Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle

4.8 152
Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Cast: Hayao Miyazaki, Chieko Baisho, Emily Mortimer, Christian Bale

     
 

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Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese animation director who wowed audiences worldwide with his award-winning film Spirited Away, brings another visually spectacular tale of imagination to the screen. Sophie is an 18-year-old girl who toils in the hat shop opened years ago by her late father. Often harassed by local boys, one day Sophie is unexpectedly befriended by…  See more details below

Overview

Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese animation director who wowed audiences worldwide with his award-winning film Spirited Away, brings another visually spectacular tale of imagination to the screen. Sophie is an 18-year-old girl who toils in the hat shop opened years ago by her late father. Often harassed by local boys, one day Sophie is unexpectedly befriended by Howl, a strange but flamboyant wizard whose large home can travel under its own power. However, the Witch of the Waste is displeased with Sophie and Howl's budding friendship, and turns the pretty young woman into an ugly and aged hag. Sophie takes shelter in Howl's castle, and attempts to find a way to reverse the witch's spell with the help of Calcifer, a subdued but powerful demon who exists in the form of fire, and Markl, who protects the four-way door which can instantly take visitors to other lands and dimensions. Howl's Moving Castle was released in North America by Walt Disney Pictures, who distributed the film both in its original Japanese and in a dubbed English version; the English-speaking voice cast includes Christian Bale, Emily Mortimer, Jean Simmons, Lauren Bacall, and Billy Crystal.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Hayao Miyazaki, the Orson Welles of anime, demonstrates his mastery of this storytelling form yet again with a vivid, exciting yarn that blends adventure, romance, fantasy, and science fiction. It gets underway when 18-year-old Sophie Hatter, cursed by the Witch of the Waste, is transformed into an old hag. Ashamed of her appearance, Sophie flees into the nearby countryside, where a moving castle owned by a handsome young wizard drifts across the hills. She befriends the fire demon Calcifer, who promises to lift the curse if she helps liberate him from the influence of Howl, the wizard. Dreamlike almost to the point of surrealism, Howl's Moving Castle doesn't have a particularly intricate plot, nor does it offer much by way of character development. But it's beautifully designed and deceptively simple in terms of emotional resonance. Miyazaki manipulates the elements of anime better than just about anyone else; he presents supernatural surroundings and phenomena with unusual sensitivity, and in this film he creates a fairy-tale environment that enhances the story and moves the viewer in subtle ways.
All Movie Guide
Hayao Miyazaki's reputation as the creator of the most enchanting and inspiring animated films of the past 20 years is only strengthened with the fresh and complex fairy tale Howl's Moving Castle. Those looking for the beauty and magic of a Disney yarn but thirsting for more underlying meaning could convert based on this movie alone, while hardcore Miyazaki fans should find that this installment falls perfectly in line with the filmmaker's prolific and much-loved filmography. While the narrative is charming and accessible, much like Kiki's Delivery Service, it also remains true to an epic and purposeful subtext in a style that calls to mind Princess Mononoke. Both a coming-of-age tale and an essay on the human price of war, each character in Howl's Moving Castle -- especially Sofi, Miyazaki's trademark strong female protagonist -- is confronted with questions about self-image. Like many of us, Sofi struggles to discern whether her true self is defined through her own actions or through her relationships with others. The way Miyazaki employs this theme is particularly clever in that, rather than seeking to answer the question, he focuses his energy on illustrating how universal the issue is, as nearly every peripheral character in the story also wrestles with the same impasse in a different way. For instance, title character Howl, who is a charming and aloof conjurer, grapples with a curse that changes his physical form, warping his perception of what he is in the most literal terms. Even the villainess in this fairy tale eventually proves that the most wicked of deeds seldom reflect the actual wickedness of people. By the end of Howl's Moving Castle, Miyazaki has spun a delightful fable into an expressive examination of identity, and what it means for all of us as the struggle to grow up continues through old age. It's a theme that speaks to young and old alike, proving once again that there is still room for meaning in the world of charming, animated fantasy.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/03/2012
UPC:
4891670632419
Original Release:
2004
Source:
Ais
Region Code:
3
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:59:00
Sales rank:
64,290

Special Features

Storyboards; Interview with Diana Wynne Jones; Interview with Pete Docter; Miyazaki's Visit To Pixar; Explanation Of CG; The Birth Story Of The Film Soundtrack; TV Spots

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Chieko Baisho Sophie
Emily Mortimer Sophie (English Version)
Christian Bale Howl (English Version)
Takuya Kimura Howl
Lauren Bacall Witch of the Waste (English Version)
Akihiro Miwa Witch of the Waste
Billy Crystal Calcifer (English Version)
Tatsuya Gasyuin Calcifer
Josh Hutcherson Markl (English Version)
Ryunosuke Kamiki Markl
Jean Simmons 90 Year Old Woman (English Version)
Mitsunori Isaki Servant
Yo Oizumi Prince
Akio Ôtsuka King of Ingary
Daijiro Harada Heen
Haruko Kato Madam Suliman

Technical Credits
Hayao Miyazaki Director,Screenwriter
Joe Hisaishi Score Composer
Shuji Inoue Sound/Sound Designer
Yumi Kimura Songwriter
Atsushi Okui Cinematographer
Takeshi Seyama Editor
Toshio Suzuki Producer
Yoji Takeshige Art Director
Shuntaro Tanigawa Songwriter
Noburo Yoshida Art Director

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