Whisper of the Heart (1995 IMDb)


Coming of age with fantastical overtones and romance. Screenplay, storyboards and production are all Miyazaki, but the film was directed by Kondō Yoshifumi, the man responsible for many of Ghibli's iconic character designs.


Song translation, race reading, violin manufacture, love, a fat cat and some very brief trips to an imagined magical land.


An excellent treatment of paying attention to life and challenging oneself to improve. One of the great things about it is how it goes out of its way for un-Aristotelian slice-of-life realism, such as when the protagonist turns off the light to go to sleep. Based on a manga, with major changes.

References here: Ghibli movie titles, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1989), Here Is Greenwood (1991), On Your Mark (1995), The Cat Returns (2002).

Ghibli Japanese production Miyazaki Hayao Suzuki Toshio animation movie