Howl’s Moving Castle is classic Miyazaki, from the stunning scenery (much like Kiki’s Delivery Service, 1989 which is my favorite by the way) to the weird, leech like monsters (reminiscent of the strange beings met in Ponyo, 2008). This was a perfect story to be brought to life by Anime as Jones’ strange, Baba Yaga like castle fits perfectly into the Miyazaki world of weirdness.
Sophie, is a 19 year old girl who sees herself as a plain Jane. She seems to have resigned herself to living an ordinary life in her family’s hat shop, until she is bullied by soldiers in the street and rescued from their unwanted attention by a handsome young wizard. Due to this meeting she is put into the path of the Witch of the Waste who puts an ageing curse on Sophie who subsequently runs away from her home and her family in search of the cure. Her adventure leads her to mysterious Howl and a variety of other wonderful characters who become her new family.
Howl’s Moving Castle is a love story. We see both main characters faced with life changing and growth inspiring challenges. For me, it was the characters more than the plot that made this movie entertaining. There were many holes that left me wondering if perhaps there was much left “on the cutting room floor”. Both my kids kept asking me why these two countries were at war, which actually turned out to be kind of important to the story, at least to one of the characters. We are also left with not enough background information on Howl, what is the nature of the relationships he has with both the Witch of the Waste, as well as the King’s court Sorceress.
We all loved the movie with its fascinating and at times very amusing characters and a very plucky and brave heroine, but I was left with the impression that there is much more to the story so I’ve ordered the novel. Perhaps when I read it to my daughter all those questions will be answered.
- Review :: Howl’s Moving Castle, the movie (thatlittlepig.wordpress.com)
- Great Character: Hauru / Howl (“Howl’s Moving Castle”) (gointothestory.blcklst.com)