Whisper in the heart

Never mind the terribly cutesy rendition of “Country Road” or the annoying red ovals that appear on the characters’ cheeks to indicate the rise of tender feelings, the final credits of this Studio Ghibli film is an understated masterpiece of animation.

As the credits roll up from underneath a bridge, an assortment of people walk back and forth over it. The credits never obscure the passage of passerbys and it took me a couple of seconds to realise why.

Each person that goes by it has their own individual gait and motivation – some walk, some run, some hurry, some amble, some pause and look out for a moment, some jog, some walk in groups conversing with each other. The people are young, old, male or female and they are each distinctly unique but done so naturally that it’s easy to think that all the Studio Ghibli people did was put camera out on the street of a small Japanese town and animate from that.

It certainly looks real enough.

And it’s all hand-drawn too – none of this fancy more-often-than-not soulless 3d computer graphics stuff.

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