HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE is a fantastic tale
about Sophie (a young woman who works at a hat shop) when she is cursed with old age by the Witch of the Waste after she encounters
the wizard Howl. She journeys to find Howl (and his moving castle) and looks for a way to break a curse she can't tell anyone
about. Howl is disgusted with the war his fellow wizards are put into (as some turn themselves into monsters) as two nations
fight a war that just brings destruction in a Victorian type world where you can imagine airships dropping bombs on European
cities. Like many other Hayao Miyazaki films, HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE is a movie against war as man destroys cities and the environment.
HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE is also more than just that. It is about love and living life to the fullest. Sophie finds Howl has no
heart and he is selfish as she is hopelessly in love with him. She believes she isn't beautiful, but the spell takes weird
turns as she becomes young at various times before she grows old again. Her humanity might just save herself and Howl if she
just takes a chance on life instead of just stumbling through it every day. HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE is an animation masterpiece
that is better than most Disney animated films. It is a magical world with breathtaking animation and the vision of Hayao
Miyazaki (some have called him the Japan's
answer to Walt Disney). Whether it is a film like HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, SPIRITED AWAY, or PORCO ROSSO, Miyazaki's
films are always worth watching.
The voices for the English dubbed version
are the rare exception where I think the voices work much better than the original Japanese voice actors. The dubbed version
is one of the finest English language dubs.
All the extras from the two disc DVD from
2006 carry over to the blu-ray disc:
Behind the Microphone is a featurete and
has interviews with the actors who did the voices for the English Dubbed version of HOWL''S MOVING CASTLE. Interview with
Pixar Animation Studios Director, Pete Doctor is OK, but the big extra is Hayao Miyaski as he comes for a surprise visit to
Pixar Studios bringing gifts, surprising everyone at Pixar as he showed up for the premiere screening of the English dubbed
version of HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, and an interview with one of Pixar's top people who is a big Miyazaki fan. Also 7 theatrical
trailers and 9 TV spots from Japan are on disc one.
Also included is a storyboard version of the movie and is only for diehard Miyazaki
fans and those who want to be animators.
The DVD has all the extras from the first
disc of the two disc version of 2006 (it is a repackage of disc one from the two disc Special Edition). It doesn’t include the storyboard version which was on disc two.
FINAL ANALYSIS: HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE is
one of the finest Japanese animation films suitable for the imagination of people of all ages.
this review is (c)3-7-2006 and revisions (c)5-13-2013 David
Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org