Social Icons

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)



Starring the voices of

Chieko Baisho

Takuya Kimura

Akihiro Miwa

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Although the animation is fantastic, the plot is not. The plot feels like there is much in-between that Hayao Miyazaki forgot to add into the main movie, or were edited out. The book (of the same name) to which this animation is adapted had a better, more coherent and stronger plot that this anime. The first half of this animation stays close to the book even though it differs a bit. Then the second half totally takes an annoying divergent which was not as strong as that of the book.

Howl’s moving castle feels like two different halves joined together by sticky glued used by a director who just wanted to make two different things work. The artistry of the characters and the plot in the first half of the film will have you marvel at the talent of Miyazaki. Then the second half of the movie has me lost as some of the elements of the first half of the movie failed to matter.

Sophie was told she could not tell anyone of her curse, well it did not seem to matter when you watch the movie through to the end. Which made me wonder why it was mentioned at all.

The Witch of the waste, is cast as the antagonist in the first half of the movie then soon, she is taken in by Sophie and Howl. We see her needing help, and these two took her in and even when she caused a calamity, she was still left to stay. That blew my mind. I will love to teach my children to love everyone, but I will also teach them to put people who want to hurt you at arms length.

Please who put a spell on the Prince of the other kingdom.

The movie introduces us to a movie castle in this world where magic lives freely. We meet Sophie who makes hats for a living. On a trip to visit her sister she was being harassed by some men, when a stranger (Howl) came by and helped her out. Howl we come to see is at the moment being chased by some mystic creatures, and had to flee with Sophie, putting her life in danger.

We learn that Howl owns the moving castle and the person who sent the creatures after Howl was not happy to have Sophie around. She goes after her and turns her into a 90-year-old lady. Sophie decided to not let this be a hindrance and decided to wonder freely, seek out Howl with the hope he can help undo the spell. It was then she runs into a scarecrow who we learn is under a spell. The scarecrow takes her to Howl’s moving castle, where Sophie storms in and gets hired as the cleaning lady.

Howl is seen to be avoiding the king, as he is against the war going on between his kingdom and the neighboring one. But the lead witch Suliman sent for him and now Howl has to find a way to be free of the guilt of fighting in a war he does not believe in. We then learn that Howl’s life was in danger because he gave his heart to a demon, and Sophie now in love with Howl wants to save him.

The movie carries a strong anti-war message, the power of old age, the value of compassion and the joy that comes from trying to help others.

The other weird thing about this film is the whole and the witch Suliman’s place in everything has me watching this animation and not being happy with the way the second half ended.

Now the movie has been praised for its visuals and the blending of the theme, which I will say not a bad reason to be praised. The movie was both a critical and commercial success, but it lost the Oscars to Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.


Post a Comment