JTurner's Movie Review of Whisper of the Heart ( Mimi wo sumaseba )

Rating of

Whisper of the Heart ( Mimi wo sumaseba )

Wonderful and "heart"felt indeed!
JTurner - wrote on 05/31/09

WHISPER OF THE HEART was the first and only Ghibli feature directed by a longtime colleague of Hayao Miyazaki--Yoshifumi Kondo, who died several years after its 1995 release. This is a gently told coming-of-age love story of a young girl struggling to come to terms with her ambitions and feelings for a cocky boy who happens to be her secret admirer. Miyazaki wrote the screenplay for this modern-day story, which cleverly uses John Denver's "Take Me Home Country Roads" as a focal point of the plot. As usual, the animation is gorgeous and the music is lovely, but it's the depth of the characters and the occasional depths into fairy-tale like fantasy that make this a winner. As usual, Disney produces yet another top-notch dub that not only is faithful to the original, but adapts some of the more "foreign" customs of the script with care to avoid confusing newcomers without compromising the overall film. The cast include names such as Brittany Snow, Ashley Tisdale, and David Gallagher. All give excellent performances, but two really stand out: Harold Gould as a kindly shopkeeper, who intones his lines with just the right amount of warmth and wisdom, and Cary Elwes, who is perfectly cast as Baron, a charismatic gentleman of a cat who would make a second appearance in a lesser Ghibli production, THE CAT RETURNS. WHISPER OF THE HEART, meanwhile, remains one of the loveliest features from the studio.

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