- Directors: Hayao Miyazaki
- Format: Blu-ray
- Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Madman Anime
- Run Time: 114.00 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- ASIN: B017NCR5HS
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Howl's Moving Castle (Blu-ray)
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Howl's Moving Castle
- Release Year: 2004
- Runtime: 114 mins
- Genre: Action & Adventure Anime Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Sophie, an average teenage girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. After this chance meeting she is turned into a 90-year old woman by the vain and conniving Witch of the Waste.
Embarking on an incredible adventure to lift the curse, she finds refuge in Howl's magical moving castle where she becomes acquainted with Markl, Howl's apprentice, and a hot-headed fire demon named Calcifer. As the true power of Howl’s wizardry is revealed, and his relationship with Sophie deepens, our young grey heroine finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery that threatens their world.
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Howl's Moving Castle is so overflowing with original ideas, characters and visuals that a lesser film maker or studio would have tried to carve it up into three different movies. (ahem, Peter Jackson) While some object to the freewheeling nature of the storytelling structure, I found it mysterious and consistently surprising upon first viewing and now rank it among the most rewatchable of the Miyazaki films. Like Spirited Away, HMC is best experienced with an open mind and open eyes. At first, just let the film wash over you and enjoy every moment of artistry and music filled magical moments. The plot, which I will not go into here, is easy enough to understand once your brain recovers from the incredible sights and sounds that studio Ghibli has produced here. At it's heart, the story is about a powerful young wizard Howl, who is rejecting authority and living on the outskirts of society in his moving castle. He fears being obligated, he fears responsibility and he fears involvement. He can be like a surly teenager who only asks that the world leave him alone while he sorts himself out. At the other end of the spectrum is Sophie, a mousy hat maker working in a small room in a hat shop until she becomes caught up in Howl's grand adventure. Where Howl has large public display of magic power and might, Sophie is the one who displays the quiet and consistent kind of strength that Howl lacks. As these two circle each other and learn the ins and outs about the curses and spells they are under, it becomes clear that his grand flights of fancy and chronic insecurities are a perfect match for the mousy girl with level head and unassuming strength of character.
This is not a story for viewers who insist on every loose thread being tied up and every back story explained. In Miyazaki's world there are things that simply ARE and the viewer is expected to keep up. If you are like me and really just want to see something that you have never seen before, get Howl's Moving Castle on Blu Ray and make a special spot for it on your shelf. There is absolute artistry here that can take your breath away.
I view movies on a large HD projection system and I cannot remember a movie with more vivid colors and visuals that made me frequently pause the movie and simply stare at the screen in wonder like you are standing on the edge of a scenic overlook. Just fantastic.