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Encyclopedia > Howl's Moving Castle (film)
Howl's Moving Castle
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Produced by Toshio Suzuki
Written by Diana Wynne Jones (novel)
Hayao Miyazaki (screenplay)
Starring Christian Bale
Jean Simmons
Emily Mortimer
Lauren Bacall
Billy Crystal
Blythe Danner
Josh Hutcherson
Crispin Freeman
Jena Malone
Music by Joe Hisaishi
Distributed by Toho (Japan)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment (USA)
Madman Entertainment (Australia)
Release date(s) Flag of Japan November 20, 2004
Flag of the United States June 10, 2005
Flag of the United Kingdom September 1, 2005
Flag of Poland September 16, 2005
Flag of Australia September 22, 2005
Running time 118 minutes
Language Japanese
Preceded by The Cat Returns
Followed by Tales from Earthsea
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Howl's Moving Castle (ハウルの動く城 Hauru no Ugoku Shiro?) is an Academy Award-nominated Japanese animated fantasy film, based on Diana Wynne Jones' novel of the same name, and directed by Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. Studio Ghibli, Inc. ... Diana Wynne Jones (born London August 16, 1934) is a British writer, principally of fantasy novels for children and adults, as well as a small amount of non-fiction. ... This article is about the Diana Wynne Jones book. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (509x755, 85 KB) Poster for the film Howls Moving Castle used only as a promotional item for the film. ... Hayao Miyazaki ) (born January 5, 1941 in Tokyo, Japan) is the prominent director of many popular animated feature films. ... Toshio Suzuki (鈴木 利男 Suzuki Toshio) (b. ... Diana Wynne Jones (born London August 16, 1934) is a British writer, principally of fantasy novels for children and adults, as well as a small amount of non-fiction. ... Hayao Miyazaki ) (born January 5, 1941 in Tokyo, Japan) is the prominent director of many popular animated feature films. ... Christian Charles Philip Bale (also known professionally as Christian Morgan Bale; born 30 January 1974) is a British[2][3] method actor who is known for his roles in the films American Psycho, Shaft, Equilibrium, The Machinist, Batman Begins and The Prestige, among others. ... Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons in Angel Face Jean Merilyn Simmons (born January 31, 1929 in Crouch Hill, London, England, United Kingdom) is a British actress. ... Emily Mortimer (born 1 December 1971) is an English actress. ... Betty Joan Perske (born on September 16, 1924), better known as Lauren Bacall, is a Golden Globe– and Tony Award–winning, as well as Academy Award–nominated, American film and stage actress. ... For the American political commentator, see William Kristol. ... Blythe Katherine Danner (born February 3, 1943) is a prolific two time Emmy-winning American actress who has appeared in numerous stage, screen, and film roles. ... Joshua Ryan Hutcherson (born October 12, 1992) is an American film and television actor. ... Crispin McDougal Freeman (born February 9, 1972 in Chicago, Illinois) is a prolific American voice actor best known for his roles as Alucard in Hellsing and the OVA Hellsing Ultimate and as Touga Kiryuu from Revolutionary Girl Utena. ... Emile Hirsch as Francis Doyle and Malone as Margie Flynn in The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys Jena Malone (born November 21, 1984) is an American actress. ... Mamoru Fujisawa (藤澤 守 Fujisawa Mamoru), known professionally as Joe Hisaishi (久石 è­² Hisaishi Jō, born December 6, 1950) is a composer and director responsible for over 100 soundtracks and conventional albums dating back to 1981. ... The English-language version of Tohos famous logo, used from the early 1960s to the late 1990s. ... The Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group is a collection of affiliated motion picture studios, all subsidiaries of The Walt Disney Company. ... Madmans Logo Madman Entertainment is an Australian company that specialises in the distribution of Japanese anime and manga in Australia and New Zealand. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Japan. ... is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... is the 161st day of the year (162nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Poland. ... is the 259th day of the year (260th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... is the 265th day of the year (266th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Cat Returns , lit. ... Tales from Earthsea , loosely Geds War Chronicles) is a feature anime film from Studio Ghibli, released in Japan on July 29, 2006,[1] to be distributed in the USA by Walt Disney Pictures and in Australia by Madman Entertainment. ... Although he never won an Oscar for any of his movie performances, the comedian Bob Hope received two honorary Oscars for his contributions to cinema. ... “Animé” redirects here. ... Fantasy films are films with fantastic themes, usually involving magic, supernatural events, make-believe creatures, or exotic fantasy worlds. ... Diana Wynne Jones (born London August 16, 1934) is a British writer, principally of fantasy novels for children and adults, as well as a small amount of non-fiction. ... This article is about the Diana Wynne Jones book. ... Hayao Miyazaki ) (born January 5, 1941 in Tokyo, Japan) is the prominent director of many popular animated feature films. ... Studio Ghibli, Inc. ...


