Like a dream, Howl's Moving Castle
carries audiences to vistas beyond their imaginations where they experience excitement, adventure, terror, humor, and romance. With domestic box office receipts of over $210 million, Howl
passed Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke
to become the #3 film in Japanese history, behind his Spirited Away
and James Cameron's Titanic
Based on a juvenile novel by Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle marks the first time Miyazaki has adapted another writer's work since Kiki's Delivery Service (1989). Sophie, a 19-year-old girl who believes she is plain, has resigned herself to a drab life in her family's hat shop--until the Witch of the Waste transforms her into a 90-year-old woman. In her aged guise, Sophie searches for a way to break the Witch's spell and finds unexpected adventures. Like Chihiro, the heroine of Spirited Away, Sophie discovers her hidden potential in a magical environment--the castle of the title.
Using CG, Miyazaki creates a ramshackle structure that looks like it might disintegrate at any moment. Sophie's honesty and determination win her some valuable new friends: Markl, Howl's young apprentice; a jaunty scarecrow; Calcifer, a temperamental fire demon; and Heen, a hilarious, wheezing dog. She wins the heart of the dashing, irresponsible wizard Howl, and brings an end an unnecessary and destructive war. The film overflows with eclipsing visuals that range from frightening aerial battles to serene landscapes, and few recent features--animated or live action--offer as much magic as Howl's Moving Castle.--Charles Solomon
United Kingdom released, Blu-Ray/Region B DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Dolby DTS-HD Master Audio ), Japanese ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), Japanese ( Dolby DTS-HD Master Audio ), English ( Subtitles ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Anamorphic Widescreen, Blu-Ray & DVD Combo, Cast/Crew Interview(s), Featurette, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Storyboards, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki, Japan's premier animator and co-founder of Studio Ghibli, takes viewers on an amazing animated adventure that celebrates the power of love to transform and the resiliency of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Sophie, an ordinarily 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 and is subsequently turned into a 90 year old woman by the vain and conniving Wicked Witch of the Waste. Embarking on an incredible odyssey 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. Sophie's love and support comes to have a major impact on Howl, who flies in the face of orders from the palace to become a pawn of war and instead risks his life to help bring peace to the kingdom... Extraordinary characters, inventive imagery and stunning hand-drawn cel frame artistry make this latest masterpiece from the visionary Miyazaki an unforgettable experience! SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Oscar Academy Awards, Venice Film Festival, ...Howl's Moving Castle ( Hauru no ugoku shiro ) ( Howli liikuv kindlus ) (Blu-Ray & DVD Combo) (Blu-Ray)