Howl’s Moving Castle is the latest movie from legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononke, Spirited Away), Japan’s most celebrated director in the world of animation. The story is about, you guessed it, a moving castle owned by a man named Howl. These are the kinds of magical things we come to expect in Miyazaki’s fantasy worlds. Along with the moving castle there are many other mysterious people and things to keep you in suspense throughout this beautifully done film. The scenery as always is lush and pristine, beginning with a European colonial-looking town complete with an underground train and medieval-style décor. Miyazaki’s eclectic style has become his trademark touch. And then there’s the spirit world: sorcerers, witches, kings & queens, spirits and a hopping turnip-head scarecrow. Another of Miyazaki’s trademarks is his exquisite and complex characters. This film does not disappoint for there are a few heroes who are constantly shape-shifting, getting old, getting young, getting lost and saving the world.
Howl’s Moving Castle is a delightful film and is very appropriate for children and adults alike. Billy Crystal, Christian Bale, Emily Mortimer, Lauren Bacall and Jean Simmons all breathe life into their characters, especially Crystal’s Fire Demon who provides for plenty of laughs.
After you see this you’ll probably want to check out some of Miyazaki’s other unique films which are available in several formats – VOD, Blu-ray, etc.
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