Grossing $231,710,455 by mid-2007[1], it became one of Japan's most successful films.


Mamoru Hosoda, director of two seasons and one movie from the Digimon series, was originally selected to direct but abruptly left the project, leaving the then retired Miyazaki to take up the director's role. Digimon , short for デジタルモンスター dejitaru monsutā, Digital Monster) is a popular Japanese series of media and merchandise, including anime, manga, toys, video games, trading card games and other media. ...


The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 5, 2004. The animated film was released in Japanese cinemas on November 20, 2004. The film has also been dubbed into English by Pixar's Peter Docter and is being distributed in North America by Walt Disney Pictures. The Venice Film Festival ( ) is the oldest film festival in the world. ... is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Pixars studio lot in Emeryville Pixar Animation Studios is an American computer animation studio based in Emeryville, California (USA) notable for its seven Academy Awards. ... Peter Docter was born on August 10, 1968 in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA. He is a film director, best known for Monsters, Inc. ... Disney redirects here. ...


The film began showing in select cinemas around the United States and Canada on June 10, 2005. It was released nationwide in Australia on September 22 and in the UK on September 23. is the 161st day of the year (162nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 265th day of the year (266th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Story

The film starts off with the protagonist of Howl’s Moving Castle, Sophie, a timid and unconfident 18-year-old girl who works in her late father's hat shop in the town of Market Chipping. While walking to meet her pretty younger sister Lettie at the bakery one day, Sophie has a chance encounter with the handsome but mysterious wizard Howl, who rescues her from some menacing soldiers. Howl charms her with his looks and dashing feats of magic, briefly sparking happiness in Sophie. But later that night, the vain and jealous Witch of the Waste appears in Sophie's hat shop in the form of an obese, wealthy woman, along with several of her minions. The Witch hints at a prior connection to Howl, and curses Sophie by aging her into a 90-year-old hag before disappearing. Sophie Hatter ) is the heroine of Diana Wynne Jones novel Howls Moving Castle, published in 1986 and is also a character in the sequel, Castle in the Air (1990). ... Howell Jenkins, more commonly known as the Wizard Howl, is a character in Howls Moving Castle and Castle in the Air. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


On self-imposed exile, Sophie runs away from home and journeys into the Waste. There, she befriends a magically animated scarecrow whom she names Turnip Head. Turnip Head secures her shelter from the Waste within Howl’s moving castle, a chaotic ensemble on mechanical legs (similar to Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut of Russian folklore). Exile (band) may refer to: Exile - The American country music band Exile - The Japanese pop music band Category: ... Yaga can refer to: Yajna (Hindu mythology) Baba Yaga (Russian mythology) Yaga (clothing company) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Russian mythical heros See Ilya Muromets, Dobrynya Nikitich, Alyosha Popovich, Svyatogor, Nightingale the Robber, Bogatyr, Bylina Spirits See Koschei, Baba Yaga, Leshiy, Domovoi Categories: Russia-related stubs ...


Inside the castle, Sophie makes a deal with Calcifer, a fire demon who powers the castle's movement. Because of a magic contract that binds Calcifer and Howl together, Calcifer must work as Howl's servant, which he has grown to resent. Calcifer agrees to change Sophie back to her normal age if she can break the contract, but since the contract stipulates that its terms cannot be disclosed to a third party, Sophie must figure out the terms on her own. Calcifer is a fire demon from Diana Wynne Jones novel Howls Moving Castle. ...


