Howl's Moving Castle poster

Howl's Moving Castle

That jumbled piece of architecture, that cacophony of hissing steam and creaking joints, with smoke billowing from it as it moves on its own... That castle is home to the magnificent wizard Howl, infamous for both his magical prowess and for being a womanizer—or so the rumor goes in Sophie Hatter's small town. Sophie, as the plain daughter of a hatmaker, does not expect much from her future and is content with working hard in the shop. However, Sophie's simple life takes a turn for the exciting when she is ensnared in a disturbing situation, and the mysterious wizard appears to rescue her. Unfortunately, this encounter, brief as it may be, spurs the vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste—in a fit of jealousy caused by a past discord with Howl—to put a curse on the maiden, turning her into an old woman. In an endeavor to return to normal, Sophie must accompany Howl and a myriad of eccentric companions—ranging from a powerful fire demon to a hopping scarecrow—in his living castle, on a dangerous adventure as a raging war tears their kingdom apart. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Ranking 32

User Count116107
Favorites Count1756
Start Date20th Nov 2004
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank32
Rating Rank65
Age RatingG
Age Rating GuideAll Ages


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Read: No Spoilers. I will give you guys liberty to find out and rate this film as we don't all share the same views. Howl's Moving Castle is a novel written by Diane Wynne Jones. It first published in 1986 by Greenwillow Books of New York. A runner-up for the annual Boston Globe Horn Book Award and won the Phoenix[ ][1]Award twenty years later. In 2004 it was adapted as an animated film on the same name directed by Hayao Miyasaki and produces by Studio Ghilbi which is nominated for Academy Award. Music scores of the adaptation film is composed by Joe Hisaishi. The theme is common both in literature and film such as love, youth, destiny and courage and showing contrasting characters: Sophie, first depict as dull and old whereas Howl, is shown as master of his own fate but half way we see that their inner selves is shown where Howl can become stubborn and insecure of himself and Sophie starts to learn to enjoy life in fullest. The animated film gives a different interpretation of the novel: similar plot, different main action,replacing and deleting some characters and giving a new twist to the other characters from the book such as Wizard Suliman becomes a woman and Howl's mentor instead of Mrs. Penstemmon and the character Markl replaced the 15 year old, Howl's apprentice, Michael. Other characters are also been left out and nowhere to be found such Lettie and Martha, Sophie's sisters. Also not much of Howl's past are shown. An alternate ending was also shown in the film. The film was flavored by the familiar Miyasaki's style, the drastic change of characters and the addition of Miyasaki's own political view as a pacifist gives a different turn on the story.  Setting aside the difference of film from the novel, it is a good film definitely a must-see film especially if you are a fan of Hayao Miyasaki and his works, I recommend that you watch it. I also recommend that you, guys, also read the novel and its two sequels: Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways.  [1]:

