Howl’s Moving Castle
dir. by Hayao Miyazaki
Genre: animation, sff
Script: Hayao Miyazaki
Cast: Billy Crystal, Christian Bale, Emily Mortimer, Jean Simmons, Lauren Bacall
Rated : 8 Stars
I always meant to see Spirited Away, but never got around to it, so I’m glad I got a chance to see this film, by the same director, in the cinema. Based on the book of the same title by Dianna Wynne Jones, Howl’s Moving Castle is an anime cartoon telling the story of Sophie, a young hatmaker who is cursed by the Witch of the Waste and turned into a ninty year old woman. The only way for her to break the curse is to help Howl and his fire demon Calcifer break the curse that they are suffering under.
This film was wonderful. I’m not a huge fan of this style of animation, it is too similar to Pokemon, but it is really well done here. The strong point, for me, being the backgrounds, ships, planes etc, but not the characters.
We never really know all that much about the war of the background, apart from the fact that it has something to do with a missing prince. But I prefer stories that don’t feel the need to explain every single thing to you. This is very much worth watching, and although this is a dubbed version I never got the feeling that the voices were out of place.
I haven’t read the novel, so I can’t comment on the translation from book to film, but I have read some by Wynne Jones and they are very readable.