"Grandma" Sophie, as she now calls herself, also meets Markl (Michael), Howl's eight-year-old apprentice; Howl himself appears soon after. Embarrassed by her transformation, Sophie hides her true identity and claims to be a cleaning lady hired by Calcifer to maintain the castle. She's accepted by Markl and Howl, and sets to work cleaning the castle.


Sophie discovers that the front door of the moving castle is magically connected to buildings in two towns situated in the same kingdom (Porthaven and Kingsbury) where Howl maintains different identities. She also sees that, despite being a grown man, Howl is selfish, childish, and immature in many ways: He is vain about his looks and insensitive of others' feelings. Howl eventually reveals to Sophie how he knows the Witch: she once came to him as a beautiful young woman and he pursued her as a lover, but he rejected her after seeing her true form. The Witch now assails Howl with the fury of a jilted lover.


Howl receives summons from both Porthaven as Wizard Jenkins and Kingsbury as Wizard Pendragon to fight for the King. The war is being fought over the missing Crown Prince Justin, each side blaming the other for his disappearance. Howl suspects the Kingsbury summons is a trap set by Madame Suliman, Kingsbury's head sorceress and Howl's old mentor; also, Howl is a pacifist who despises war. Too cowardly to confront Madame Suliman, he convinces Sophie to speak to Suliman by posing as his mother, "Mrs Pendragon."


Going to the royal castle to meet with Madame Suliman, Sophie runs into the Witch of the Waste, who boasts that Suliman sent her a royal invitation, presumably to become a war magician. However, the Witch of the Waste is captured by Suliman's stronger magic, stripped of her powers, and shrunken into a helpless old lady. Suliman then confronts "Mrs. Pendragon" and demands that Howl become a war magician, or else she will deal with him as she has dealt with the Witch. Sophie defends Howl and her passion temporarily restores her youth. However, Howl comes to her rescue disguised as the King of Ingary, but Suliman sees through his disguise. Suliman refuses to allow them to leave so they escape Suliman on a flying machine along with Heen, Suliman's asthmatic errand dog, and the now-helpless Witch of the Waste. Howl stays behind fighting off the chasing soldiers while Sophie goes ahead flying back to the castle. Suliman, however, learns Sophie's true identity and uses her to track Howl. That night, Howl comes back in a large bird-like form walking up the stairs of the castle. Sophie wakes up as her young self again and tries to look for him, finding him in his rearranged room hiding himself. She tells Howl she wants to help him break his curse and that she loves him but his only reply is that she can't help him because she cannot break her own curse and flies away into the night, with Sophie turning back into her old self and wakes up, learning it was a dream.

Japan DVD Cover
Japan DVD Cover

After escaping from Suliman, Howl transforms the castle into a larger and more beautiful version of itself as a present for Sophie. This severs the portals to Porthaven and Kingsbury, but opens two new portals: one leading to a flowery alpine field where Howl used to roam as a child, and another to Sophie's old hat shop in Ingary. Unbeknownst to Sophie, the self-confidence she has gained, along with her developing affection towards Howl, has begun to reverse the curse, returning her gradually to her true age. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (700x998, 179 KB) The Japanese movie poster for Howls Moving Castle. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (700x998, 179 KB) The Japanese movie poster for Howls Moving Castle. ...


As the war continues, Madame Suliman attempts to track Howl down at the hat shop, and Howl fears for the safety of Sophie and the others. Meanwhile, Howl's contract with Calcifer takes its toll: Each time he transforms into a large birdlike creature to defend himself and his friends, it becomes increasingly difficult to revert to human form.


Soon, there is a knock on the door of the hat shop, which Sophie answers to find her mother Honey; the two share a brief but emotional reunion. Honey conveniently forgets a small bag before she leaves, lamenting outside that she was blackmailed by Madame Suliman into betraying Sophie. Hidden in the bag is a spy bug; which the Witch of the Waste disposes of by feeding to Calcifer, but Calcifer becomes severely weakened as a result.


