Whisper of the Heart Blu-Ray - Here are the Screenshots


This week saw Studio Ghibli's latest Blu-Ray movie - 1995's Mimi wo Sumaseba ("If You Listen Closely"), aka Whisper of the Heart.  I'm really looking forward to this one; Mimi is just about my all-time favorite Ghibli film, which means it's just about my favorite animated film.  This is one of the great joys of the movies.

The new high-definition transfer looks spectacular, as we've come to expect from Ghibli.  Color and detail is a big improvement over the DVD, and I just love the saturation in every corner of the screen.  For some reason, much of the color was drained out of these movies in earlier formats, and as each movie is released to Blu-Ray, it's like discovering them for the first time.

Of course, we'll all be going through this kabuki dance in 10 years when 4K becomes the next "high definition" standard.  But I think we can be confidently satisfied with this Blu-Ray in our libraries, and enjoy Mimi/Whisper for many years.

C'mon, Pixar, make a movie like this!  Pretty please?

14 comments:

Strabo said...

And there I thought I was the only one who loved the movie most of all animated movies. Can't wait until it's available on Blu-Ray in Europe too.

matifou said...

That last picture is not from another movie? I don't remember that, at all.

Ambi Valent said...

Well, from 1991 to 1995 Ghibli did "Only Yesterday", "Ocean Waves" and "Whisper of the Heart"... then nothing of the kind for 16 years.

All Pixar movies came out during this "hibernation period". Given that Pixar folks like Ghibli, I guess the reason they won't make a Pixar movie like "Whisper" is "We'd love to, but it just wouldn't sell".

Thomas said...

This is my favorite film also. But I don´t recognize the picture at the bottom, where is it from?

Cory Gross said...

What do you mean, again? Moving from VHS to DVD was the last transition I'm making. Besides the principle of the the thing, I'm one of those people to whom HD just looks like a pixellated mess of hyper sharpen filters. Nuts to BluRay!

Eishagishi said...

Ghibli did do a couple more films during that period 1991 to 1995. The complete list for the period:

1991: Only Yesterday

1992: Porco Rosso

1993: Ocean Waves (TV movie)

1994: Pom Poko

1995: Whisper of the Heart, and On Your Mark (music short)

Paul

Joel said...

Whisper was (after Mononoke) the first what I would consider 'introduction' to Ghibli. I don't particulary care much for the story as such, but the depiction of suburban Tokyo and every day life actually inspired me to make a trip myself a few years later. Whisper is by far my most favourite of all Ghibli films, but I think I'm biast for my reason above. I don't know if anyone else can comment here, but after obtaining a 720p rip of Whisper at the start of the year through BakaBT, the blu ray actually seems to lose some image quality for some reason. It still looks great, and as Daniel says, a good upgrade; but next to the likes of Ponyo (ok it's 13 years more recent than Whisper) it does't look as sharp. I am happy to have full confidence in the Studio though that I'm sure they did the best job they could bringing it to blu ray, and if some image quality is lost, then it was for a good reason.....(?)
I truly hope From Up on Poppy Hill is as inspirational as Whisper, so Daniel and others; do we have any reviews yet? I know it debuted 3rd as it was released at the same time as Harry Crapper and Pokemon - so is this a failure in comparison to the high standards Ghibli expect?
I'm sure Goro's name being attached to it doesn't help.....
Thanks for listening guys - turned into a bit of a ramble in the end....

Hayley Harrison said...

Hey, I have a question with regards to these Blu-ray releases. Do the Japanese versions have an option for English menus? I know English subtitles are included, but I'm debating between buying it now or when it comes out in America.

AlFra said...

This is probably the Ghibli film I'm most likely to get on Blu-ray. I think it's impressive that the scenes are at least as beautiful as the more fantastical Ghibli films, despite consisting of blocky 50s architecture. It inspired me to get Yoshifumi Kondou's sketchbook, which is great.

Not sure Pixar should attempt non-comedy films...

Joel said...

@ Hayley: No the discs do not have English menus but if you're familiar with the layout of other Ghibli discs from Japan (DVD), the set up is generally from left to right in this order: Play movie > change language settings > scripts > storyboards > bonus features (which are usually pretty thin and don't have any English subs) > and then finally, trailers.
I hope this helps. The menus are pretty easy to navigate but must admit it took me a while to trial and error find the English language versions of Ponyo and Laputa as they're tucked away in the bonus sections for each.

John Smith said...

The image quality is subpar. They've filtered the grain. If you've seen Nausicaa, you know how sharp it can look (baring the unfocused sections), and Laputa and Whisper look soft and dull in comparison.

Ghibli spends lots of money on their films, and is Japan's premiere movie studio, and yet, they have monkeys running their home video section.

Vince said...

Is any of this ever coming to the US on Blu-Ray? We've only got Nausicaa and Ponyo so far...

Eishagishi said...

It does remain to be seen what Disney will do with most of these titles in North America. Disney and the former Miramax just let go of the rights to Princess Mononoke - it is no longer licensed in North America. Hopefully someone will snap it up and give it the Blu-ray release it deserves.

Paul

Vince said...

I contacted Disney via http://www.disneystudioshelp.com/Contact_Us.html and got a fairly canned answer regarding future releases of Ghibli films in the US on Blu-Ray.

"Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding Studio Ghibli titles on blu-ray. We appreciate your interest in Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

Although we do not have a tentative release date set for these titles on blu-ray, we would be happy to share with the rest of our team that you would like to have this available for purchase! Your feedback helps us build a better experience for all of our guests and is truly appreciated!"

:-\

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