So don’t judge me but this is only the third Studio Ghibli film I’ve ever seen. Ever. I’m not kidding. The first was Spirited Away but I wasn’t paying very close attention and, at the time, I wasn’t interested. The second was Kiki’s Delivery Service which was the single most amazing I think I’ve seen in animation. Period. Sorry, Disney.
Like most Ghibli films, Whispers of the Heart was stunning. The attention to detail in each and every scene is mind blowing. As my friend said as we were watching one particular scene, “I love that the art style is so good, you can tell that’s a BMW”. And it was a BMW. Albeit it was a 90s model BMW but still, you could tell the make and model of the car.
What other film can you say that about the animation? As far as I know, none. Each frame is like watching a masterpiece unfold. The colours are spectacular. The animation is whimsical yet grounded in reality. The entire film is literally a work of art. The shadows and depth work well, even when the characters are moving. What’s equally impressive is each home in which these characters inhabit also have a life of their own.
I suppose what makes this film such a good one is that it appeals to me personally. I mean, I’ve been where Shizuku–our main protagonist–is in her life. Granted, I’m not fourteen, but, at one time, there was a point where I wanted to quit school and become a professional writer. I still want to do that. I still want to do that every single day but I am reminded that there is so much to writing than raw talent. Shizuku figures that out too.
However, it’s important to remember that the main point of this film is to follow your heart. Miyazaki, that is the Hayao Miyazaki, handles it with the proper finesse that makes the theme approachable for both children and adults. No matter what is going on in your life, Miyazaki makes it clear that it’s possible to do anything you set your heart to and it’s a beautiful message.
My next Ghibli film will probably end up being The Cat Returns which is based from Whispers of the Heart. The Cat Returns tells the fantastical tale of the Baron and his search for his lost love Louise which Shizuku’s novel is all about. So be on the look for that in the coming days.