Eventually, the war comes to Ingary. As bombers attack the town, Suliman's henchmen swarm the hat shop, forcing Howl and Sophie to retreat. Howl transforms into the bird creature to draw the enemies away, while Sophie moves the castle back to the Wastes. Sophie realizes that Howl is caught in a hopeless battle, and convinces Calcifer to rescue Howl. In his weakened state, Calcifer is unable to move the entire castle. Sophie temporarily removes Calcifer from his hearth, which demolishes the castle along with her hat shop. She returns Calcifer to the hearth and, fueled by Sophie's long braided hair, Calcifer powers a smaller part of the castle and moves it to rescue Howl.


Unfortunately, as Calcifer is moving the castle, the Witch spies Howl's heart in the ashes - the one thing she had been seeking for ages. She greedily grabs it, but the heart is so hot it sets her aflame; to save her, Sophie throws a bucket of water on her and Calcifer. The shock of having his flames extinguished incapacitates Calcifer, who becomes unable to control the castle. It teeters on a high precipice, and Sophie and Heen are thrown over a cliff as the castle starts to collapse.


Surviving the fall, Sophie cries over the thought that by dousing Calcifer, she may have killed Howl. In the rubble, she finds the magical castle portal. Sophie enters the door to find herself transported into Howl's childhood. She learns that as a boy, Howl caught a dying (falling) star — Calcifer — and saved its life by giving it his own heart. This bound Calcifer to Howl indefinitely as a servant, but in the process Howl metaphorically lost his heart and became emotionally trapped forever in childhood - among other things, he is unable to truly love anyone. After being pulled back through the door, Sophie finds Howl outside the door. He is still in bird creature form, and badly injured and bleeding, but is able to take them back to their friends.


Sophie, Howl and Heen land on the remnants of the castle, and Howl falls unconscious as he transforms back into human shape. Sophie convinces the Witch to give Howl's heart back to him. Sophie pushes it into Howl's chest and Calcifer emerges in his true form - a shooting star gleefully spiralling into the distance. Without Calcifer powering it however, the remnants of the castle suddenly give way and plummet down a steep slope. Turnip Head, in a moment of bravery, uses his pole to stop the castle from sliding off a cliff, although he is badly broken in the process. Sophie thanks him for saving their lives by giving him a kiss; Turnip Head then turns into Crown Prince Justin, who had been transformed by a spell that could only be broken by a kiss from his true love. However, when Howl wakes up, Sophie shows she is really in love with Howl, which breaks her own curse, although her hair still stays a silvery colour. Calcifer soon returns, saying he missed them, and decides to stay even though his contract with Howl was broken.


Madame Suliman witnesses all this in her crystal ball back in Kingsbury; with Prince Justin rescued and Howl's heart restored, there is no reason to continue the war. She calls for an immediate cease-fire and the conflict ends. As the kingdom's aerial warships return home, Sophie, Howl, the Witch, Calcifer and Markl fly away in the newly rebuilt castle.


Cast

The movie stars the following actors:

Character Japanese version English version
Howl Takuya Kimura Christian Bale
Grandma Sophie Chieko Baisho Jean Simmons
Calcifer Tatsuya Gashuin Billy Crystal
Young Sophie Chieko Baisho Emily Mortimer
Witch of the Waste Akihiro Miwa Lauren Bacall
Markl Ryunosuke Kamiki Josh Hutcherson
Madame Suliman Haruko Kato Blythe Danner
Prince Justin/Turnip Yo Oizumi Crispin Freeman
Lettie Yayoi Kazuki Jena Malone
Heen (Dog) Daijiro Harada
King Akio Ohtsuka Mark Silverman
Honey Mayuno Yasokawa Mari Devon
Suliman's Servant Mitsunori Isaki

