Whisper of the Heart (Mimi Wo Sumaseba) (Blu-ray) (1995)

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Released 16-Nov-2011

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Theatrical Trailer
Storyboards-Picture-in-Picture
Gallery-Background Artwork From "The Baron's Story"
TV Spots-
Gallery-Background Artwork stages
Reversible Cover
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 110:49
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Yoshifumi Kondo
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Youko Honna
Kazuo Takahashi
Takashi Tachibana
Shigeru Muroi
Shigeru Tsuyuguchi
Keiju Kobayashi
Cary Elwes
Brittany Snow
Case Amaray-Opaque-Secure Clip
RPI $39.95 Music Yuji Nomi


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Japanese DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Whisper of the Heart (Mimi Wo Sumaseba) is the latest Studio Ghibli title to get a Blu-ray upgrade from Madman Entertainment. Our review of the original DVD release can be found here. Rob gave a great explanation of the plot in that review and it is well worth reading. This is a film designed for young to mid-teens (especially girls) as opposed to films like My Neighbour Totoro or Ponyo which are designed for younger children.

     This is a touching and wistful story of young love and dedication to your goals in life which is reminiscent of the later non-Ghibli film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, not only for its subject matter but also its tone and Japanese summer setting. My review of that film on Blu-ray can be found here. The animation of this film is beautiful, featuring wonderful detailed backgrounds especially in the dream sequences and great use of shadow and light.

     The big question for fans of the film will be whether or not the problems mentioned by Rob in his review have been resolved on this new release and whether an upgrade is advisable. The answer is a clear 'Yes" but read on for details of the transfers and improved extras.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is excellent. The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p encoded using AVC.

     The picture was very clear and sharp throughout. The shadow detail was excellent. The colour was also excellent, bright and vivid throughout, which highlights the magnificent animation.

     There were no obvious artefacts and the MPEG compression problems mentioned by Rob are gone.

     There are subtitles available in English. They are clear and easy to read, following the Japanese dialogue rather than the English version.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is very good. This disc contains the original Japanese soundtrack in DTS HD-MA 5.1 and an English dub in the same technical configuration. There does not seem to be a whole lot of difference between them (except the language spoken).

     Dialogue seemed clear and easy to hear and understand, although Japanese is not my strong point.

     The music by Yuji Nomu is lovely and sounds magnificent on this Blu-ray in HD. As usual with Ghibli the music is a highlight of the film despite a little too much Take Me Home, Country Roads for my liking.

     The surround speakers were used a lot but were focused on atmospheric sounds such as insects. This added greatly to the atmosphere of the film are really made you feel like you were in a Japanese summer. The subwoofer was used mostly to support the music as this is not a film with lots of action.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     A couple of new extras compared to the DVD but nothing to blow your socks off.

Menu

     The menu included sounds and pictures from the film. Like Ponyo it has an interesting a lively design and is well worth watching through its cycle.

Storyboards

     The full Hayao Miyazaki designed storyboard reel is available as a picture-in-picture extra as you watch the film. These appeared on the DVD version.

Background Artwork for The Baron's Story (4:45)

     Artwork for the story sequence set to music. Magnificent drawing. Also on the DVD version.

A Masterpiece of Naohisa Inoue: From Start to Finish (34:40) **NEW**

     This extra allows the viewer to watch the stages of a number of paintings by the background artist on this film as they are built up stage by stage. Quite amazing and reminds you how much effort goes into every scene in these films. Probably a little too long.

Behind the Microphone (7:58) **NEW**

     A 4x3 featurette about the US voice cast including interviews and recording session footage. No great insights.

TV Spots (7:16)

     Original Japanese TV advertisements for the film.

Theatrical Trailer (2:51)

     Original Japanese Trailer.

Other Trailers

Reversible Slick

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This Blu-ray is available in the same format in the UK but has not been released in Region A yet.

Summary

     A wistful and touching story of young love from Studio Ghibli given a Blu-ray upgrade.

     The video quality is excellent. The audio quality is very good.

     The extras are reasonable.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, March 01, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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