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Howl's Moving Castle

  • Drama
  • 2004
  • Hayao Miyazaki
  • 114 mins
  • U

Summary

A girl earns the enmity of a spiteful witch, and is placed under a curse that turns her into an old woman. Taking shelter in the walking castle of a famed wizard, she encounters the demon who enables the building to move, and who offers to dispel the enchantment - if she helps to free him. Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki's fantasy, based on Diana Wynne Jones' novel. With the voices of Emily Mortimer, Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Billy Crystal and Lauren Bacall.

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Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The incredible imagination of Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki runs wild once again in this delightful animated adventure. Based on the 1986 novel by Diana Wynne Jones, it's a retro-futuristic fantasy set in a magical, war-torn land reminiscent of 19th-century Europe. This English-language version is beautifully voiced, with Christian Bale's seductive tones bringing vivid life to the vain young wizard Howl, whose romancing of 18-year-old milliner Sophie (Emily Mortimer) results in her transformation into a pensioner by the jealous Witch of the Waste (Lauren Bacall). The events that follow are both visually ingenious and dazzling, as Old Sophie (Jean Simmons) journeys to reclaim her youth, only to find employment in Howl's enchanted walking castle. But the meticulous eye candy comes at the expense of proper plot development, with the rushed final third, in which Howl is forced into battle, and an overly surreal conclusion likely to be particularly confusing for children.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
HowlChristian Bale
Witch of the WasteLauren Bacall
Young SophieEmily Mortimer
Madam SulimanBlythe Danner
Old SophieJean Simmons
CalciferBilly Crystal
MarklJosh Hutcherson

Crew

rolename
DirectorHayao Miyazaki

Details

Theatrical distributor
Optimum Releasing
Released on
2005-09-23
Language
Japanese
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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