Howell Jenkins, more commonly known as the Wizard Howl, is a character in Howls Moving Castle and Castle in the Air. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Christian Charles Philip Bale (also known professionally as Christian Morgan Bale; born 30 January 1974) is a British[2][3] method actor who is known for his roles in the films American Psycho, Shaft, Equilibrium, The Machinist, Batman Begins and The Prestige, among others. ... Chieko Baisho ) (June 29, 1941 -) born in Kita, Japan, is a Japanese actress and singer. ... Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons in Angel Face Jean Merilyn Simmons (born January 31, 1929 in Crouch Hill, London, England, United Kingdom) is a British actress. ... For the American political commentator, see William Kristol. ... Emily Mortimer (born 1 December 1971) is an English actress. ... Miwa Akihiro in 2006 Akihiro Miwa ), (May 15, 1935 - ) is a Japanese singer, actor, and theatre director from Nagasaki in Nagasaki Prefecture. ... Betty Joan Perske (born on September 16, 1924), better known as Lauren Bacall, is a Golden Globe– and Tony Award–winning, as well as Academy Award–nominated, American film and stage actress. ... Date of birth (location) 19 May 1993 Japan Actor - filmography Yôkai daisensô (2005)as I-nou Tadashi aka Hobgoblins & the Great Wall (literal English title) aka The Big Spook War (USA) Yoshitsune (2005) (mini) TV Series as Ushiwaka-maru Insutôru (2004) as Kazuyoshi Aoki Hauru no ugoku shiro... Joshua Ryan Hutcherson (born October 12, 1992) is an American film and television actor. ... Blythe Katherine Danner (born February 3, 1943) is a prolific two time Emmy-winning American actress who has appeared in numerous stage, screen, and film roles. ... Yo Oizumi(大泉 洋 Ōizumi Yō, born on April 3, 1973) is a TV personality and a stage actor based in Hokkaido. ... Crispin McDougal Freeman (born February 9, 1972 in Chicago, Illinois) is a prolific American voice actor best known for his roles as Alucard in Hellsing and the OVA Hellsing Ultimate and as Touga Kiryuu from Revolutionary Girl Utena. ... Emile Hirsch as Francis Doyle and Malone as Margie Flynn in The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys Jena Malone (born November 21, 1984) is an American actress. ... Akio Ohtsuka, 2006. ... Mari Devon is a voice actress who is also known as Jane Alan. ... Carlos Jaime Alazraqui (born July 20, 1962) is a Latin-American actor, comedian, impressionist and voice actor. ... Susan Blakeslee is a voice actor. ... ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Ike Keith Eisenmann [1] also known lately as Iake Eissinmann (b. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Bridget Hoffman (also Brigette Hoffman) is a voice actor. ... Richard Steven Horvitz, sometimes credited as Richard S. Horvitz, Richard Horvitz or Richard Wood (born on July 29, 1966 in Los Angeles, California) is an American actor and voice actor. ... Edith S. Mirman (born July 26, 1957 in Los Angeles, CA) is an American voice actress best known for the voice of Fujiko Mine from Tales of the Wolf. ... Daran Norris Nordlund (born November 1, 1964), also known as Jack Hammer, James Penrod, Justin Shyder, Keith Westfeld, Bob Thomas, and Rob Thomas, is an actor, principally known for his voice work. ... Peter Renaday (born June 9, 1935 in Louisiana as Pierre L. Renoudet) is an American voice actor. ...

