Howl’s Moving Castle | Novel | Anime Film Movie Review

Hey, what’s up guys, how we doing? Let’s talk about Howl’s Moving Castle. This Studio Ghibli film is directed by the
legendary Hayao Miyazaki and is based on the novel of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones. This film was released in 2004, and like all
of their previous films that were distributed by Disney and now GKIDS, have an ensemble
cast in their voice dubbing. I’d say this is probably his second most popular
film compared to his Oscar-winning Spirited Away. Which was also the first film he made after
that came out. So the film is about a young woman named Sophie,
played by Emily Mortimer, who lives an ordinary life working in a hat shop. One day as she’s walking through an alley
she encounters dark shadowy figures, and a mysterious man by the name of Howl, played
by Christian Bale. All of Miyazaki’s incredible imagination comes
out here as well as a magical world, where we see the two of them start floating in the
sky, and flying on nothing but air. Shortly after this encounter, she meets the
Witch of the Waste, played by Lauren Bacall, who puts a curse on her to where she becomes
a 90-year-old woman. She then leaves her hometown in an attempt
to find a way to break the curse and then runs into this gigantic moving castle. She’s assisted by a mysterious scarecrow that
can move and apparently help and understand what she’s trying to do, who she nicknames
Turnip Head. And on board the castle she meets one of Howl’s
assistants, Markl, a young boy, as well as the fire demon Calcifer, played by Billy Crystal. In the midst of all this we have Howl working
for this kingdom, as well as a war going on, and all sorts of interesting plot lines. Now many people that know about Miyazaki’s
films know that he is very anti-war, and that was no different here. In fact, it’s probably even more prevalent
throughout this film compared to the rest of his, because even some of the characters
blatantly say how much they can’t stand war. This, of course, came out during the Iraq
war in the U.S. and there was a lot of speculation whether this wouldn’t perform very well because
of it. However, it actually did really well and that
might be because it was his first film to followup Spirited Away. One thing Miyazaki did really in this film
was present how age can be a positive thing as one grows older. We see how Sophie finds a sort of calmness
in growing old, even though she has to get used to it at first. I found that very refreshing and really enjoyed
how they portrayed it throughout the film. Of course many if not all of Miyazaki’s films
contain feminist elements in them, with their strong female lead characters throughout. This film is no different in that way. He has gone on to say that this is actually
his favorite film that he’s directed. And my theory there is that perhaps compared
to a lot of his other films it’s because maybe this one didn’t have to deal with censorship
or at least getting a lot of cuts compared to some of the other ones he had to deal with. I’m sure there was plenty of censorship overall,
but he had a lot of issues with some earlier projects especially films like Nausicaä of
the Valley of the Wind when that came over to the U.S. and Spirited Away which he wanted
to be a little bit longer. But this film has a lot of good things going
for it, it’s got a lot of great, fun and interesting characters throughout. It constantly makes you wonder whether some
of them are inherently good or whether their inherently bad, or what their real deal is
most of the time. And let’s not forget to say this film is completely
gorgeous, it has some of the best imagery compared to any of his films. It is stunning to see this in high quality,
you guys. It is also really well paced and I say it
could probably be a little bit longer, but part of me really enjoys the exact length
that we got here because some of his other films did go on a little bit long at times. This film does at times though really does
feel like it’s just a ton of really incredible spectacles and magical moments, one after
the other. It justs, from scene to scene, it’s just like
‘take a look at this’ and then ‘whoa check that out,’ there’s just so many cool things
that go in this film. And I will say, guys, it was amazing to actually
see this film in theaters, I was so happy that GKIDS put it on as part of their Studio
Ghibli Fest this year. Now that it’s over I can only hope we get
to see another one next year with some other films and probably bring back a few of these
favorites. The only thing I’m not sure if they will continue
to do is to include their Mini-Fest which contained short films either before or after
the movie ends. I for one love shorts but I could tell audience
members in this film were not a big fan of some of the stuff we saw, but I don’t know
I mean, one of the things we saw was about this really kind of interesting fish that
we just saw getting cooked and with some classical music in the background and stuff, it was,
it was very fascinating. But hey, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea so
I understand. But this film truly shows off Miyazaki’s stunning
animation abilities. It’s like he’s pretty much blatantly showing
you and saying it out loud sometimes. It’s like you’re seeing one happening and
going like ‘whoa check out this, see what I can do here?’ it’s like, wow, this film really gives you
the opportunity to see what he’s capable of. Overall this is a thoroughly entertaining
and fun film that if you’ve never seen, you gotta check it out some time. Grab the Blu-ray, hopefully, if possible even
see it theaters if you can. Howl’s Moving Castle is a spellbinding display
of artistic amazement, and arguably Miyazaki’s most visually beautiful film. And that’s why this film is a diligent pick. So what did you guys think of Howl’s Moving
Castle? Is this one you’ve always wanted to see? What is your favorite Miyazaki film or any
Studio Ghibli film or just general animation film out there? I want to know. My name is Dylan, and if you love entertainment,
subscribe to my channel while this video ends, and send me a thumbs up before you go. Thanks for watching, and stay diligent.

4 Replies to “Howl’s Moving Castle | Novel | Anime Film Movie Review

  1. Hey guys! What do you think of this film? How does it compare to the book? I want to know your favorite Studio Ghibli or Hayao Miyazaki film. Let me know below! 🙂

  2. We agree on many points. I agree watching your HD copy wow it was gorgeous. Definitely another amazing magical world by Miyazaki his films have a way to take you out of reality for a time in ways others movie have not for me. Spirited Away is my new favorite although I still love Howl's. My favorite animated film would have to be Spirited Away however Batman The Killing Joke is also a great one.

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