I just watched Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle twice!! Once in English dubbed version and once in Japanese original version. This movie is soooo good. I can’t stop thinking about it.
I’ve been watching a lot of Miyazaki’s films lately. From his early famous works like Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Castle In The Sky, Valley of the Wind , to recent year’s Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away . Every single animation contains his signature Miyazaki themes : heroine saves the world, fantasy world, environmental issues, world peace, love for freedom…etc.
Howl’s Moving Castle consists of similar ideas, except the heroine, Sophie, catches a bad spell and turns into a 90-year-old woman in this movie. In order to search for a place to stay, she bumped into the notorious wizard, Howl. Living together in his moving castle, they develop friendship and later romance with each other.
Of course the movie goes much deeper than that. There was a long history that goes way back between Howl and Sophie. But I don’t want to spoil the plots here. You have to watch this movie yourself.
I could only say: Howl is truly one of Miyazaki’s best works. Normally you don’t see too many original new ideas in movies. But Miyazaki’s films always surprise you. When I was watching Howl , I was amazed by how creative and original he can be. There were several points in the movie where I almost jumped up for his twist-turning and surprising plots. No one could’ve think of them except Miyazaki.
One thing I noticed though: his male characters seemed to transform from young adorable teenage boys in his earlier works to handsome dashing gentlemen in recent years. Both the male characters in Spirited Away and Howl’s look exactly the same. When I was watching Spirited Away , I fell in love with the young boy who always shows up and saves the girl at the right moment. In Howl , even though Howl is actually a wimpy feminine wizard, I still fell in love with him when he takes up his courage to save the girl he loves. A romantic hero every woman dreams of…
Anyway, 5 stars for such a great film! Go rent the DVD if you haven’t seen Howl’s Moving Castle …