Staff credits

Toshio Suzuki (鈴木 利男 Suzuki Toshio) (b. ... Hayao Miyazaki ) (born January 5, 1941 in Tokyo, Japan) is the prominent director of many popular animated feature films. ... Diana Wynne Jones (born London August 16, 1934) is a British writer, principally of fantasy novels for children and adults, as well as a small amount of non-fiction. ... Mamoru Fujisawa (藤澤 守 Fujisawa Mamoru), known professionally as Joe Hisaishi (久石 è­² Hisaishi Jō, born December 6, 1950) is a composer and director responsible for over 100 soundtracks and conventional albums dating back to 1981. ... Youmi Kimura (木村弓 Kimura Yumi) is a Japanese singer and lyre performer. ... Shuntarō Tanikawa ) (born December 15, 1931) is a Japanese poet and translator. ... Mamoru Fujisawa (藤澤 守 Fujisawa Mamoru), known professionally as Joe Hisaishi (久石 è­² Hisaishi Jō, born December 6, 1950) is a composer and director responsible for over 100 soundtracks and conventional albums dating back to 1981. ... Takeshi Seyama is a Japanese film editor. ... Kitarō Kōsaka , born February 28, 1962 in Kanagawa Prefecture) is a Japanese animator and film director. ... Kaz Hayashi Kaz Hayashi is a professional wrestler who once worked for WCW as a member of Jung Dragons. ... The New Japan Philharmonic ) is a symphony orchestra based in Japan It was established in 1972 with Seiji Ozawa as honorary conductor laureate. ... Mamoru Fujisawa (藤澤 守 Fujisawa Mamoru), known professionally as Joe Hisaishi (久石 è­² Hisaishi Jō, born December 6, 1950) is a composer and director responsible for over 100 soundtracks and conventional albums dating back to 1981. ... Studio Ghibli, Inc. ... The English-language version of Tohos famous logo, used from the early 1960s to the late 1990s. ... Tokuma Shoten (徳間書店) is one of the largest entertainment publishers in Japan. ... Nippon Television Network Corporation (abbreviation: NTV, Japanese: 日本テレビ放送網株式会社, Nihon Terebi Hōsōmō Kabushiki Gaisha) is a television and radio network at Shiodome in Tokyo, Japan owned by the Yomiuri Shimbun. ... The Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group is a collection of affiliated motion picture studios, all subsidiaries of The Walt Disney Company. ... Dentsu Building in Shiodome, Tokyo Dentsu Inc. ... For information on Mitsubishi brand computer monitors, see NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display of America Inc. ... The English-language version of Tohos famous logo, used from the early 1960s to the late 1990s. ...

Awards

The Venice Film Festival ( ) is the oldest film festival in the world. ... The Mainichi Film Awards are a series of annual animation awards, sponsered by Mainichi Shinbun (毎日新聞), one of the largest newspaper companies in Japan, since the end of the World War II. Following the death of pioneering animator ŌFUJI Noburō (大藤信郎) in 1961, Mainichi established a new Ōfuji Noburō Award in his... The Japan Media Arts Festival is an annual festival held by Japans Agency for Cultural Affairs since 1997. ... The Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF; in Japanese: 東京国際アニメフェア) is one of the largest anime trade fairs of Japan. ... The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), held annually in Seattle, Washington, is purported to be the largest film festival in the United States and among the top film festivals in the world. ... The Academy Awards are the oldest awards given to achievements in film; the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature was given the first time for the 2001 film year. ... The 78th Academy Awards, honoring the best in film for 2005, were held on March 5, 2006 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. ...

Differences between the Film and the Novel

Diana Wynne Jones did meet with representatives from Studio Ghibli but did not have any input or involvement in the production of the film. Miyazaki travelled to England in summer 2004 to give Jones a private viewing of the finished movie. She has been quoted as saying:

"It's fantastic. No, I have no input—I write books, not films. Yes it will be different from the book—in fact it's likely to be very different, but that's as it should be. It will still be a fantastic film." [2]

As Jones noted, the film is significantly different from her original novel. Roughly the first third of the plot is similar, after which the movie branches off into original territory, flavored with many of Miyazaki's familiar themes: airships, redemption, solving one's own problems, re-appearing characters from other Miyazaki films (with differing ages, forms and roles), beautiful natural landscapes, Victorian to World War II period European or Japanese societies (roughly 1860-1945), and cute non-human sidekicks. The focus is still on Sophie and her adventure while being cursed with old age, but the main action of the film's story takes place during a war, reminiscent of World War I (with bombing-attacks on civilian cities remeniscant of the Blitz of World War II, and monstrously large Dreadnought style battleships), and located in a fantastical nation somewhat reminiscent of pre-World War I Alsace. Indeed, many buildings in the town are identical to actual buildings in the Alsatian town of Colmar, which Miyazaki acknowledged as the inspiration for its setting. In literature, a theme is a broad idea in a story, or a message or lesson conveyed by a work. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Blitz. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... HMS Audacious, a British super-dreadnought launched in 1912 A dreadnought was a battleship of the early 20th century, of a type modelled after the revolutionary HMS Dreadnought of 1906. ... (New region flag) (Region logo) Location Administration Capital Regional President Departments Bas-Rhin Haut-Rhin Arrondissements 13 Cantons 75 Communes 903 Statistics Land area1 8,280 km² (??? mi) km² Population (Ranked 14th)  - January 1, 2006 est. ... Petite Venise Colmar is a town and commune in the Haut-Rhin département of Alsace, France. ...