I love the Studio Ghibli films. So far I think it is safe to say that Miyazaki is my favourite anime author, and I doubt anyone will ever take his place because I have grown so attached to the work of this man and his ideals reflected on the way he conceives animation, that I can't think of a deeper connection with one's style in any way.That is the reason why "Howl's moving castle" was, at my first viewing, a serious disappointment. It was the first time a movie by Miyazaki didn't transport me to the world and imagery it showed. Almost two years later, however, and trying to bring another perspective about this film, I have watched it again, and while this has worked with some other works, it seems "Howl" is still my thorn in Miyazaki's filmography and will always be.Of course the world introduced here is amazing. This is probably the most gorgeous and visually powerful film Miyazaki has ever done, just watch the scenery, the many traces of impressive imagery, and of course Joe Hisaishi with another solid performance. It's a pleasure for the senses, such a beautiful experience to look at and hear that surely makes it worth viewing.But that is not an excuse for the many plot holes and sudden changes in character behaviour. That is, in the same way we have a really eye-candy experience given only by the -already known- technical skills of Miyazaki and his group of animators, the story is always lacking.I would seriously like to be able to fill my review with interpretations and theories about this fascinating world, but quite honestly, didn't find any thread to follow or to keep my interest on. I just can't sit through what in my opinion are clear character and story inconsistencies sucking the emotion or the involvement in whatever the movie is trying to tell me. I won't go with specific scenes to avoid spoiling anyone, but will just say that I find it really disappointing to find that Sophie, the girl who is supposed to introduce me to the story and let me see the events from her eyes, looks so incoherent and variable in her interaction with many of the elements, say the Witch of the Waste or the reactions at some magic events happening around her.The construction of the storyline is pretty poor, and that is fully shown at an ending scene that feels rushed and ridiculous, where there is not any hint to follow why some characters make some relevant decisions, and looks just plain lazy writing. Really, really lazy, and unsatisfactory. I don't know the original source, but I know Miyazaki far enough to be sure that the fact the novel may or may not be good shouldn't affect the quality of the movie, as in his adaptations he chooses to change stuff freely in order to adjust it to his own subjects and concerns.It has been said that in this case the plotline is secondary, and it should be seen as a fascinating travel around a world full of magic, where the logic is not needed and if it appears it doesn't make any effect in the enjoyment of the movie. I couldn't disagree more with that statement. During my experience in Miyazaki's works, I have found often this recurrent idea about him, seeing his films as powerful visuals with messed up plots, and as far as I can tell I have never conceived them in that way. Even -and specially- at his least linear and most complex narrative, "Spirited away", every event tries to follow an internal logic, therefore the plot is here and is unavoidable. It also should happen with "Howl"; the fact that it's filled with fantastic and strange elements isn't a valid excuse to make the storytelling lackluster and inconsistent, and of course doesn't change the fact it is needed. More so when it's so clearly intended to be.In conclusion, and while I can say this work is extremely powerful and memorable at the artistic aspects, I still see it as an unsuccessful attempt that becomes evident at the many plot holes and lack of competent character writing. As entertaining as it could be, it is my biggest disappointment with the otherwise excellent work of this director and the only one that has never fulfilled my expectations.

It's dangerous business stepping outside your front door... wherever it may lead, and this movie is no exception.At first glance, this movie may seem random, weird, and altogether bizarre, but if you give it a chance, you won't be disappointed. I think that one of the messages of the story is that you need to take responsibility for the things you do. Be it casting spells, cleaning bathrooms, or oozing near the fireplace, you need to be aware of the consequences of your actions.This is a fun and unusual movie that diverts from the stereotypical shows of today. I would totally suggest watching it!"I see no point in living... if I can't be beautiful." (Sorry, just had to put that in there. XD)

*Contains spoiler.* This is simply one of my favorite Ghibli movie, the ultimate reason is because of it's soundtrack -MerryGoRound of Life-, which is created by Joe Hisaishi and I really adore the characters, especially Calcifer and Michael. (And because I'm rather biased when it comes to Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli and Joe Hisaishi.) The animation is also really beautiful, as Hayao Miyazaki's films usually are. Some might find it abstract, because yes, it has lots of unexplained plot holes. And yes, it slightly differs from the original novel by Diane Wynne. I actually don't really like it when I was watching it as a child, but now when I watch it again, it gives me warm feelings. From when Sophie is flying with Howl, or when Sophie cooks for Michael and Howl... it's just warm. I enjoyed it a lot. I know that this is a really biased reviews, but I really hope you tried this, who knows if it's your cup of tea?

Definitely Miyazaki's weakest work. The story felt at all disconnected and the fantasy aspect which is always mesmerizing in his movies didn't move me at all.

i dropped Howl's moving castle because allot happens for no reason, there's no real story line. i only watched it because my art teacher told me to  

This movie to this day still stands as my favorite movie of all time.

Loved it. Such a genuine of a story  really keeps you in through out the whole movie ! 

Howl's moving castle is a masterpiece. Animation is on the same level with Princess Mononoke and AoT. I have nothing to say it's just great.

For me this is the best movie I ever seen I really love how the character design looks perfect to me and how the background music supporting the character. This show had led me learning being old could be better than being younger. This is best movie I ever seen before. 10/10

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