A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this sweet, romantic coming-of-age anime explores universal themes of first love, awkward crushes, and discovering the life passions that will appeal to older tweens as well as teens and adults. Expect some mild insults and a single instance of adult smoking.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Shizuku Tsukishima is an avid reader, a daydreaming tween beginning to discover an interest in both writing and boys. She notices that a boy named Seiji Amasawa has checked out the exact same books from the library, before she has. She is determined to discover who this boy is, and her explorations take her to a curios shop, where she meets Seiji's grandfather, who inspires her to become a writer and tell her stories, as she learns and gets to know Seiji.
Is it any good?
WHISPER OF THE HEART is another beautiful work of art from Studio Ghibli with a screenplay from legendary Hayao Miyazaki. The lush, detailed scenery is enchanting, as is the storyline, in spite of a slow pace and seemingly unfocused beginning. Coming-of-age themes -- hobbies becoming passions, the daily dramas of school life and family life, and the awkwardness of first love -- are given realistic presentations that transcend the Tokyo setting.
Be warned, though -- it is a romance, and not the action-packed film some kids might be more partial to. For kids who find the "mushy-mushy, kissy-kissy" stuff boring or worthy of outright mockery, Whisper of the Heart is not for them. But for older kids going through similar experiences to what Shizuku and Seiji are going through -- as well as anyone who can enjoy the beauty revealed through the settings, Whisper of the Heart is a sweet, universal film.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about life in Tokyo for Shizuku, the similarities and differences between where and how she lives and where and how your family live. How is her school life, home life, and social life the same? How is it different?
How is this movie similar to and different from American films about growing up, school, dating?
Kids: How do you balance your passions with your responsibilities?
- On DVD or streaming: March 7, 2006
- Cast: Cary Elwes, Courtney Thorne-Smith, James B. Sikking
- Director: Yoshifumi Kondo
- Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Book Characters, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Run time: 111 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: April 12, 2021
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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