Concept art for the film's moving castle, which walks about on mechanical legs.

Whereas the novel is concerned with Howl's womanizing and his attempts to weasel out of locating a lost wizard and a prince, the film has Howl avoiding helping in a national war for pacifist reasons, and deals with the consequences of this decision. This aspect of the film's plot is actually rooted in Miyazaki's political views as a pacifist- in an interview with NewsWeek magazine, Miyazaki told the interviewer that the movie had started production "just as your country [the USA] had started the war against Iraq", and the subsequent rage he felt about the Iraq war "profoundly impacted" the film. [1] Concept art for anime film version of Howls Moving Castle. ... Concept art for anime film version of Howls Moving Castle. ... Pacifist may mean: an advocate of pacifism. ... The Newsweek logo Newsweek is a weekly news magazine published in New York City and distributed throughout the United States and internationally. ...


The movie also delves into spectacular scenes of radically alternate realities co-existing within the normal reality of the main story, and phantasmagorical visuals are prominently featured throughout the second half of the film. The book has the protagonists detour for one chapter into the 20th century world, where Howl is known as Howell Jenkins. This element is not used in the film, although one of Howl's aliases is "The Great Wizard Jenkins."


Many of the book's characters are modified for the film. The character of Howl's apprentice, Michael Fisher, is a teenager (15) in the book but a young boy, "Markl", in the film. Sophie has only one sister in the movie compared to two in the book (although the other sister is alluded to as an aside near the film's opening). The Witch of the Waste, instead of looking young and beautiful, is a huge heavyset woman that later becomes an old crone; as opposed to the frightening villain terrorizing the characters in the book, the film's latter half transforms her into a "grandmother" character and is even taken into Howl's home. Calcifer, who is a scary looking fire demon in the book, is portrayed as an adorable little flame in the film, although twice he blazes up into a wicked-looking blue flame strongly reminiscent of his appearance in the book. Finally, while in the book the 'Wizard Suliman' is an ally, in the film this is changed to 'Madame Suliman', a villain. Various other characters in the film are composites of the book's characters, with different motivations and personalities. Sophie and Howl themselves most strongly resemble Jones's characters (though Howl has a completely different background), but with gentler personas and less selfish motivations; that is, typical Jones character traits are softened into typical Miyazaki character traits. “Fiend” redirects here. ...


The depiction of magic effects seem to be centered around stick-like figures of light or shadow that seem to represent shooting stars, demons, magical minions or aspects of the essence of magical power all at once. These "beings" make their appearance numerous times in the film: The "blob men" of Madame Suliman, the magical barrier on the ground around Kingsbury that disabled vehicles and magic, the shooting stars (which die upon contact with the Earth, especially bodies of water), as the ring of disabling magic that appears around the captured Witch of the Waste and the nearly-captured Howl (in this instance, the beings sing a childlike song as they hold hands and move in a slow ring around Howl and Sophie). The dual-nature of the demons seems to be that they are made of starlight, of normal flame, and also an essense of magic power in general.


See also

This is a list of animated feature-length films from around the world organised chronologically by year; theatrical releases as well as made-for-TV and direct-to-video movies. ...

Notes

  1. ^ IMDB.com: All-Time Worldwide Box office
  2. ^ Hayao Miyazaki Web

Reception

Source Reviewer Grade / Score Notes
IGN Todd Gilchrist 3.5 out of 5 Stars Movie review
Monsters and Critics Frankie Dees 4 out of 5 DVD/Movie Review
Spectrum Nexus Cacaoatl 3.5 out of 5 stars Movie review
THEM Anime Reviews Tim Jones 4 out of 5 stars Movie review

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