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97 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a "Howl"
Not a lot of directors would be brave enough to take on a love story between a girl-turned-old-lady and a wizard missing a vital organ.

But Oscar-winning director/writer Hayao Miyazaki tackles a new fantasy realm in in "Howl's Moving Castle." In this case, it's the world of fantasy dowager Diana Wynne Jones, and he wraps the storyline in humor,...
Published on 24 Nov 2005 by E. A Solinas

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Some odd viewing moments
This used DVD played well for the most part, although there were a handful of times where the film would stop, show a line-drawing of the animations, and then skip to the next scene. Very odd. Otherwise satisfied.
Published 3 months ago by Madden


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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly Excellent, 7 Mar 2007
By 
C. Stewart "The Cat's Whiskers" (Yorkshire/Nottinghamshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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Having specifically gone to the movies for this (despite being aged 30+) I was very impressed and would recommend it to anyone. The quality of the "animation" and the spot-on casting of the "voicers" (Bill Crystal, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall) cannot be faulted.

The movie was based on the "children's" book (which I read aged 27) by Dianna Wynne Jones, well known fantasy author - The Power of Three, The Dark Lord of Derkholm and The Nine Lives of Christoher Chant may be familiar. I was worried about it being turned into an animated film because the book is very good - but subtle, and basically inverts a lot of the "fairytale" traditions (similar to how Joss Whedon inverted the scantily-clad blonde slasher victim into the scantily-clad blonde superheroine).

In HMC, Sophie lives in a country that is almost but not quite like our own - Rowling did something similar in Harry Potter in how the magical and "normal" worlds co-exist in the same space/time but remain largely oblivious to each other (e.g., in the Christopher Chant universe, the monarch of (still) Great Britain in James VII not Elizabeth II because the Glorious Revolution of 1688, when James II was usurped by his daughters Mary II and then Queen Anne never happened). This country has a lot of fairytale traditions - only the youngest of 3 same-sex siblings will prosper, ogres never live at the top of beanstalks anymore because every homicidal musclebound meathead hero kept chopping them down. As the eldest of 3 sisters, Sophie is resigned to a life of mundanity, when her father dies and her stepmother (funnily enough, not wicked) appoints Sophie managaress of her father's hatshop so she can concentrate on finding "good" positions for Sophie's full sister, and their half-sister, her own daughter who as youngest of the 3 is "destined" for greatness. But Sophie unknowningly has the power to create destinies for people - out of loneliness, she talks to the hats she makes, and what she tells the hats they are comes true, such as when she tells one fancy hat "you will marry money" and the girl who buys it elopes with a duke. Unfortunately, Sophie fails to realise an unpleasant female customer is really the Wicked Witch of the Waste and is cursed. Sophie attempts to find Howl because he is the only Enchanter powerful enough to remove the curse, and inadvertantly ends up being taken on as his cleaning lady.

The romance between Howl and Sophie in the book is very understated - which is exactly as it should be because no matter how much PC nonsense you parrot, men fall in love with young, pretty women, not pensioners. The movie does rather labour the romance bit, but not obnoxiously so. It also stays close to the book in that the war is not as important as the exploration of how power corrupts and how the things we want often do us more harm than good. Both Howl and the Witch wanted more power, which they obtained by catching a falling star before it died (Calcifer in Howl's case) and binding it to them. The Witch has been made wholly evil, but Howl and Calcifer struggle along in an almost-friendship but which is tainted by the fact that Calcifer is Howl's prisoner.

The reason this has only 4 stars is because it does lack clarity in certain parts - the scarecrow/turnip head are really the missing Prince Justin, which not explained. DWJ did write a sequel to HMC, Castle in the Air, and hopefully this will be filmed too, as together, the arcing storyline is much more fleshed out and coherent.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant!, 8 Sep 2013
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Its nice to be able to finally own one of my all time favorite movie Howls moving castle arrived in 3 days the service was brilliants and brand new like said in the description
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great storyline ., 30 Jun 2013
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Great quick purchase ,received quickly ,

Another great studio ghibli offering ,beautiful storyline ,lovely colour ,great characters
If you get a chance purchase this Dvd ,I watched it with my family and they very much liked it
I have seen a few others of the studio ghibli collection ..so I knew a very good story was to be had .
As I said prior ,you will enjoy this Studio Ghibli dvd .
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, 25 Jun 2013
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I bought this movie as a birthday present for my seven year old boy who watched this and a few other Japanese cartoons as part of a Film 4 series over the Easter holidays.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Howl's moving castle.. utterly fabulous!, 6 Jan 2010
By 
I. Zedi "BellaBella" (UK) - See all my reviews
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My daughter begged father christmas to bring this film for her.. she loves the story, great graphics/visuals.. really charming story and, I admit, I sat fascinated and spellbound myself. Greatly recommend this (my daugher is almost 11) for all ages.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally got hold of the English version!, 8 Sep 2009
By 
J. Crab "Ganymedes1985" (Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This movie is not easy to find in Belgium, and when I did, I discovered it was only available in a Dutch dub. Having seen this in English at the movie theatre, I really wasn't too keen on the Dutch dub, and was really happy to find this version on Amazon!

The movie itself is without doubt my faourite by Miyazaki (although I still need to see Ponyo)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 30 Mar 2009
By 
L. Wareing "Lee" (England) - See all my reviews
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I bought this after watching spirited away. I am pleased to confirm this film is equally as imaginative and generally a joy to watch!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Howl's Moving Castle, 24 Mar 2009
By 
G. A. Spaul "GAS" (Essex England) - See all my reviews
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A bit scary for very young children but i found it enchanting (I'm 65).
it gets slightly repartetious after the 6th. viewingHowl's Moving Castle - 2 Disc Limited Edition
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Howl's moving castle, 16 Mar 2009
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L. Parsonage "linagot" (Aylesbury, UK) - See all my reviews
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It's a nice story about a magician and a little girl, friendship and love. We've enjoyed watching it with all the family.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little clarification, 13 Mar 2006
By A Customer
If you want the essence of anime just watch the subtitled versions, you will never get the best dubbed that would be a perfect reinstated version and the producers directors and crew are all primarily Japanese.
Now Howl, the confused magician who had yet to learn the true value of appearance. In the story he is the hero who needed help, and that came in the form of Sophie our central character. They met on a street while Sophie was running away from the shadows of the witch who refused to grow old. Howl helped her out and took her on a journey that sparked her quest which was the plot of the story. The witch did get her in the end and stole her youth. She was not recognised the took to finding Howl and his moving castle. I will leave you who have yet to see the story to find out the end for yourselves.
For those who have seen it in the dubbed version Sophie kept her grey hair to remind herself of the vulnerability of a person in the real world. As for Howl who kept his black hair over the blond for the reason that appearance do not matter.
Miyazaki, like always, create moral stories at the highest standard for numerous other to catch up. Like all his other stories Howl's Moving Castle want to provoke thought and the reasons behind actions. This story wanted the audience realise that war could be initiated by one simple reason (the scarecrow, who was the center of such war)and yet one person, no matter how strong they are, could not stop it totally. If you like a thinking film this is the one; if you just want a great history making anime, this is also the one....along with all his other anime such a Spirited away and a light hearted Spirited Away. If you are really REALLY into a meaningful story, the Grave of the Fireflies also by Miyazaki with the Ghibli Studio
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Howl's Moving Castle - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD)
Howl's Moving Castle - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD) by Hayao Miyazaki (Blu-ray - 2012)
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