Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

 

Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki

Synopsis:  A young, very mature hat maker named Sophie is on her was to see her sister when she meets a wizard named Howl.  A witch, known as the witch of the waste romantically pursues Howl.  When Sophie denies the witch of the waste service at her shop, the witch transforms her into a 90 year old woman.  So out into the “wastes”  (which is basically the open world)  to find the witch and convince her to change her back.  She meets back up with Howl, who lives in a literal house with large mechanical legs.  A lot of other characters are introduced at this point, as well as another sub-plot involving a war that is occurring.  “Calcifer” is played by Billy Crystal in the Disney version made for the US, a flame in the fireplace with a personality, a friend to Howl. The trek through the wastes in Howl’s castle is the meat of the film, and without giving too much away its definitely a kid-friendly ending.

Review:  Another tremendous movie by  Studio Ghibly.  The music, the atmosphere, the artwork is all absolutely indescribable.  Just an absolute splendor to watch and listen to.  The plot is good as well, keeping you interested not only in the visual, but the dialogue.  The aspect of a young woman who acts mature, being transformed into an old lady is very unique and interesting.  Hayao Miyazaki is one of the best directors of animated pictures I have ever seen.  I consider this film a 5/5.

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