DVD Title
Whisper of the Heart
International Title
Whisper of the Heart
DVD Length Original Length
111 Minutes 111 Minutes
Company Year of Manufacture
Disney 2006
Language Subtitles
Japanese, English English
Region Number of Discs
1 2
Aspect Ratio Sound
1.85:1 5.1 Surround
Extras
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Menus (English)
.
Chapters (11)
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Trailers: Whisper of the Heart (5 Theatrical, 1 Promo), Cars, The Little Mermaid: Special Edition DVD, Studio Ghibli DVDs, Chicken Little, Airbuddies, Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
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Behind the Microphone (8 minutes)
.
Complete Storyboards (111 minutes)
Captures
Review

It's nice to see that Disney didn't slack off on this release simply because Hayao Miyazaki didn't helm the movie. In actuality, this disc is another excellent DVD from the company. Granted, the extras here are very lackluster for the two disc format, but otherwise one really can't complain with the effort put into this release as it boasts both fantastic video and audio quality.


 Video:

When it comes to video, Disney has shown time and time again that they can really deliver on the DVD format. In fact, the only blemish here is the sign of edge enhancement being utilized, as halos can be seen around lines, which is a common problem with all of the company's discs. Otherwise, the video presentation on Whisper of the Heart is near perfect as the colors are vibrant and the movie is devoid of hardly any source damage save a very faint level of grain.

Like other Disney Ghibli DVDs, this disc has both the US and Japanese versions of the video intact. This means that the title segment and credits can be viewed in either English or Japanese, depending on which is selected in the Setup.

Whisper of the Heart is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio:

Disney churns out another fantastic audio presentation for Whisper of the Heart, although a French audio track is missing from this release in contrast to the company's Miyazaki titles. Regardless, the two audio tracks that are present are nothing short of fantastic. Both are presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround, while the freshly conducted English dubbing and the original Japanese audio track sound near flawless. Unfortunately, the film isn't really one to make use of the more robust sound format, but there is some noticeable speaker distinction on the very few occasions that the movie allows.

The audio can be accompanied by, removable, English subtitles that correspond to either the Japanese or English dubbed tracks.


 Extras:

Not bad, but not great, especially for a two disc presentation. One's enjoyment of the extra content here really depends on if they will enjoy the full blown storyboard feature. This extra, like on other Ghibli discs from Disney, runs the movie's entire length and can be viewed in either English or Japanese, along with removable English subtitles. If one does enjoy watching this, then that's a 111 minutes worth of extra content to enjoy. If not, and I'm afraid that I fall into this category, then all that's left is a short eight minute "Behind the Microphone" feature related to the US actors that dubbed the movie, which also didn't get my interest much although it was nice to hear Cary Elwes talk about the movie's connection with The Cat Who Returns (2002). Well, to be fair, there is also about 11 minutes of trailers located on this disc related to the film, including a lengthy promo for the movie. Unfortunately, the quality on these range tremendously, with some looking great,while others appear to have come from a source materiel equivalent to a third generation VHS tape.


 Overview:

Bottom line, the extras are a little on the disappointing side given past releases, but the video and audio quality excel so well here that it's really overshadowed in the end. If anyone has an interest in the title, or Yoshifumi Kondo's work in general, then this disc will make a fine investment.

- Anthony Romero  
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