By Counter Monkey Steve the Animeniac
After having captivated audiences around the world with their work for nearly 20 years and receiving an Academy Award for Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli released Howl's Moving Castle in
2004. This particular film, like many other Ghibli works, was an
adaptation of an already existing piece, in this case of Diana Wynne
Jones' novel. Hayao Miyazaki once again stepped in to direct, and Toshio
Suzuki accepted the role of producer. Ghibli found itself with another
film focuses on a young woman named Sophie and her quest to restore
herself to her proper age after having been cursed by the Witch of the
Waste and transformed into an old woman. To do so, she takes a journey
into the unknown. She makes her way through the Wastes and meets a
living scarecrow. There appears to be more to this scarecrow than is
known at the beginning of this tale, and he takes Sophie to a moving
castle belonging to a man named Howl. Inside, Sophie introduces herself
to a living flame named Calcifer. Calcifer agrees to assist Sophie in
breaking the curse in exchange for his freedom, as he is unable to leave
the castle. Howl returns home, and after some quick thinking, Calcifer
is able to convince him that Sophie is his new cleaning lady.
the story progresses, viewers are introduced to the king of the realm,
Suliman, who uses Howl to assist in the war that is currently plaguing
his country. Like in other Ghibli films, a romance enters into the
picture, and this romance becomes the key to finding a way to resolve
all of the conflict our characters are dealing with. I'll say no more.
This film is yet another Ghibli masterpiece and must be seen for
Howl's Moving Castle is my third favorite Studio Ghibli film, behind Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.
It's something I can view multiple times without ever losing interest.
The story is very entrancing, and both the animation and score suck you
in. Ghibli excels at making features that anyone can enjoy, and Howl's Moving Castle is not exception. If you have yet to experience it, it comes highly recommended. See you next time!
Howl's Moving Castle is currently available
on DVD, but in May, it will receive a Blu-Ray/DVD Combo release, so be
sure to support the studio by making a purchase!