Director: Yoshifumi Kondô
Writer: Aoi Hiiragi (comic), Hayao Miyazaki, Cindy Davis Hewitt, Donald H. Hewitt
Shizuku Tsukishima begins to develop a crush on the boy whose name appears before hers on the checkout card of every book she borrows from the library. But who is the mysterious Seiji Amasawa? He can’t be that annoying boy on the bike, can he?
Whisper of the Heart follows the story of an ordinary girl–not particularly beautiful or gifted academically, struggling at home because her parents work too hard to pay much attention to her, desperately wishing for a fairy tale to come true but finding that love is much more complicated than the stories sometimes suggest. Many a bookworm will recognize themselves in Shizuku, a girl who feels a little different from her peers and worries that her talents will never be enough.
Magic, however, occurs in everyday moments and Shizuku finds herself going on an adventure the day she decides to follow a large white cat. Through him she meets the friendly owner of antique shop and learns the romantic past of a cat statuette. Through him she also meets Seiji Amasawa, a boy who dreams of becoming a master violin maker.
Shizuku and Seiji begin a beautiful friendship in which they support and encourage each other as they pursue their dreams. They are young and hopeful, but also young enough that every setback seems an insurmountable obstacle. Their growth as individuals as well as a couple is what sets this film apart.
Cute, inspiring, and altogether delightful, Whisper of the Heart is another masterpiece from Studio Ghibli.