ghibli magic.
Fourteen year old Shizuku is a student who loves to read. She checks out many books from the library and, on the index card, she discovered that a boy named Seiji checked out all the same books. The romantic in her wonders if this boy is the one she is meant to love.
On a bus, she sees a cat that she befriends and follows to an antique shop. She meets the old man who runs the shop and he introduces her to a statue called The Baron.
This movie is a coming of age tale of the young girl and her imagination and the young boy who is following his dream of becoming a violin maker. There are plenty of moments of typical school shenanigans, but the key point of the film is the relationship between these two main characters. There is a real feeling to the film that brings its own magic to the story.
Of course, the animation is beautiful and the imagery in the film can be breathtaking.
One of the weird things about this movie was the use of the lyrics from the song “Country Road” by John Denver. The song was meant to have been written by Shizuku in the story, and it worked. It was strange though.
Whisper of the Heart was sweet and romantic. The two characters are developed extremely well and they are easy to root for. This was a really good film.